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Monday, June 24, 2013

Strawberry Bing Tanghulu (冰糖葫芦)

I mentioned in my 626 night market post that I had tried a street sweet from China that I was dying to share with you all, bing tanghulu (冰糖葫芦). When I first saw this sweet-on-a-stick, I was mesmerized by it. It looked like a person took fruit and made them into jewels, the way they glistened!

I've seen it spelled various different ways in English, from bing tanghulu, bingtang hulu to just tanghulu, or sometimes even bing tang hu lu (apparently just insert spaces according to your fancy). Any which way, fruit on a skewer that has been coating in a thin layer of hard candy is deliciously craveable. The conflicting textures of the hard candy and ripe fruit, crunchy/soft, and the opposing flavors, sweet/tangy, make it a delicious treat!

My twist on Bing Tanghulu, not dipped whole but drizzled!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Umeshu (梅酒)

Umeshu is an infused liqueur made by steeping unripe ume in shochu with sugar. When it has matured, it is easy to drink without a lot of bite to it, especially when mixed with carbonated water. At home, it is made by combining ao-ume (青梅 literally "green/blue ume"), kouri zatou (氷砂糖 rock sugar), and shochu (焼酎white distilled Japanese liquor).

It is also super easy to make, so when ao-ume is in season around May/June, you can walk into any Japanese market and see bags of ao-ume, kouri zatou, and big bottles of shochu.

Most of the time umeshu is translated as "plum wine" but that isn't really correct. The fruit called "ume" is really a type of apricot, and the drink really is an infused liqueur rather than a wine. But just like "umeboshi" gets translated as "pickled plum," no one will fault you for calling umeshu "plum wine" but don't drink this like it is wine, because it is much higher proof!

Monday, June 10, 2013

626 Night Market!

I had an absolute blast this weekend at the 626 Night Market held at the Santa Anita Park in Arcadia California! Billed as the largest Asian night market in the United States, I couldn't resist checking it out. They boast over 150 vendors, food stalls, food trucks, music acts, and even non-profit organizations, so I figured it would be a fun night out with tons of fun food to share with you all!

Admission is only $3 ($2 if you get there before 6pm) so it's relatively cheap, and the individual food prices were pretty reasonable. I recommend bringing cash, some vendors accepted cards and some were cash-only. And of course, make sure to bring a big appetite! Just walking to the event, you could smell delicious things wafting to the parking lot.