spoonful of MSG next to a bottle and bag of msg

What Is MSG & How Is It Used?

MSG stands for monosodium glutamate, which is the mix of salt and glutamate. Glutamate is an amino acid that is both naturally occurring and synthesized. Together as MSG, it’s used to add or enhance umami flavor in food.  What is umami? It’s the hard-to-describe “fifth taste,” alongside saltiness, sourness, bitterness and sweetness. It’s what makes things taste meaty, savory, substantive.…

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sweet and sour pork with rice

Sweet and Sour Pork Recipe (w/ Pineapple, Onion, Bell Pepper)

This homemade sweet and sour pork recipe yields crispy pieces of deep-fried pork, sautéed in a sweet and slightly tangy sauce. After decades of eating (probably) hundreds of authentic, Chinese style sweet and sour dishes from various restaurants throughout the years, I’ve finally have the best homemade sweet and sour pork recipe that I can make anytime I have a craving. What…

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Vietnamese porridge / chicken rice cháo gà

Cháo Gà (Vietnamese Chicken Rice Porridge / Congee)

Nothing heals the body, mind, and soul like a steamy bowl of chicken soup even if you aren’t under the weather. Vietnamese cháo gà is another delicious take on chicken soup with rice that can feed a large group a delicious meal at a very low cost. This is a dish I ate allll the time growing up at home…

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bowl of brown rice next to rice cooker

How To Cook Brown Rice In A Rice Cooker (Perfect & Fluffy!)

If you want a healthier brown rice option for dinner during a busy week, but need a hands-free cooking method, then this recipe is for you. It will show you how to cook the perfect brown rice just right every time, and all you need is a rice cooker!  Over the years, I’ve cooked different types of white rice in various…

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sticky rice next to chinese sausage

How to Make Sticky Rice (Easy & Foolproof Method!)

Sticky rice, otherwise known as glutinous rice or sweet rice, is a very popular variety of rice all across Asia and shouldn’t be confused with what we know as “white rice” (a term that can be used for anything in between Jasmine rice to short grain non-glutinous white rice and more). It’s a delicious, sticky type rice that’s used very…

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sliced shokupan bread with egg salad mixture

Shokupan Recipe (Japanese Milk Bread With Tangzhong)

Soft, pillowy slices of fluffy Japanese white bread, this shokupan recipe will teach you have to make homemade pullman style loaves!  Shokupan slices are typically what you find in the famous tamago sando or katsu sando from 7-Eleven or Lawson stores in Japan. While the egg salad or katsu fillings are an important part of each sandwich, the shokupan slices offer a pillowy texture that is…

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Japanese egg sandwich on a plate

Japanese Egg Sandwich Recipe (Tamago Sando)

If you’ve never been to Japan, but are an avid anime or YouTube watcher of popular Japanese snacks, then you know what I’m talking about. Tamago sando is a popular Japanese egg salad sandwich that has a rich, buttery egg filling that’s encased in between two fluffy and soft milk bread slices. What is tamago sando? Tamago sando, or “egg sandwich” in Japanese, is…

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straining tamarind pulp and seeds

Tamarind Paste Recipe (How To Make & Use Tamarind Paste)

Slightly sweet and tangy, tamarind is a tropical fruit that is full of tart flavor that’s just as good fresh as it is in savory and sweet recipes. This tamarind paste recipe will give you a concentrated tangy flavor for any recipe that calls for this popular fruit. What is tamarind? Tamarind is a fruit that’s actually part of the…

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glass jar of ube halaya

Ube Halaya Recipe (Homemade Purple Yam Jam)

Ube halaya, also known as “haleyang ube” in Tagalog, is basically ube jam. While you can typically find fresh ube halaya at your local Seafood City, you can also find it in preserved jars in the halo halo aisle. I prefer making my own ube jam from scratch or using fresh ube halaya from Seafood City (in the fridged aisle) because it tastes better, whereas the jarred ube jam includes preservatives like citric acid that might change the…

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crispy smashed potatoes for dinner

Ultra Crispy Garlic Smashed Potatoes

Extra crispy, crushed potatoes with smooth and buttery centers that are dripping with garlic and herb infused oil – these smashed potatoes are easy to make and will make it on your favorite sides list.   Are you tired of the same old mashed potatoes or even plain roasted potatoes? Check out their leveled-up cousin, the smashed potato. This is my…

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takoyaki - octopus balls, prepared on a plate

Takoyaki Recipe (Japanese Octopus Balls)

Takoyaki is a Japanese term for “octopus grilled/fried,” and they are a very popular yatai (or mobile street food) snack. These lightly fried octopus balls have a crisp outer shell with a soft and moist center filled with pieces of octopus, pickled ginger, green onions, and crunchy tenkasu (or tempura pieces).   These fried octopus balls were first popularized by a man named Tomekichi Endo from Osaka, Japan in the…

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slice of purple ube cake

Ube Cake (Filipino Purple Yam Cake w/ Macapuno)

A Filipino celebration isn’t complete without dessert, and one of the most famous cakes is ube cake from Red Ribbon or Goldilocks. This cake typically comes in a traditional round, sheet cake, or roll cake variation, but it’s always moist, nutty, and delicious. Some cakes even include macapuno (coconut string jam)—an absolutely welcome partner in crime with any ube dessert.   Even though I’ve grown up eating all things ube, including this tasty…

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