Sweet Rice Cake Recipe

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Rice cake is one of the most well-known and popular dessert in Asia, especially Taiwan and China. It has been one of my favorite dessert at all time and I’ll be teaching you how to make rice cake at home from scratch! 

For the ingredients, you will need the following: 

  • 90ml water
  • 180g sugar
  • 60ml coconut water
  • 150ml toddy (palm wine)
  • 250g rice flour
  • 1 packet fruit salt (4.5g)
  • Pink food colouring (optional or can be added to only half of the mixture)

Below are the steps in making rice cake: 

  1. Pour the water into the pot. Bring to the boil and add the sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool.
     
     
     
  2. Pour the coconut water, toddy and rice rice flour into the mixing bowl. Pour the cooled sugar syrup over these ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
     
  3. Set aside the bowl and its ingredients for 6 hours. Place a towel over the top and allow it to rise.
     
  4. The next day, add the fruit salt and coloring just before steaming. Mix well.
     
  5. Heat the Chinese tea cups until warm. Pour the rice cake mixture into each cup.
     
  6. Steam the cups over high heat for 25 minutes. During this time the cakes will rise, cracking into segments at the top, which is to be expected.
     
  7. Serve warm. These treats will be enjoyed by children and adults alike.

 

By knowing the steps in making rice cake, you will be able to make delicious rice cake from scratch at home! 

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KSA hosting starring night

Want to get yourself attached to more authentic Korean music and articrafts? Or do you want to enjoy some great Korean food? Definitely don’t miss out Purdue university’s Korean Student Association’s starry night this weekend! There will be authentic Korean food such as kimchi, bimbibab and Korean barbecue. For more information, check out the details below:

Hosted by: Korean Undergraduate Students Association

When: Saturday, March 29 2014, 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Location: St. Thomas Aquinas – The Catholic Center at Purdue

Categories: Festival/Celebration

 

Grab your friends and come out this weekend for a memorable and unique Korean night!

Amazing Commercial from Thailand

Spring break is over and it’s time to get back to reality! I cried like a baby on the last day of spring break because it was time to face another wave of heavy work load of assignments and exams. I cried so hard that I needed two boxes of tissue papers. Now you must be thinking I was overreacting or maybe I was just exaggerating. Well, you were both right and wrong. You were wrong because I wasn’t exaggerating but you were right because I was surely overreacting. I cried not because of school but because I came across a video that was just so heartbreaking. This video isn’t a short clip, film or documentary; It is a TV commercial. A Thai commercial.

 

I was heartbroken when I watched this video because the story itself really drew my attention. Although it was only three minutes long, the video surely conveyed a very strong message: Giving is the best communication. 

 

Spring Break: When Mitsuwa Meets Chinatown!

It’s spring break! Thats right, spring break 2014 has finally arrived and almost every kids around the corner are heading out for a fun and daring break! And I am no exception! However, this time, I will not be traveling to the hottest spring break attractions such as Cancun, Los Angeles, Bahamas or Florida. This break, I’ll be hanging in Chicago with my friends. When speaking of Chicago, it is only a 2-hour drive from West Lafayette, but it brings you a whole new perspective of what fascinating and legitimate Asian food, market, and plaza are like!

“Me and my dad really like sushis! Whenever we go travel, we would always want to try some Sushi places. One of my favorite sushi restaurants is Maru in West Lafayette and I love their rolls!” – Claire F, student at Purdue University

Claire loves sushi and I believe most of you who are reading this blog love sushi too. If that is the case, then you can never miss the notorious Japanese market, Mitsuwa Supermarket, if you ever visit Chicago!

Located in 100 E. Algonquin Rd. Arlington Heights, Mitsuwa brings you a whole new perspective of what Japanese food and market are like. Mitsuwa is more about just ramen, udon, sushi rolls and green tea! In Mitsuwa, you will find everything from authentic Japanese sweets, beverages and all kinds of raw fish to Japanese branded shampoo, cosmetic products, kitchenwares and more! Oh, did I mention there’s also a Japanese bookstore, food court and bakery located inside the Mitsuwa market? There are also various kiosks inside the market such as Shiseido booth, Galaxy Wireless cellphone store, Japanese movie rental stand and travel agency Q&A desk! It’s practically the Japanese version of Walmart! There are a total of of 9 Mistuwa markets located across the United States and the Chicago Mitsuwa market is the largest in the Midwest.

Below are some Yelp reviews on Mitsuwa Chicago:

“Mitsuwa is an impressive place: Japanese grocery store, bakery, food court and book store all in one.  We walked around the food court and I expressed skepticism based on it being a food court that the food would be good.” -Arthur M.

“If you’re Japanese, you want to be Japanese or you want to know more about Japanese culture in general, come to Mitsuwa.” – Rawlings R.

“Mitsuwa is a dream land, filled with Japanese deliciousness. True story. Fact.” -Meg H.

Mitsuwa Japanese market isn’t the only famous Asian market in Chicago. There’s also the famous Chicago Chinatown located on the on the South Side (located in the Armour Square community area), centered on Cermak and Wentworth Avenues.

Chinatown is a unique Chicago neighborhood in that it is more than simply a collection of restaurants, shops and homes. It is also a rich cultural experience, and a visitor to Chicago’s Chinatown has the distinct feeling of having touched upon a microcosm of China itself. Various restaurants, cafes, stores, salons and grocery markets are located in the Chicago Chinatown neighborhood! Restaurants in Chinatown include a fusion of Chinese, Taiwanese and Cantonese cuisines and whether you want to eat Cantonese style dim sums or Taiwanese style shabu-shabu, Chicago Chinatown is where you will want to visit! If you aren’t that hungry but want to sit down and relax, Chinatown cafes also sell a various flavors of authentic Chinese teas, smoothies, and bubble teas! There are also a various kinds of stores in Chinatown such as bookstores, gift shops and sweets store! So if you want to spend a day in surrounding yourself with Chinese culture and atmosphere, Chicago Chinatown is definitely your best pick!

Below are some TripAdvisor reviews:

“I visit Chinatown a few times every year and each time I find something new there (even though it was already there). An even can easily be spent deciding on a place to eat, browsing the art shops and bodegas. Don’t forget to grab a smoothie/bubble tea before you leave!” -Blackhawks 2013

“Chicago’s Chinatown is not as known as the one in San Francisco, however it is still authentic and filled with interesting shops. If you are hungry for Chinese food, this is a must stop…the number of choices is overwhelming!” -CultureHunter

”The view is spectacular over the river. You can walk from the river to China Town and enjoy the chinese culture. “ -JuanFra

So if you ever have the chance to visit Chicago, definitely don’t miss out Mitsuwa Japanese market and Chinatown! I’ll be visiting these two places this spring break and so I’ll be gone for five days next week. I won’t have the time to update new blogs within next week but I’ll definitely get back to you the first day after spring break ends! In the meantime, be safe and have a great break with your family or friends! I’ll see you when I see you!

Do’s V.S. Don’ts Of Japanese Sushi Etiquette

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Sushi is the most iconic food of Japanese cuisines and it certainly is one of the most popular Japanese food worldwide! Japanese sushi is fresh, unique and flavorful that it has attracted many Americans. Study shows that there are at least 3,846 sushi restaurants across the United States and there are more than 25 sushi restaurants in the state of Indiana. With its flavorful taste, many people also regard Japanese sushi as one of their favorite food. However, do people really know how to eat Japanese sushi correctly? Is there anything that people should avoid when speaking of Japanese food etiquette?

Fear no more! Below are some Do’s and Don’ts of eating Japanese sushi and these tips will let you know what to avoid and not avoid when eating sushi at a Japanese restaurant!

DO’s: Pick up your sushi using chopsticks or fingers. (There’s nothing wrong with eating sushi with your fingers. In fact, it is regarded as the most traditional way of eating sushi!)

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DON’TS: Do not rub your chopsticks to remove the splinters. (It is rude for people to do that. Most Japanese sushi bars won’t offer you chopsticks of low quality.)

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DO’S: Lightly dip the fish, not the rice, into a small bowl of soy sauce. 

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DON’TS: Do not dip the rice! (The rice is seasoned and flavored with the chef’s expertise. Dipping the rice shows disrespect to the chef.)

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DO’S: Eat the sushi in one bite and make sure the fish of the sushi touches your tongue in a 45 degree angle!

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DON’TS: Do not bite the sushi in half and put the remainder back in the plate. (Remember that eating sushi is all about etiquette and so putting the remainder of the sushi back in the plate loosely just isn’t pretty at all!)

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DO’s: Use wasabi sparingly. (Normally the chef will put the right amount of the wasabi on the plate so don’t ask for more, as it would destroy the flavor of the fish and the seasoned rice.)

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DON’TS: Do not overload the wasabi in the soy sauce. (Sometimes, it is advised to separate the wasabi from the soy sauce. Dip the sushi with a bit of wasabi, then dip it in the soy sauce. In Japan, people don’t dip their sushi in the soy sauce as often as the people in the U.S. do.)

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DO’S: Eat the pickled ginger in between different pieces of sushi as a palette cleanser.

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DON’TS: Do not put the pickled ginger on top of the sushi before eating it. (The chef has made you your sushi with his balance in mind. You don’t want to mess with his art.)

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Now that you know the main Do’s and Don’ts of Japanese sushi etiquette, be sure to follow these etiquettes during your next visit at a Japanese restaurant!

Koreans Are Obsessed With Plastic Surgery?

“What do I want for high school graduation gift? Plastic surgery,” says a South Korean girl.

How many of you are shocked by the statement above? Well. I am. I am shocked not because she wants to be pretty, but because she is willing to get a plastic surgery for her graduation gift and she is probably only 18 years old! In South Korea, it is common for people to get plastic surgery and the this trend has become very popular in recent years.
Here are 10 interesting facts about Korean plastic surgery!

1. Everyone in Korea wants to have light skin, tiny nose, big eyes with double eye lids, and a small V-shaped face. 

Miss Korean Pageant

Miss Korean Pageant

2. Plastic surgery has become so normal that no one seems to be ashamed by it. People might even ask one another where to they get their nose or chins done. 

Plastic surgery is everywhere in S. Korea.

Plastic surgery is everywhere in S. Korea.

3. Specific procedures are known as “The Basics” which includes eyelid surgery in creating double eyelid and nose jobs.

Korean eyelid surgery

Korean eyelid surgery

4. Girl groups like T-ara readily admit to what procedures they’ve had done.

Girl Group ,T-ara, admits getting their eyes and noses done.

Girl Group ,T-ara, admits getting their eyes and noses done.

5. Model Kim Tae-Hee, who is thought to have had plastic surgery, is one of the most requested faces at plastic surgery offices. She also appears in many product commercials.
Model Kim Tae Hee

Model Kim Tae Hee

6. Plastic surgery has become so popular that it’s not uncommon for Korean high school girls to go under the knife. In fact, it’s believed that the earlier you do it, the more “natural” it looks as you grow into your features.

Korean high school student talking about her dream face

Korean high school student talking about her dream face

7. The contestants for the Korean Beauty Pageant are being mocked for having identical face structures. 
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8. One of the most popular reality TV shows is “Let Me In,” on which contestants share sob stories of being bullied and picked on before a team of experts “fixes” them. At the end of the show, they parade down a runway to unveil the new look to a live audience.

Korean TV show on plastic surgery

Korean TV show on plastic surgery

9. If you go to a station like Sinsa or Apgujong, you’ll be bombarded with advertisements that promise impressive results and a new, better you.

Plastic surgery ads everywhere in South Korea

Plastic surgery ads everywhere in South Korea

10. Some before and after pictures:
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La Tea Bubble Tea Insider Talks About Bubble Teas!

I came across a very nice bubble tea place called “LaTea Bubble Tea Lounge” last month at West Lafayette. The tea comes in different flavors such as original, rose, lavender, cinnamon and caramel flavor. However, what is different about the tea is its add-ons: tapiocas a.k.a bubbles. Larry Lin, co-manager at the La Tea Bubble Tea Lounge, is glad to be here with us today an talk about the origin of bubble teas as well as La Tea Bubble Tea Lounge’s core objective in making bubble teas one of the most exotic, yet interesting drink here at the Lafayette and West Lafayette community.

Larry Lin, co-manager of LaTea Bubble Tea Lounge at West Lafayette

Larry Lin, co-manager of LaTea Bubble Tea Lounge at West Lafayette

Me: Hello Larry, I am glad you are here today to talk about the core objectives of LaTea Bubble Tea Lounge as well as the origin of bubble teas. So, first off, what is it that prompted you to work at La Tea Bubble Tea Lounge?

Larry: Thank you and it is definitely my pleasure to be here today. The reason I decided to work at LaTea Bubble Tea Lounge is because I believe with a diverse community we have here at Lafayette and West Lafayette, it is important to bring in the flavors of the most popular drinks in Asia, bubble teas. When my friend, Jack Hsiao, asked if opening a bubble tea lounge here at Purdue will draw attractions from Purdue students, I instantly said Yes. I believe that with the various flavors of bubble tea that La Tea can offer, people will definitely be attracted to it.

Me: You said that bubble tea is one of the most popular drinks in Asia. Can you tell us what is so interesting and unique about it?

Larry: Sure! Bubble tea is commonly known as pearl milk tea or boba milk tea and is originated from Taiwan during the 1980s. The reason why we call it “bubble” is because the term is derived from the Chinese boba, meaning “large breasts”, which is a slang of course, but also represents the large and chewy tapioca balls. Because the term attracts many customers and that the tea itself tastes good and unique, the business started to grow across Taiwan and in the early 1990s, many Taiwanese-Americans came to the states to start their own bubble tea businesses. And we, La Tea Bubble Tea Lounge, is just one of them!

Me: So do you only have one bubble tea flavor? If not, what other flavors do you sell?

Larry: Our iconic drink is the Original Bubble Tea. However, we have many other flavors that are available for the customers to choose from. Two of our most popular flavored bubble teas are Caramel Milk Tea and Rose Milk Tea. Other flavors include Vanilla Milk Tea, Hazelnut Milk Tea and House Green Milk Tea. We also sell tea drinks that are not milk-based. If you’d like to see what other flavors we have, you can check out our online menu:

LaTea Bubble Tea Lounge Menu

LaTea Bubble Tea Lounge Menu

Me: What about the add-ons? Do you only have pearls?

Larry: Of course not! Aside from our tapioca pearls, we also have other add-ons such as egg pudding, green tea pudding, lychee jelly, passionfruit jelly, mango jelly and red bean jelly. I would say the most ordered add-ons aside from pearls would be the puddings.

Me: That is very interesting! I can’t wait to order one after the interview? Can you tell me where the store location is?

Larry: Actually, delivery is the option for ordering bubble teas at this point. Our store is currently under construction but the grand opening will be this May at the Wabash Landing. If you want to order the teas, you can call us at (765) 586-9398 and order the bubble teas. It usually takes us 30-40 minutes to deliver the teas, as we have many ticket orders per day.

Me: If it is delivery only, what is your store hour?

Larry: We are opened daily, Monday through Thursday, from 12 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Friday to Sunday from 12 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. The last order will be at 10 p.m. for normal store hours and 11 p.m. for extended weekend hours.

Me: Those are some very interesting news about bubble teas and the flavors! Before we end our interview, can you tell us what your favorite bubble tea flavor and add-ons are at LaTea Bubble Tea Lounge?

Larry: Yes, definitely. My favorite tea is Caramel Milk Tea with puddings. The puddings are very chewy and the flavor goes great with the milk tea, making it a perfect combination. If you would like to order our teas, I would suggest getting our iconic Original Bubble Tea with tapioca pearls and Caramel Milk Tea with puddings as your first try!

Me: That sounds very tasty and I can’t wait to try them! Once again, thank you very much, Larry, for joining me today for the LaTea Bubble Tea Lounge interview! I look forward to see you again soon!

Larry: Yes, no problem, and I look forward to see you again soon. Bye!

After the interview with Larry, I believe everyone’s mouth is drilling! I am going back home and call LaTea Bubble Tea Lounge for some tasty bubble teas! What about you? For more information about the store, please visit LaTea Bubble Tea Lounge’s website: https://www.facebook.com/lateabubbletealounge/info

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