Tea House “da Vinci”

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Before the entrance to Taipei’s Rao Ho Street Night Market (take the Taipei Metro line #3 and get off at the Songshan station)  is a Tea House name da Vinci (茶文集).  This Tea House serves a variety of top quality Taiwan tea.  The server would explain the special aroma of the different tea as one relax in the friendly atmosphere.  With each sip of tea, eases the body and mind.  This is a satisfying place to end the day after a stroll in the Rao Ho Street Night Market.  Take time to relax and unwind as the tea help to digest away a wide range of good food consumed at the Roa Ho Street Night Market.  Before you leave the store, don’t forget to purchase some tea to take with you.

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Home of the Famous Billionaire of China

The home of the famous Billionaire of China, Shen Wansan (1330-1379)  is Zhouzhuang, Shanghai.   It is also the first water town in China started around 1086 AD.   This town reflects the way of life of the 14th century when stone buildings were built beside the waterways for ease of transport.  There are many stone canals and bridges in this ancient town which adds to the creation of an extraordinary scenic sight.

Legend has it.  Mr. Shen became so wealthy because he had a treasure bowl that attracted wealth.  Even the first emperor of Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang, believed and wanted it for himself.  When he didn’t get it, he confiscated Mr. Shen Wansan’s wealth and exiled him and his sons.  The treasure bowl was never found.   There are many treasure bowls around this town that claimed to be the one.  Who knows?  You could be the lucky one that finds it !!!!

Entrance to Zhouzhang
Entrance to Zhouzhang
The connecting bridge
The connecting bridge
the waterway
the waterway

The One and Only Stinky Tofu Street in Taiwan

A view of Shenkeng old street
A view of Shenkeng old street
End building of Shenkeng old street
End building of Shenkeng old street

A  short trip on bus 660 or 666 takes you from 景美 to 深坑.  You will find a street with a huge tree guarding its entrance.  Along the street are vendors, mostly offer a different style of stinky tofu ( stinky tofu are fermented tofu).  If you like stinky tofu or are adventurous enough to try,  you will discover what a culinary delight this is.  There are also craft stores and best of all a store of hand made hard candies of various nuts, which would also be worth to explore.  After strolling down this street, and if you are still up for dinner, there is a restaurant on the next street  named 王永成.  It would be hard for you to miss it, due to the queue of people waiting to be seated for the food is fabulous and reasonably priced.  It would be wise to make a reservation upon arrival before strolling down the stinky tofu street.

Other edibles that may tickle your delight:

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Preserved Chayote (佛手)
Sweet ricd wrapped in Bamboo leaves
Sweet rice wrapped in Bamboo leaves

Chive and Pork Dumplings

1 lb. ground pork

2 cups of chopped chives

3 tablespoonfuls of soy sauce

2 eggs

1 pack of 16 oz.  dumpling wrap

 

Incorporate the pork, chives, soy sauce, and eggs.  Mix well and let it rest for 15 mins.  Place 1 tablespoonful of pork filling on each of the dumpling wrap.  Fold in half and seal the wrap.  (makes about 50)

In a separate pot, boil about 6 quarts of water.  When water start to boil, carefully place the dumplings into the water as you lightly stir the water.  Bring to boil again.  This time add  1 cup of cold water and bring to boil again.  Dumplings would be ready when they float to the top.  Bon Apetite!

Also goes with dipping sauce.  Prepare customize dipping sauces with soy sauce, sesame oil, chili sauce, vinegar and etc.

******dumpling3 dumplings2

 

*****For extra wrap left over,  I defrost some chopped spinach sqeeze out the juice.  Place a cube of Monterey Cheese with Jalapeno peppers on each of the wrap and make the dumpling. (wrapped dumplings may be freezed.  It can be cooked directly without being defrost)

Heat a cup of cooking oil to 375 degree. ( place a slice of ginger in the oil and wait til it simmers). Place the dumplings in and  fry til golden brown.  Drain on paper towel and serve.

The extra spinach and spinach juice can be used for egg drop soup.

My curry chicken over rice

2 potato chopped

6 stalks of celery chopped

1/2 cup mini or chopped carrots

2 onions chopped

2 cups of chopped chicken thighs (fat removed)

In a non-stick pot saute onions til slightly cooked and add potato.  Add 1 cup water (may use chicken stock instead) and 4 cubes of Vermont Curry Sauce Mix by House , cover and bring to boil.  Then reduce heat and let it simmer.  When the potato and onion began to soften add chicken, carrots and celery and again bring to boil.  Lower heat to simmer and add black pepper.  Simmer to reduce liquid to desire consistency.  Salt to flavor and serve over rice

Cook  4 rice cups of rice in the rice cooker.   Serves 4-6 people