I couldn’t help but be humored by the front page feature on today’s NY Times website about the city’s latest food fashion trend: fresh coconuts. Move aside Gucci and Prada, looks like the fashion capital has discovered a new summer accessory… and it tastes sublime, too.
“Like banh mi sandwiches and sriracha chili sauce, the young coconut and its juice is the latest formerly humble food to be discovered by New York City’s style set, and elevated — if not quite to the level of a status symbol — at least to that of a prized accessory.” Reminiscent of Thai beach culture, coconuts have become the trendy thing to sip on while out walking around the city.
Growing up in Singapore, we had a coconut tree in our backyard and every other week or so my dad would bring out the ladder and butcher knife to hack open fresh coconuts for me and my brother. Now, according to the NY Times’ Fashion & Style, fresh coconuts, sold for $2 to $4, are all the rage, “sipped tiki-style by someone young and fashionable, as they have been all summer.” Hilarious.
Posted in Fashion, Food and Drinks, Personal
Tagged beach, coconut water, Coconuts, Fashion, Food, Food trends, Gucci, New York Times, Prada, style, Thailand
So I had my first-ever acupuncture appointment today, and for someone who’s afraid of needles I have to say it was pretty cool. Randy Lam, a jolly man of 72, assured me that he’d been practicing for decades and that he would get my stiff shoulders relaxed. . . by sticking pins in my legs.
Lying face up on the exam bed, Randy stuck three super-fine needles in each of my lower legs, at acupuncture points along the body’s meridian. I could barely feel the needles, so no biggie, right?
But then he “activates” each needle by turning it, and I feel an uncomfortable, deep pressure in at each point. Turning each needle over and over, the pressure in my legs increase to an almost unbearable intensity. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I feel extremely hot and break out in a sweat, my hands clammy and little beads of perspiration on my face. I ask Randy why I’m so hot–he says he’s activated my circulation. . . weird! I start breathing deeply as I feel a low-electric buzz in my brain–the only way I can describe it is that it feels like gentle pins-and-needles in your noggin. Laying there in “meditation,” I massage my right shoulder and, to my surprise, one of the needles in my left leg starts tingling!
After a couple more needles in my hands and feet, my session is over and I feel surprisingly relaxed, the soreness in my legs’ pressure points still lingering. My muscles feel loose. My brain feels calm. . .
Thanks, Randy–Labor Day weekend, here I come.
Today marks 44 years of independence for Singapore, the country where we three fobs–Emily, Amy, and I–grew up. 27,000 people attended the National Day celebration at Marina Bay, and at 8:22pm, people all around Singapore stood still and recited the national pledge.
As a kid, I remember watching all those awesome/cheesy national song sing-a-longs on TV, and Emily will attest to recording each year’s National Day Parade on VHS. Deep down, there’s only one place we really mean when we say we’re “going home.”
I love dressing up, particularly when it involves 9-yards of gorgeous sari fabric, bindis and lots of bangles. Last weekend I attended my friend’s cousin’s wedding, and I’m now convinced that nothing delights (or perhaps amuses) Indian people more than seeing a random Chinese girl dressed in a sari. My love for all things Indian stems from my growing up in Singapore, where Indians make up the island’s third largest ethnic group and where the president is Indian. Either that or I was Indian in my past life…
P.S. Check out my article on cross-cultural weddings, here!
Posted in Fashion, India, Personal
Tagged China, Culture, Family, Fashion, India, Indian, Love, Sari, Singapore, Travel, Weddings
Growing up, my parents always served watermelon with tiny dish of salt on the side. At the time, this practice boggled me–why in the world would you want to put salt on something that was meant to be sweet? Still, I mustered the courage to test this myself, and, to my surprise, found that a sprinkle of salt made the watermelon sweeter.
A few skeptical friends have dismissed my “salt on watermelon” habit as just another one of my weird eating rituals. Well, I recently came across a bag of Watermelon and Salt Kit Kats at my local Japanese market. Looks like this trend seems to be popular enough to be incorporated into Kit Kat flavors!
While I don’t completely understand the science behind how salt makes watermelon sweeter, I’ve noticed it’s a common practice in South East Asian countries to serve salt with tropical fruits, such as sprinkling salt on pineapple, or salty/sour plum powder on guava.
Next time you eat watermelon, try the salt sweetener trick!
“If you love food, this might be the best place on earth,” celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain says of Singapore. Bourdain, who has traveled to Singapore seven times, is a huge fan of hawker centers, or open-air food courts, which were the training ground for my foodie palate.
The hardest part about eating at hawker centers? The abundance of choice. Still, my favorite dish has to be Hokkien Mee, a delicious stir-fry of noodles, prawns, squid and pork. And, as with everything I eat, I need a good helping of hot sauce. Other favorites include the famous Hainanese Chicken Rice, Malaysian Nasi Lemak, spicy BBQ sambal stingray (my inquiries on where to buy stingray here in the US didn’t go over so well) and carrot cake (the Chinese pan-fried version made of white radish). So good!
Strangely, Singaporean cuisine hasn’t generated the popularity and hype in the US that other Asian cuisines–like Japanese, Vietnamese, and even Burmese–have. Looks to me like there’s a huge opportunity for the next hot food trend: America’s first Singaporean hawker center!
Check out this awesome clip from Bourdain’s Travel Channel show, “No Reservations,” featuring my hometown’s foodie hotspot.
Posted in Food and Drinks, Personal, Singapore
Tagged Anthony Bourdain, Asia, Carrot Cake, Celebrities, Culture, Food, Foodie, Hainanese Chicken Rice, Hokkien Mee, Malaysia, Nasi Lemak, Singapore, Travel, Travel Channel