Travel: Taipei – Home Cooking

Taipei, Taiwan is my home away from home….away from home.  Every time I visit, there is a feeling of comfort and familiarity.  Not only is it because my mom’s side of the family lives there but the sounds, the smells, the air, the weather, the food and the people in the city give me a sense of peace and reminds me of my childhood.  I didn’t grow up in Taiwan but I have very fond memories of the visiting while young.

Shanghai is about an hour and a half flight to Taipei.  Very close.  This time was the first time I visited on my own without my parents and also without my husband.  I stayed at my mom’s older sister’s house.  When I arrived at the house late evening she greeted me with a warm hug and smile.  She was busy cooking away in the kitchen preparing for a big family dinner at home.  I love that my family has always kept the value of eating together at dinner time.  No one is eating alone in another room watching TV or warming up leftovers because they skipped dinner.  We value this time of togetherness and it feels like Thanksgiving everyday.

I was excited that my first meal would be a home cooked meal from my aunt.  Her style of cooking is very similar to my mom’s.  When all of my aunts, uncles and cousins arrived we were ready to eat.

Here is what we had:
Stir fry squid in reduced wine sauce, braised pork belly and soy sauce eggs, stir fry green vegetables, white radish cake and bitter gourd with salted egg (my favorite!)

There is always a fresh fish..nom nom nom….

And always a soup.  This was a radish and fish ball soup.  We also had diced taro with assorted nuts lettuce wraps, slow cooked pork and ‘pao cai’ as a side; which was a mayonnaise based kimchi.  My first time having it and it was really tasty!

Look how nicely everything fits on the table.  The soup goes in the middle.  I ate so much.  I bet it seemed like I hadn’t eaten for days the way I was gobbling everything down.

Some people just know how to welcome guests into their home.  I hope to be as good as my aunt some day!

Thanks for the love Ayi.

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