為確保您享有最佳的瀏覽體驗,建議您提升您的 IE 瀏覽器至最新版本,感謝您的配合。
KH Style
KH Style 高雄款

被爆美國開公司申請陸專利 吳茂昆發聲明自清

六甲砂石車轉彎衝入對向翻覆 駕駛壓頭身亡

The Perfect Temperature Jewel Tsai’s Elegant Homemade Banquet

2018-03-16 11:21TAIPEI

Article|Yang Meijuan

Photos|Liang Zhongxian

Jewel Tsai’s (蔡珠兒) “homemade banquet” is a conversation piece among her friends. She considers having banquets a grand event, so she gives each one a good mulling over and plans it weeks in advance. She is ever aware of the harvest time of each type of farm produce, and then designs her menu accordingly. Anything can play a role in her menu. For example, once, on her weekend hike at Maokong (貓空), she saw some fresh, green bamboo leaves and asked for a few to take home. She washed them carefully, and later used them to underlay her dishes. As for having to make several trips to local markets to find ingredients, Tsai believes it’s the only way to prepare a nice, homey meal.

“For every banquet, I probably will shop at 2 or 3 local markets – this is my basic “must-do.” For some ingredients, you just have to go to a particular vendor at a certain market; that’s how you satisfy your needs,” Tsai says with a smile. People might think this process is mired in minor details, but she’s used to it. “Having a nice meal is very important; it is what I call quality time.” To achieve her goals, she even uses different salts and oils with different ingredients.

Jewel Tsai loves to chat with friends at...
Jewel Tsai loves to chat with friends at the dining table, enjoying the happy bonding there. (Photo: Liang Zhongxian)

Tsai takes care of every preparatory det...
Tsai takes care of every preparatory detail without help. (Photo: Liang Zhongxian)

On the day before our interview, she spotted a type of shallot shoot that only appears in the coldest depths of winter, so she bought a big bunch as a delightful surprise. After several tries, she found that goose fat brought out the greatest sweetness and tenderness from this vegetable. She then cooked it with some spear shrimps she had shelled and deveined herself. This combination made a pretty green and red dish that filled the space with a strong yet refreshing aroma, which was just amazing.

The dish of fresh shallot shoots stir-fr...
The dish of fresh shallot shoots stir-fried in goose fat with spear shrimps releases its entrancing smell. (Photo: Liang Zhongxian)

“Use a different oil or sauce to compliment each ingredient’s special qualities, and you’ll get a nice variety of results and tastes,” she said as she placed the food on the plate.

The Land of Abundant Flavors

Tsai had lived in Hong Kong for many years before she finally moved back to Taiwan a couple of years ago. She says that the range of ingredients in Taiwan is completely different from that of Hong Kong. For her, this is a challenge.

“In Hong Kong, about 90% of ingredients are imported. Although all year round, you can get things from all over the world, still – there isn’t a lot of variety, nor a lot of natural fragrance. In Taiwan, after two centuries of introducing and improving alien species, there are plenty of ingredients to choose from." As she talked, she handed over a plate of dark green vegetables. It looked partly like asparagus, and partly like cypress leaves. It tasted salty and crunchy, and kind of reminded me of the sea breeze. “This is samphire from the coast of central Taiwan,” she informed me. “It has a natural salty taste, so all you need to do is add a little fresh lily bulb for the color.”

Liu Fu Kao Fu is the most common dish on...
Liu Fu Kao Fu is the most common dish on Tsai’s dining table. (Photo: Liang Zhongxian)

When talking about ingredients, former farmer Tsai just can’t hold back her excitement. Take the taro rice noodle soup she was cooking as an example. To make this dish, she must start preparing a day ahead. The preparation requires finely chopping shallots, mushrooms, dried shrimps and flatfish, and then blanching them in hot oil. Then she moves on to the carrots, little octopus from Penghu (澎湖), and the shredded pork with bean sprouts. Taiwanese dishes usually contain an abundance of good quality ingredients, so each step is crucial. Tsai worked on the recipe with quick moves and told me, “Taro in season has a great taste. To bring out its texture in the rice noodle soup, you need to add fried and also raw pieces. It won’t be long until we serve the mullet rice noodle soup!”

A few moments later, the boiling soup Tsai had prepared was in front of us. She asked everyone to enjoy it while it was hot, keeping in mind that it was at its perfect serving temperature that moment.

“Every dish must always be served at its peak condition, with just the right temperature and taste. Life is just the same, you need to grasp the moment,” Tsai said, while ladling soup for everyone. It was plain to see that she insists on her guests enjoying each dish at its perfect temperature.

Liu Fu Kao Fu is the most common dish on...
Liu Fu Kao Fu is the most common dish on Tsai’s dining table. (Photo: Liang Zhongxian)

When Tsai plans a menu, she considers the diners’ ages and occupations as well. For example, with young men with robust appetites at the table, Tsai prepared a fulfilling dish – Shio Koji Mountain Pepper Pork Neck with Baked Butter Cabbage (鹽麴馬告松阪烤奶油萵苣). This was marinated in shio koji to bring out the aroma and taste of the pork neck, and also enhance its texture. The baked butter cabbage added a light, refreshing note. In addition, since agaricus Brazil mushroom (also called “blaze mushroom”) happened to be in season, she pan-fried a few in rice bran oil with a little red pepper to add some color. When this dish was served, the whole room filled with a mouthwatering aroma, causing real excitement among the diners!

Tsai carefully adjusts every dish’s tast...
Tsai carefully adjusts every dish’s taste, showing that she loves food almost as much as her family. (Photo: Liang Zhongxian)

Make a Dish for People You Love

In addition to finding out her friends’ food preferences, Tsai always likes to prepare the appetizer, Liu Fu Kao Fu (六福烤麩), baked wheat gluten with six ingredients, a treat she makes for her husband as well. She takes mushroom, baked wheat gluten, winter bamboo shoots, daylily, jelly fungus, and her in-laws must-have ingredient: blanched peanuts. Then, she adds sugar, star anise, and soy sauce and simmers at a low heat until it’s well flavored. The precise layers of flavor create a homemade taste that will make you savor every morsel. It’s light and delicate, yet filling, and is the most common dish on Tsai’s family table. And while our dishes were served, we all bonded with each other, served each other her marvelous culinary creations, laughed and chatted. Everyone felt the warmth of the food, the emotions, and the happiness.





2018-04-19 14:33

金融股誰領風騷? 買對股利 價差 兩頭賺

2018-04-20 13:13


2018-04-19 12:50

特斯拉逃不出產能地獄 近兩個月市值縮水16%

2018-04-20 10:37

靠「我懂你」拚外交 她用1千元讓南歐小國記住台灣

2018-04-19 10:24

讓阿里巴巴主動談合作 他用台灣技術+泰國水果大賺中國財

2018-04-19 10:22

486先生員工比股東大 打造人均產值四千萬團隊

2018-04-20 10:27

美台財報藏寶圖 Q1獲利驚奇股搶先卡位

2018-04-20 13:13


2018-04-19 12:52


2018-04-19 10:21

柯達轉型失敗 台灣如何不重蹈覆轍?

2018-04-19 11:36

美中貿易戰 可能有哪些副作用?

2018-04-19 12:48

生病住院 醫療險不一定理賠?

2018-04-19 14:55


2018-04-19 12:52


2018-04-20 10:43

半導體趨勢向上 絕無冷場

2018-04-20 08:53


2018-04-19 12:50

揭密職場必勝的辦公室風水 公開旺事業和財運秘訣

2018-04-19 15:02


2018-04-19 12:52

遊學萌生交換夢 運動女孩辦跨校模聯練英語

2018-04-19 09:10

人生黑白變彩色 如何對抗憂鬱症?

2018-04-23 10:54

米其林美食評鑑 大揭祕

2018-04-20 08:49


2018-04-19 16:50

汽車業想像空間大 台廠相關供應鏈無看壞理由

2018-04-20 13:13


2018-04-19 12:50


2018-04-19 09:11


2018-04-19 12:52


2018-04-19 12:49

刪預算逼效率 P&G 品牌行銷出絕招

2018-04-19 08:49

全球抗跌避險誰最優? 小型股 石油最佳資金避風港

2018-04-20 13:13

眾星齊放台北城 國際米其林搶灘

2018-04-20 08:49

把握關鍵一分鐘 搞定英語甄選面試

2018-04-19 09:10

台北美食之都 情牽米其林

2018-04-20 08:49


2018-04-23 09:45

不到9坪旅館小房 迷倒設計師張智強的13傑作

2018-04-20 16:44


2018-04-19 12:49

百度被判侵權!這場耗時三年輸入法專利大戰 搜狗終於贏了

2018-04-19 16:37


2018-04-20 08:53

施崇棠服務業思惟 只有更努力來迎接各種競爭

2018-04-20 13:14

大廚相遇 江振誠×楊紀華 美味之約

2018-04-20 08:49