One thing I miss about the McDonald’s and Burger King in Singapore are the packets of chili sauce they include with your meal. As popular as Sriracha is over here in the U.S., I always wondered why packets of Sriracha sauce are not offered at American fast food chains. Well, it looks like I can now conveniently carry packets of Sriracha with me on my next trip to the golden arches. Asian food company, Lee Kum Kee, now sells individual travel-sized Sriracha packets for $0.10 each! Pair these packets with a “sprayracha” and you’ll always be prepared to give your food that extra spicy kick!
I absolutely love sushi. Not only do I appreciate its taste but also the craft and skill that goes into making sushi. The only problem is whenever I try to make my own sushi at home, I just end up creating a messy pile of rice and seaweed.
Well, I found the perfect invention to solve my problem. Let me present to you, the Sushi Bazooka! It resembles a giant syringe that can be opened, filled with rice and your favorite sushi ingredients, then sealed up. With one pump, you’ll get a long rice tube stuffed with all the ingredients and ready to be rolled in seaweed sheets. The nifty device only costs around $26 and can make you unlimited amounts of sushi at home!
If you’re a makeup and beauty fanatic like I am, you’ve probably heard about BB cream, also known as Blemish Balm. This beauty product has recently been getting a lot of hype in the U.S. after brands like Garnier, Dior, and Clinique decided to launch their own versions of it.
So what’s so great about this “magical” cosmetic must-have? BB creams were first used to protect skin after laser procedures and surgery, while also providing light coverage. After it was introduced in South Korea and Japan in the 1980s, Korean celebrities began endorsing the product as their “secret” to flawless skin. Since then, this product has gained wide popularity in Asia.
After hearing about BB creams from my favorite YouTube beauty gurus, Jen and Holly, I had to try it out for myself. I’ve been using it for over a year and I must say, it really does live up to the hype! There are many brands out there but the particular brand I’m using is Missha and here are my thoughts on the product:
- My complexion has cleared up and skin tone has lightened and evened out. It only took a couple weeks of use for people to notice a difference.
- It’s a light-weight formula, making it great for everyday wear and an alternative to liquid foundation or tinted moisturizer.
- Contains SPF to block those harmful UV rays.
- One small pump of the cream is enough to cover your entire face. Thus, the product will last you awhile.
- May give your skin a grayish tint if not blended well.
- The SPF contained in the cream may make your face appear whiter in comparison to the rest of your body in photos. Just remember to blend!
OK, so who doesn’t love this spicy and tangy sauce? Whenever I need to give my food a boost of flavor, I can always rely on my handy bottle of Sriracha to give it that extra kick. In fact, I love it so much, I even dressed up as Sriracha last Halloween.
Manufactured by Huy Fong Foods, Sriracha is made out of red jalapeños, garlic powder, sugar, salt and vinegar. Inspired by the popularity of Heinz ketchup, David Tran, founder of Huy Fong Foods, decided in the early 1980s to create his own version of a traditional Asian chili sauce. The sauce was then born in Los Angeles and named after a town in Chonburi Province, Thailand, known for the original version of this chili sauce.
It started off mainly as an added ingredient in in Vietnamese pho, but now can be found in most food joints as a condiment equivalent to ketchup. I’ve found myself using it on pizza, spaghetti, eggs, and even mac & cheese! Not only is it used as a condiment, but also a cooking ingredient too. Because I love to cook, I decided to search recipes that incorporate this amazing flavor-booster and came across an article listing 10 ways to cook with it. So whether you’re craving Asian fish tacos or “firecracker” shrimp, try out these mouth-watering recipes!
Singaporeans and laksa-lovers living outside of the Lion City can now rejoice! I have officially discovered the best ramen ever, and it tastes pretty much exactly like the laksa noodles that you’d find at a hawker a.k.a. street food stall in Singapore. May I introduce, “Singapore Laksa La Mian,” made by a Singaporean company, Prima Taste. For years, I’ve considered the Korean ramen, Shin Ramyun, as tops…but Singapore Laksa La Mian has taken over the #1 spot in my books.
Ever since I moved to the US from Singapore, I’ve yet to find a restaurant that serves decent, let alone authentic, Singaporean food. Even in San Francisco, where I’ve found delicious Vietnamese, Cambodian, Burmese and Indonesian food, one South East Asian country still remains left out of the food scene.
And that’s why I was so happy–no, ecstatic!–to find a DIY laksa that is not only good, but better than what I’ve found at restaurants in the US. The secret ingredient is the real coconut powder and chili paste, which is so tasty that Prima even skipped using any MSG. And instead of frying their noodles as most ramen brands do, these noodles are steamed and air-dried. The result is a chewy, springy noodle that perfectly complements the rich, spicy coconut broth.
I discovered the product sitting humbly on a supermarket shelf in Singapore, but you can also buy it online here. Needless to say, I will be buying boxes of these and taking them back to the US with me.
Never heard of laksa before? Let Anthony Bourdain explain (laksa part starts at 4:30)!
It’s that time of year again when we’re all scrambling to figure out what to get our hard-to-please Asian parents. If you’ve already exhausted the list from last year, here are some new ideas that hopefully won’t end up being re-gifted by your parents. You better hurry up because Christmas is just around the corner!
1. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother—I gave my mommy this book for her birthday and she actually loved it, claiming that it’s like reading a biography of herself. Whether or not you consider your mother a “Tiger Mom,” Amy Chua’s story is one many Asian mums can probably relate to and enjoy. $17.13 at Amazon.com.
2. Thick Asian blanket—You’re not a true fob unless your family owns one of these mega thick blankets that usually have a “naturesque” print on it. Although they’re not the most aesthetically pleasing blankets, they’re super warm and comfortable (and not to mention heavy). This is the perfect gift for the cold winter. $64.00 and up at Imported Blankets (or your nearest Asian mall).
3. Korean drama series—Asian parents will sit in front of the TV for hours if you get them started on a Korean drama series. Don’t worry if they aren’t Korean, these drama series usually come in subtitles or dubbed in your language of choice. Make sure you include a box of tissues for the often occurring scene where a character ends up losing the love of his life to a fatal disease.
4. Hot pot set—A family that eats together, stays together. Encourage your parents to throw a hot pot party with this handy set which can be used to cook fishballs, tofu, beef, veggies, or whatever your family likes to put in their hot pot. $79.99 at Amazon.com (or alternatively you can find a cheaper one at an Asian supermarket).
5. Water boiler—Fobby parents always need hot water, whether it’s for their tea, instant ramen, or to simply kill off the bacteria in tap water. Ditch the old tea kettle and get your parents this high-tech Zojirushi vaccum electric hybrid water boiler. $199.99 at Target.
6. Asian TV channel subscription—Getting your parents to watch”Jersey Shore” or “Keeping Up with The Kardashians” with you might not be the best idea. Instead, contact your local cable operator to subscribe to an Asian channel such as CCTV, KOAM, or SBTN. You can also start watching these channels to brush up on your language skills!
7. Grandchildren—If you’re an Asian son/daughter, you probably know how it feels to be constantly nagged about getting married so that your parents can become a grandparents before they reach the age of 80. So if you’re married and have yet to put some buns in the oven, give your mama and papa the priceless gift of being a grandparent!
Um, has anyone noticed that coconut water is apparently now a sports drink? It seems to be the trendy thing to gulp down, with hip-looking bottles of “ZICO water” and “Vita Coco” donning the shelves of Whole Foods and Peet’s Coffee. Gotta love how western companies are capitalizing on this fobby beverage. ZICO’s packaging writes, “There was a time not long ago when you had to shinny up a tree and machete-open a coconut to experience this miracle. Not anymore. We climbed the tree for you.”
But as commercialized as they’ve made my favorite childhood drink, I’ve admittedly become a huge consumer of ZICO and Vita Coco. It tastes soo good, and apparently it’s full of electrolytes and has more potassium than a whole banana.
Summer is hereeee! I just found this super cool water bottle…made of bamboo! This is a perfect fobby must-have to keep you hydrated on those hot, sweaty days. Apparently, it’s got really good insulation because of the layer of air between the bamboo and the glass liner inside. Downside is that the glass, bamboo and plastic make the thing kinda heavy.
I think the thing looks so unique…I totally want one! Get yours for $25 here.
We’re super excited to announce our first AbFob video! Check out our “expert” review and live demo of two fobby and rather painful beauty contraptions — Emily attempts to pluck my arm hairs with an Asian hair removal contraption, while we try to give ourselves a DIY nose job. I got these Japanese gadgets in China (they were probably made there) for less than $1 each, so I guess you get what you pay for.
You know you’re a fob if you’ve owned one of these plastic luggage bags!
Called hung bak lam doi (literally, red white blue bag) in Cantonese, these things are made of heavy-duty tarp. They’re super cheap and durable, but utterly fobby. In fact, whenever I see one of these while waiting at the luggage belt at the airport, I know without a doubt that the owner is an unabashed fob.
And that’s why I’m both amused and delighted to find that several high-end designers have taken to this iconic bag’s fobulous design. Typically $2 at Hong Kong’s night market, the bag has apparently even inspired Louis Vuitton.
Most recently, the Japanese bag company, Porter, has partnered with Hong Kong brand, Clot, to remake the fob luggage bag. Prices range from $113 for the tiny iPod case, and up to $450 for the backpacks. Yeah, the collection regretfully screams hipster…but I have to admit that I really like their Macbook and iPod cases! Cute!
Check out the full “RWB Series” and get your fobulously hipster bag here.