A zesty feast of exotic spices

The China Post
Date: March 20, 2017
By: Chris Chang

If you could have a weeklong getaway to one of the many exotic destinations in

Café at Far Eastern Head Chef Brian Lin, far right, has specially invited experts in Singaporean, Malaysian, Indonesian and Thai cuisines to present an array of Southeast Asian delights, spiced and seasoned, from now to March 26. (Courtesy of Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel, Taipei)

Southeast Asia, where would you like to go: Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia or Thailand? How about all of the above at Café at Far Eastern? Enjoy a famed all-you-can-eat culinary journey at Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel, Taipei (香格里拉台北遠東國際大飯店) that combines some of the best savories from around the globe with different themes.

Exclusively from now until March 26, the restaurant’s head chef Brian Lin (林修諒) has specially invited experts in Singaporean, Malaysian, Indonesian and Thai cuisines — Han Xuguang (韓栩光) from The Little Red Dot (小紅點新加坡廚房), Marcus Ng (伍偉杰) from Asia 49 Cuisine and Bar and Damrongsak Khammongkhon from Shangri-La Hotel, Chiangmai — to present a zesty feast of exotic spices from Southeast Asia to Taiwan gourmets.

Inspired by the “nation of spices,” the Indonesian section offers dishes such as ketumbar, kemiri and pisang goreng to deliver a mouthwatering, aromatic delight that awakens your appetite with colorful flavors from the tropics.    [FULL  STORY]

The Taiwanese Hamburger Goes Global

‘Taiwan’s culinary scene is nothing if not inventive, so it’s no surprise dozens of guabao variations are available.’

The news Lens
Date: 2017/03/19

What English-speakers often call a ‘Taiwanese hamburger’ is known to Taiwanese people as guabao or ho-ka-ti (“tiger bites pig” in local dialect). This hearty snack of dark brown meat inside a snow-white steamed bun is near the top of many visitors’ “must-eat” lists.

Like several other Taiwanese dishes, the local hamburger doesn’t just give culinary pleasure. Thanks to its auspicious shape – it’s said to look like a purse overflowing with money – it also has a ritual function. For this reason, guabao often appear in the traditional end-of-the-year feasts at which Taiwanese bosses thank their employees for their hard work.

Unlike the round patties found in U.S.-style hamburgers, “Taiwanese hamburgers” feature a single squarish slab of deliciously tender pork belly slightly bigger than a set of playing cards.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan FDA finds industrial lime in winter melon tea

Tea chain took down tainted products last November

Taiwan News
Date: 2017/03/10
By: Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A company in Kaohsiung was adding industrial lime to winter

Winter melon bricks seized by the FDA.(By Central News Agency)

melon “bricks” destined to be turned into tea and sold at prominent chain stores, the Food and Drug Administration said Friday.

The health authorities in Kaohsiung received a tipoff last November that a company was putting lime for industrial usage into wax gourd or winter melon bricks. At the factory, inspectors sealed more than 10,500 kilograms of winter melon sugar bricks, 145 kg of other winter melon products, and 300 kg of lime.

The lime did not contain a legal level of calcium oxide, but nevertheless the amount present would not harm consumers’ health, officials said.

Drink chains had to take 2,490 kg of winter melon bricks out of business, with the Boba Tea chain accounting for a share of more than 2,000 kg. The company said it had removed the products within a day after being told by the authorities and had found a new supplier.    [FULL  STORY]

Industrial dyes found in ‘tangyuan’ in Taichung

NO WINTER TREAT:Taichung health bureau staff and prosecutors conducted an investigation yesterday because the dumplings are popular at this time of year

Taipei Times
Date: Dec 20, 2016
By: Su Meng-chuan and William Hetherington / Staff reporter, with staff writer

A Taichung food distributor has reportedly been selling glutinous rice balls (tangyuan,

A stack of trays, some containing traditional glutinous rice balls known as tangyuan, are pictured at a Taichung food producer’s facility yesterday. Photo: Su Meng-chuan, Taipei Times

湯圓) containing industrial dyes.

Taichung City Health Bureau staff along with the local prosecutors’ office investigated the local food distributor and uncovered two unmarked containers of dark-colored powder, the bureau said.

A worker at the premises surnamed Chang (張) allegedly confessed to using industrial dyes instead of food colorings in making the tangyuan, the bureau said.

Chang reportedly told investigators that the tangyuan containing the toxic dyes were mostly sold in the traditional markets in the city’s Fengyuan District (豐原).

Under the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation (食品安全衛生管理法), the distributor could face up to seven years imprisonment and a fine of up to NT$80 million (US$2.5 million), prosecutors said.

The bureau said it ordered inspections last month ahead of the winter solstice — which this year is tomorrow — when people typically eat tangyuan, adding that investigators made random visits to several vendors and ran food safety tests.

The results of tests became available earlier this month and Rhodamine B was discovered in the samples taken from one vendor who sells about 18kg of tangyuan per week, the bureau said.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan recalls 37 food products from Japan’s radiation-affected area

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2016/12/16
By: Chang Ming-hsuan, Chen Wei-ting and Christie Chen

Taipei, Dec. 16 (CNA) A total of 37 Japanese food products have been pulled from store shelves in

(CNA file photo)

Taiwan, after they were found to have come from Japan’s radiation-affected areas, Taiwanese authorities said Friday.

As of Thursday, 50,316 pieces of these products have been recalled, with many of them being soy sauce and wasabi packets that came with Japanese natto, or fermented soybeans, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA launched an inspection of food products from Japan on Dec. 12, after two brands of Japanese natto were found to contain packets of soy sauce from Ibaraki Prefecture, one of the five prefectures from which food imports have been banned.

Taiwan banned food imports from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures after the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011.    [FULL  STORY]

Jamie Oliver comes to Taiwan with his 68th Italian restaurant

The China Post
Date: December 5, 2016
By: Chris Chang

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Over the past decade, many food connoisseurs and healthy eating enthusiasts

Known as the Naked Chef, Jamie Oliver is renowned for his technique of presenting the most natural flavors of the fresh quality ingredients he uses.

Known as the Naked Chef, Jamie Oliver is renowned for his technique of presenting the most natural flavors of the fresh quality ingredients he uses.

around the world have heard, watched or read about the charming British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. This year, he has come to Taiwan.

“The food culture in Taiwan is incredible, and there’s a clear passion and enthusiasm that really shines through. We can’t wait to become a part of it with our food, which is humble, simple, beautiful and of great nutritional value,” Jamie Oliver said in a greeting video when Jamie’s Italian Taiwan opened its doors to the gourmands on Nov. 23.

This is Jamie’s 68th Italian restaurant, the first of which was founded eight years ago in Oxford.

Walking into Jamie’s Italian Taiwan, you can smell a mix of vibrant condiments in the air. Known for its simplicity and comfort, Jamie’s cuisine prides itself in using specially-selected local fresh produce and quality ingredients. By introducing local flavors into traditional Italian cooking, Jamie’s Italian has continued to awe the culinary world with the exciting and enticing innovations it is able to bring to the table time and again.    [FULL  STORY]

Inventor of General Tso’s Chicken dies in Taipei at age 98

The inventor of General Tso’s Chicken and founder of famous Taiwanese Hunan-style restaurant chain Peng’s Garden died in Taipei on Wednesday

Taiwan News
Date: 2016/12/02
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Chef Peng Chang-kuei (彭長貴), the founder of the famous Hunan-style restaurant chain Peng’s

General Tso's Chicken(By Wikimedia Commons)

General Tso’s Chicken(By Wikimedia Commons)

Garden Hunan Restaurant (彭園湘菜館) and inventor of the world famous Chinese dish General Tso’s Chicken, died on Nov. 30 at the age of 98 from Pneumonia.

A native of Changsha, Hunan Province, Peng began training at the age of 13 under the tutelage of the famous Hunan chef Cao Jing-chen (曹藎臣), who was the family chef of Tan Yan-kai (譚延闓), the prime minister of the Nationalist government from 1926 to 1928. After WWII, he was put in charge of running Nationalist government banquets, and in 1949 he fled to Taiwan after the Kuomintang’s forces were defeated by the communists in the Chinese Civil War.

According to an interview with the China Times, Peng says that his most famous dish was created in 1952 during a four-day visit by U.S. Seventh Fleet commander Admiral Arthur W. Radford. After three days, he had served the guests most of his repertoire of dishes, so to try and mix things up a bit, he decided to chop some chicken into big chunks, fry it to a golden hue and then added a different combination of sauce and seasoning to create a new dish.    [FULL  STORY]

No decision yet on food imports from Japan: Cabinet

Focus Taiwan
Date: 016/11/30
By: Wen Kui-hsiang and S.C. Chang

Taipei, Nov. 30 (CNA) The Cabinet’s top official in charge of food safety said Wednesday that no

CNA file photo

CNA file photo

decision has been made yet on the importation of food from Japan’s radiation affected areas.

Sheu Fuu (許輔), director of the Office of Food Safety, was responding to reporters’ questions on the government’s reported plan to lift an import ban on food items from five prefectures affected by the nuclear power plant meltdown in Fukushima in March, 2011.

The Cabinet has held two special meetings on the food import issue to discuss matters related to public hearings and to review the topics that will be discussed at those forums, according to Sheu, who assumed the post of food safety director last month.

The Cabinet has not yet formulated a policy on the issue or decided whether to lift the ban, Sheu said.    [FULL  STORY]

Food safety scam found at seafood distributor

Dates on 5 frozen seafood products were mislabeled

Taiwan News
Date: 2016/11/11
By: Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The sell-by dates on five frozen seafood products distributed by Hsiang Er

Food safety scandal uncovered at fish distributor(By Central News Agency)

Food safety scandal uncovered at fish distributor(By Central News Agency)

Sheng Co. were tampered with, according to the results of an investigation by the Taipei City health authorities announced Friday.

The Taipei District Prosecutors Office raided a site on Taipei’s Renai Road Thursday where they found evidence dating back to 2014 that dates had been changed on the products, which included three types of abalone from Chile’s Panamericana Seafood, ice fish and salmon.

The Taiwanese distributor, a man surnamed Chen, refused to cooperate with the investigation, so he was summoned for questioning, inspectors said. The authorities have asked stores to check whether they had bought the products and to remove them from shelves if they had.

Hsiang Er Sheng could be facing a fine ranging from NT$60,000 (US$1,880) to NT$200 million (US$6.2 million) according to food safety legislation which was tightened considerably following a ream of major food scandals over the past few years.    [FULL  STORY]

Fukushima food ban not part of agenda: ministry

Taipei Times
Date: Oct 28, 2016
By: Stacy Hsu / Staff reporter

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday downplayed reports that a ban on imports of food from areas affected by the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster in Japan would be discussed at the Taiwan-Japan Maritime Affairs Cooperation Dialogue Mechanism in Tokyo on Monday.

At a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) asked Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) whether the government has decided to reopen the door to Japanese food products that have been prohibited.

“There is a high level of public consensus on the issue, as it could jeopardize food safety,” Chiang said at the question-and-answer session. “If the issue is discussed at the bilateral meeting, or if it is not brought up, but the government has already made a secret promise to Tokyo to lift the ban, we will denounce such an action.”

Lee said the government agencies responsible for the issue are the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Council of Agriculture and neither is to send representative to the maritime meeting.     [FULL  STORY]