I always want to eat at Din Tai Fung when in Taipei. Famous for their steamed pork dumplings (xiao long bao), this famous chain originated in Taiwan and there are several locations in Taipei.

While we now have several US locations as well, I still think they taste slightly better in Taiwan, the menu has greater options, and it’s a different experience.

I didn’t take too many photos on this visit, which I’m regretting, since I wish I could share more visuals of some of the different aspects.

After we were seated, our server asked if we wanted the full introduction. We decided to let her go through everything and I actually learned a few things too. For instance, you are supposed to dip the dumplings in vinegar and soy sauce, but until now, I didn’t know that the ideal ratio (at least according to them) is one part soy sauce and 3 parts vinegar, mixed with the ginger provided.

If you are interested in the cold appetizers, they will actually bring out a display case showing you the choices.

This particular location we went to was quite spacious and the dumpling folding viewing area was much bigger compared to the views provided at all the US based locations I’ve been to.

Shrimp and Pork Potstickers

I love this version of cooking potstickers, so that they have a crispy bottom that extends beyond the dumpling. DTF’s is one of the prettiest I’ve seen, with a perfect rectangle connecting all the dumplings. I haven’t tried making it myself, but here’s an article from Serious Eats.

Pork Xiao Long Bao

These pan sauteed blistered shishito peppers make a delicious snack or bar food and are ridiculously easy to make.

Just in time for Memorial Weekend, I’m sharing this super easy side dish which you can make on the grill, in the oven or on the stove. Mr. K and I adore shishito peppers, a mildly sweet Japanese pepper, usually prepared either by roasting, grilling or sauteeing until blistered and sprinkled with a little sea salt and olive oil.

For the most part, most shishito peppers are sweet, with a few spicy surprises (about 1 in 10 are spicy). Even if you do get one of the spicy ones though, it’s a pretty manageable level of heat.

I recently went to Trader Joe’s to check out some of the new items featured in their Fearless Flyer as well as load up on other items that caught my eye.

Giant Peruvian Inca Corn

What is it about oversized and mini versions of things that get us so excited? I was definitely intrigued by this product. They are meant to be like the corn nuts snack, though the kernels are humongous.

I was afraid these would be hard, but they are actually softer than regular corn nuts and have a more popcorn taste. I’m really enjoying these and I’ll be back for more soon.

Pastrami Style Salmon