social media

Spicy Hare or Rabbit Sichuan style

Spicy Hare Sichuan style

Spicy Hare Sichuan style

Who would have guessed at a food swap, having a great coffee talk I would end up joining wild game groups on the net and near the woods (no I don’t hunt). My curiosity has introduced me to otherwise unknown wild game gourmets of cooks and hunters.

It didn’t take too long to buy a fresh wild rabbit/hare directly from a hunter and before I arrived home I decided to prepare Sichuan style version. With the infamous dried peppers ‘Hua jiao‘ 花椒粒 and ‘La jiao’ 辣椒乾 (literal translation is flower pepper kernels and dried Sichuan chilli).

Both are very distinctive spices not easily replaced if you want to add a particular heat and aroma.

Hua jiao & La Jiao

Hua Jiao Flowerpepper and La Jiao Sichuan whole pepper


These ingredients are not common in supermarkets or deli stores. I have added the images for recognition. So you know what to search for at the Chinese supermarkets or Asian Toko’s.

Homemade Sichuan hot chilli oil is an infused aromatic oil, made of grounded Sichuan chilli peppers (la jiao) and flower pepper (Hua jiao) to flavour the oil together with other spices. Used as a finish in many stir-fries, swirled on top of noodle soups and an integral part in marinades for spicy appetisers.

A part of my last batch ended up as food gifts so I need to refill and stock up my own pantry soon. Making the oil is not for the fainthearted because using and stir-frying peppers will release a very pungent sensation and can irritate the skin and eyes.

Conveniently store bought works as well, you can find these at the supermarkets/Toko’s. Shop for the standard Chilli oil look for an aromatic Sichuan version on the shelf.

Aromatic oils; Homemade SiChuan hot pepper chilli oil and Sesame oil

Aromatic oils; Homemade Sichuan hot chilli oil and Sesame oil


Aromatic oils; Homemade Sichuan hot chilli oil and Sesame oil 

As with buying sesame oil, for advanced gourmet sleuths, they enjoy cooking with various oils for blending or cooking purposes. Buy small bottles once open use it quickly or it can turn rancid. Note of caution, sesame oil is not intended for frying, but only quick sauté for example to fragrance a dressing or sauce at the end of cooking.

Spicy Hare or Rabbit in Chinese Food Therapy

In my childhood rabbit meat was a staple ingredient and prepared by my parents in many dishes; stir-fries, stews, and herbal soups often paired with traditional Chinese medicine. The latter to make a tonic with the purpose of strengthening and nourishing the body. Cooking with Chinese herbs is about recuperating the body and rabbit meat is well known for its high protein content.

In Chinese dietic therapy; “According to TCM food, like medicine can be divided into the characteristics cold-hot-cool-warm. When applied correctly nutritional ingredients can help the patient to overcome an inclination to or even a manifested disease. Food used to aid and act as preventive part of a nourishing diet can achieve the same goal to strengthen recovery process”.

For more information on the use of tonics and food therapy, click on the links. Browse the internet for more in-depth TCM information and/or elaborate search on practices and belief system.

Rabbit or Hare meat is considered foods with warming qualities, high protein level and the temperature was cold. The more reason altogether to add spice in this wild game stir-fry dish bringing it all in balance.

A few days later I posted food pics of my Sichuan style cooked spicy hare dish just for fun between all other social media posts. The food pics picked up attention with a request to share the recipe and preparation method. Instead of a wild rabbit, hare, you can make this dish with other meats as well, for e.g. lamb would be very nice with the peppers, capsicum, and daikon (rettich/white carrot or aka daikon).

Here is the recipe link Spicy Hare stir-fry regional Sichuan style – Recipe.

Voices and Northern Girls – Bookreads

Last August I read online the excerpt here below of Let 100 Voices Speak. The title and content focus on how social media flourished and has taken China by storm. Also, the various correlations the writer points out between the past and present e.g. on movement, dissidents, targeting of influential intellectuals.

Coincidentally today’s news in The Telegraph brought these premises to the foreground with the headline: “Chinese human right lawyer stands trial for social media posts in China.” 

Internet censorship in China is extreme, authors and publishers are under pressure appeared as a headline news article in the Guardian just a month ago. Novelist Sheng KeYi had written a best-selling breakthrough novel over a decade ago, but while preparing the third edition she was informed that parts of her texts were not publishable.

In her book “Northern Girls” she writes about the problems of society: the “injustice, the inequality, and the darkness”. The author tells the story of Poor Chinese Women to critical acclaim, review by The New York Times.

Let 100 Voices Speak, on “The Darkness”, Liz Carter answers to a question whether she was active on China’s social media as an outsider looking in and what spiked her interest.

LC: It’s hard to pick just one thing, but I love Chinese Internet humor. It’s so complex, and references a lot of shared knowledge, and it can be very, very dark. Humor is under-appreciated as a form of protest and resistance, especially humor in China. Part of this is because humor is so hard to translate.

Let 100 Voices Speak: How the Internet Is Transforming China and Changing Everything Paperback – August 30, 2015

By author Liz Carter, she is the author and translator of numerous Chinese-language textbooks and the co-author of The Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon.

Article by Natalie Omell originally posted on China Digital times – Highlights excerpt here below or read the full article click here.

Book "Letting 100 Voices Speak"

Live feed on my screen flashing the latest internet headlines blurbs of today. Focusing on China, real life time changes in the face of censorship and the visible pressure clamping down on social media. The information reminded me of having read the book excerpt earlier and seeing the correspondence in real life occurrences.

For me, what comes to mind are keywords as in hashtags; #social media, #China, #transformation, #lifestyle, #femalewriters #newwriting #information not readily available, the more reason to learn more about.

Voices and Northern Girls

Recommend to read both books;

Let 100 Voices Speak by Liz Carter

Let 100 Voices Speak – Liz Carter

  • Northern Girls; Life goes on. Best-selling Chinese novel one of the few translated Chinese fiction books in English. Words are written in raw candour showing a slice of life, the harsh reality where little town village girls are leaving home for the bigger cities to be drawn into the depravity of a seedy cesspool. Hidden dangers nobody wants to see or talk about.
Northern Girls, Live goes on by Sheng Keyi

Northern Girls, Live goes on by Sheng Keyi

The book links here above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Thank you for supporting Asianfoodtrail when you shop.

Photo credits “Let 100 Voices Speak” featured image source:

Kitchenaid 5 Quart Plus Series Bowl-lift Stand Mixer

Becoming or being a gadget fan starts with having a hobby or a passion for finding better ways to prepare or achieve a better result. Where else than the kitchen to start with, my family knows I just can not pass a kitchen store, shop or department without browsing around. Same counts for a bookstore, digital electronics and mobile apps. The tools prerequisites; -functional; -practical; -affordable (not always attainable). Handy is The magic word.

I am not sure where the line draws or fades between household appliances and professional equipment. Or what defines an amateur from a professional, while both being passionate in what they design, prepare for the desired outcome. A great dish starts with fine ingredients, a good recipe with the right proportions and the cook bringing it all together.

Does equipment, having the right tools make a difference? Is it about the end result creating divine taste and presentation? The responses to these questions will evoke more than a straightforward answer. The one thing I know is that the tools of the trade and gadgets really can lighten up my day.

Kitchenaid 5 Quart Plus Series

As a teenager I started whipping cream and cakes by hand with an egg beater, slowly advancing to use electrical tools for speed and better results. One thing leads to another by searching for better vessels, improving technique, handy or specific gadgets followed by investing in equipment.

I purchased a KitchenAid Professional 5 Plus Series 5 Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer more than a decade ago. I fell for the patented PowerKnead Spiral Dough Hook and quantity (size), making batter and bread for a large family with guests.

As a bonus, the promotion at the time included extras;  a second stainless steel bowl; 2 plastic bowl covers. The pouring shield with wide chute was bought separately, even still the bonus was a real bargain. If you have to buy these items separately now the total sum now will be around $70-$80 (click on the bowl link for the frequently bought together overview at the bottom).

If you have to buy these items separately it easily adds up $70-$80 (click on the bowl link for the frequently bought together overview at the bottom). KitchenAid discontinued the 5 Plus Series model and launched a whole new Artisan and Professional range.

My 5-quart stand mixer model still works without fail together with the stainless wire whip, the hook and paddle as standard attachments. The only con would be when using the flat beater you still had to scrape the sides as with other likewise counter top machines.

Four years ago I stumbled upon two fantastic gadgets for the Kitchenaid which I ordered online since the products were not available in The Netherlands at that time. I use these attachments constantly and can absolutely recommend these two favourite items;



Beater Blade with a patented silicon wing for KitchenAid which beats, scrapes and folds ingredients beautifully from the sides cleanly no separate scraping needed, the New Metro design Beater Blade an accessory I use as a standard for mixing batters.

Whisk-A-Bowl by Pourfect, a KitchenAid exclusive tool. This attachment outperforms the standard large balloon whisk in beating egg whites, it cuts down on time and improves the volume of beating egg whites.

I also came across the Pourfect Mixing Bowls and Measuring Spoons sets. The measured mixing bowls are easy for prepping ingredients with a little lip at the pout making it easier and sturdier while pouring.

KitchenAid Sideswipe blade is its own improved design as an extra attachment which has soft swipe fins with gaps for better mixing with nuts without crushing them, according to America’s Test Kitchen it outperforms the Beaterblade in better results.

Another tool is the use of silicon mats, they come in various sizes but a silicon pastry mat with measures makes it easier while rolling the dough. The one displayed in the carousel is a Norpro product, by luck in our neighbourhood the local Lidl supermarket store than had an offer just as good and almost in the same price range.

Tip: 02/10/2014 On website I just found out that they sell The KitchenAid 5 Plus Serie KV25GOXER, the same model I own and based this post on. The original list price was $419,00 and now on sale for $287,00 FREE shipping. It was the smallest professional model now being discontinued, but the accessories are still available on the market.

World cup 2014 social media frenzy

The World Cup, which kicked off last Thursday, is expected to be the most social media-intensive event in history. Prior to the world’s soccer event the phrase “World Cup” has outpaced other big sporting events in social media mentions. The term ‘World Cup’ is averaging 500,000 mentions per day.

Worldwide, this year’s World Cup will surpass the Super Bowl and Olympics in total social mentions, according to a study by Adobe Systems. The phrase “World Cup” alone generated 19 million social mentions since June 2013 so far in 196 countries, scoring wider reach than the Super Bowl or Olympics.

Soccer fans, here is a great app Football World Cup Brasil 2014 Center – Brazil Soccer News Schedule Scores and Much More it shows team standings and qualifiers for the World Cup. A free app in order to make use or to be eligible you might have to change your country settings (for both Kindle and Android devices).

Watching FIFA World Cup 2014 soccer games before, during and after tweets using official hashtags #worldcup #brasil2014 #worldcup2014 #cm2014 #brazil2014 and other popular Instagram, Facebook hashtags #copa2014 #fifaworldcup #wc2014 #fifa2014 #wm2014

Twitter has provided lists of every team’s official Twitter account, for the true die-hard’s here’s a how-to follow guide for World Cup fans and hashflags! 


Source credit tweet hashflags:

Social media it really gets me thirsty for….. just click on the bold link for this thirst quenching recipe.

Pineapple Mojito


Pineapple Mojito 4

Preparing for one… turned into a whole jug.


Monday Mail


Finally behind my desk and working my way through electronic Monday mail, social media platforms updates and other reads. In general I like my first mails, articles to be positive affirmation with follow through’s; focused to create where I can give my best and support collaborative networking.

The opposite occurred over the weekend where I supposed to read for relaxation and entertainment, instead totally got annoyed over stupid newspaper front page news. For the umpteenth time the story information was taken out of context and bashed by even more ignorant comments on social media platform.

Normally I wouldn’t give it a second thought, but reading through the comments it suddenly hit me how terrible ignorant people are willingly “not caring”; self-serving egoistical based on a form of entitlement of knowledge as long as it serves and fits their purposes. I don’t want to recall or spill another word, however I did realize in hindsight that it is a slow build-up of annoyance as micro-aggression towards unethical written journalism and Sales Marketing campaigns.

The best selling ad campaigns are all about creating and selling illusions, whether its based on truth, half-truth or fiction all dangerously based on emotions and greed. To entice and seduce consumers buying products they actually do not need or dressing up trying to alter personalities in make believe. Marketing teams, developers and their clients being large enterprises and companies are ruthless when it comes to corrupting the good in worship for money and fame. Manipulations of facts, numbers, colors, emotions, buying of authoritative voices, photo-shopping people and objects everything goes, not a moments thought to preserve innocence. Even if their would be a slight inclination to preserve innocence, no heroes around to protect. A fleeting moment because mankind will try to earn big bucks on that too, corrupt to the core.

The Internet carries an extensive range of information resources and services and when powerful words and/or sources should be interred suddenly internet is holy, but it is a big trap of truth, non-truths and lies. Information carried by renowned authors and scammers galore, as in life you have to sieve and weed through the information to get through the right answer(s), often not correct but with leads to move your search further. Whether your searching on-line or in daily life, we need to have an inquisitive mind and a healthy dose of common sense.

Week in Hashtags, reveries of an inquisitive mind, a poem by Shakespeare for this #mondaymail

“How happy some o’er other some can be!….
Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind.
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
Nor hath Love’s mind of any judgment taste—

Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste.
And therefore is Love said to be a child,
Because in choice he is so oft beguiled.
As waggish boys in game themselves forswear,
So the boy Love is perjured everywhere.”

#hashtag Let’s do it #rightnow


What are hashtags?

According to Urban DictionaryIf you have been on Twitter, you may have seen a “hashtag.” To put it simply, a hashtag is simply a way for people to search for tweets that have a common topic and to begin a conversation. For example, if you search on #LOST (or #Lost or #lost because it’s not case-sensitive), you’ll get a list of tweets related to the TV show. What you won’t get are tweets that say “I lost my wallet yesterday” because “lost” isn’t preceded by the hashtag.

hash tag is a word or grouped (an unspaced) phrase prefixed with the hash symbol (“#“). These tagged words, phrases are used on social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram) for social networking and appear in sentences or messages as e.g. @Asianfoodtrail #Live #Travel #Food #andmuchmore).

Using the hashtag

Use this symbol “#” makes it easier to filter out messages with the same topic on one specific medium, it does not interchange with other platforms nor does it links to graphics. It is, however, a fun and effective way to highlight topics of daily events and news, aggregating and creating conversations. On Instagram platform it is an absolute must to use #hashtags with a maximum of 30#tags, believe it on average they receive => 3 times as many likes compared to users who only use a few tags instead. Thus proving a very strong correlation between tags and likes.

As a rule of thumb, always search for the “hashtag” you plan on using before you ever use it. You do NOT want to be confronted with a social media disaster to be made painfully aware that a hashtag is hijacked or harmful. Above all avoid overusing the “#” in all your social media messages as made very clear in the video of Tonight Show “#Hashtag” episode with Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake.

#hashtag correctly

Achieve better results with social media by following hashtag etiquette, has published an overview titled “Etiquette” with a summary of how-to articles explaining hashtags and use in social networking and platforms. Andrew Harasewych owner of Socialize Me has written a “Hashtag how-to guide with infographics“, how to simply remember this guide, be prepared, and #hashtag with confidence. #HaveFun 🙂

Share the #hashtag love
Follow us on #Instagram @Asianfoodtrail_com say hi and send the love with #like join our FB Page @Asianfoodtrail Let’s tweet together @Asianfoodtrail 

Where would we be without the Web?

world wide web
Do you remember the world without the Web? Well…yah! without digital “cut, copy, paste” writing copies was the only way to multiply text apart from printing but even that you had to do by hand. If you had to look something up, you had to wrestle through encyclopaedia’s to find information, which was not a guarantee for an answer or resolution and a time consuming process.

The digital world in terms of social media has not only widen the possibilities but improved and boosted maintaining global contact, networks up-to-date, collaborating on projects over distance. The Web is what the younger ones of the last two decades can not even phantom to be without, the net has fully ingrained itself in our life.

Happy birthday, World Wide Web! On 25th anniversary, inventor calls for action to ensure freedom online

Last week internet was flooded with articles marking the World Wide Web 25th Anniversary and its inventor calling for a communal decision to protect the web and its users.

“As the world marks the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web today, its inventor is calling on more people to take action this year to keep the online resource open, global, accessible and free of censorship.

British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee, who first proposed the Web in March 1989, said in a statement today: “If we want a Web that is truly for everyone, then everyone must play a role in shaping its next 25 years.”  Opening paragraph in the South China Morning Post read the full article by clicking the highlighted title link above.

BBC News mentioned calling for a ‘Magna Carta’ bill of rights to protect its users, click on the links for redirection for article and transcript of his speech before the Knight Foundation igniting the world wide web discussion.

Google Take Action

Add your voice, just click here above and browse the website

Freedom of Speech is a worthy cause and needs our;

Attention, Care, Support and Safeguard the same counts for protecting the Web   “A free and open world depends on a free and open web”

How about you, any thoughts?

Maids silent slaves exploitation

Last Sunday the Guardian posted an online editorial: “Slavery is a violent and cruel trade that the world must finally stamp out” based on the Oscars nomination which was awarded later that night for best picture category: 12 Years a Slave, the true story of Solomon Northrup who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. Click on the title link for article, here is an excerpt;

“Modern slavery is every bit as cruel, dehumanising and violent as the portrait painted in 12 Years A Slave. But with greater mobility, transparency and international institutions who could work in unison, it is unforgivable that it remains a crime largely hidden from view. At this rate, it might well be another 150 years before the scale of the horrors visited on so many to force them into labour is properly apparent.” ….

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), what is Human Trafficking?

Article 3, paragraph (a) of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons defines Trafficking in Persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs. (Source:, United Nations on Drugs and Crime)

Trafficking is the Act, Means and Purpose, these are the elements of criminalization and UNODC marked a milestone in international efforts to stop the trade in people with The adoption in 2000 by the United Nations General Assembly of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking In Persons, Especially Women and Children. Translating the protocol into reality remains problematic. Very few criminals are convicted and most victims are probably never identified or assisted.

Maids silent slave exploitation

Who pays? Not the maid, please - the online citizen

Who pays? Not the maid, please – the online citizen

This Facebook post was brought to our attention through our social media connections titled; “Who pays, not the maid, please!” published in the Online Citizen and know that similar stories from Philippine maids occur in the Middle East as well living in abusive employments. Click on the title link to read the post, here is an excerpt: “And now when someone asks `Who pays?’ I presume that they want the maid to bear the burden. They already do. And most of them have to work for 10 years or more to get themselves out of the debt they’re in. These stories in the New Paper, they ask for more protection for the employees against the already defenceless maids. And all this time the Singapore government is collecting half the amount of money a Singaporean has to spend on a maid, they call it a LEVY. They’re the biggest fat greedy agent, every maid in Singapore they collect their toll of the maid’s blood and the employer’s blood. And still, with all the money they collect they don’t protect the maids properly, they make ineffective laws (they weekly day off rule is a bloody stupid joke, nobody cares about it and the idiot who made the law doesn’t care too!).

And so when somebody asks `Who pays?’, after laughing, I hope that everybody realises one of the axiomatic answers should definitely be `Not the maid, please!’

A very well written true account, not a movie, a cry to be heard. The article was written as a response to an on-line article titled: “When maids want out, who pays?” with the closing line; “In Ground Zero, the heartlands ponder why there is not more protection for employers too.” The content is short and not significant but your reaction changes when you read the local posted Facebook reactions and other comments.

Free the Slaves image source:

Just wonder when services in a market with supply and demand have turned into war zones in domestic households, with injured parties on both sides. However workers are more often than not defenceless wilfully “neglected” by employers, officials and the public. Reading through the articles and comments on both sides one can not help but notice that local government could have done a better job towards both parties beside pocketing on both sides, instead of aiding better regulations and work conditions. Around the world immigrant workers have been for centuries easy marks, now called modern slaves is actually disgusting when governments fail to protect by not implementing and applying protocols with right actions. Far gone are the sugar plantations, instead, it has moved literally back in the modern household “maid slave exploitation” version 1.0 running up to 5.0 and higher?!

In The Guardian, a previous article published last January 2014 titled; “When is a slave a slave?” refers to the debate about definitions and what it is we seek to change. Click on the title link for a full read, here is an excerpt:

“Certainly, to call something slavery helps to raise attention and to galvanise action. But will it help end the misery of poor and distressed people the world over? No. Ending slavery or forced labour requires targeted action to change laws, to bring offenders to justice, to protect victims and to empower those at risk. While some measures of prevention, such as eliminating abusive recruitment and wage payment systems or enabling children to attend school, can go a long way in addressing systemic problems of injustice, much more is needed to eradicate child labour and to ensure decent work for all. Hence, definitions help to narrow down a problem and to target our action.

Clear definitions are also necessary for measuring change. Only by quantifying a problem are we able to understand whether it decreases or increases over time and whether we are on the right path solving it. Some problems are easier to measure than others and everyone would agree that measuring slavery poses many challenges. The hidden nature of the problem, political sensitivities and ethical considerations make it very difficult to implement national surveys on the basis of which reliable global data can be generated.”…

Modern slavery exploitation it still exists, it must be stopped, period.

De 31 Slechtste: Whatsapp Conversaties | Slechte grappen



Als gezin delen wij gezamenlijk een groep Whatsapp, heel handig om berichten door te geven of snel een mini-discussie of opinie te vragen maar ook om grappen te delen. Soms is het dagen stil en dan ineens is het een bombardement van berichtjes, zoals met deze link die net werd verzonden, waar zonder een gesproken gesprek iedereen toch giert van het lachen. He wat een rust :-p als het geen tekst is zijn het plaatjes maar nu gecombineerd en inderdaad niet alle berichten zijn correcte conversaties, is het nu humor of toch niet?

Student brengt Chinese taalvariatie in beeld | Nieuws

Student brengt Chinese taalvariatie in beeld | Nieuws | Taalwetenschappen, Geesteswetenschappen | china, dialecten, sociale media, taalvariatie, twitter, chinees, cloud computing, corpus – Kennislink.

“Natuurlijk had ik wel gelezen dat ze in elk dorpje anders praten, maar tijdens die reis merkte ik het pas echt”, vertelt Van Esch. “In de Verenigde staten bestaat er een Twittercorpus waar dialectwoorden en hun plaats van herkomst in zijn opgenomen. Toen dacht ik: dat kan ik ook!” Dat is het Leiden Weibo Corpus [1] geworden. Weibo is de Chinese variant van Twitter waar ruim 300 miljoen Chinezen een account hebben. Eencorpus [2] is een grote verzameling taalmateriaal die zo gestructureerd is dat de gebruiker er makkelijk in kan zoeken.

Weibo is de Chinese variant van Twitter waar ruim 300 miljoen Chinezen een account hebben. Trowbridge Estate



Bron: Publicatie Universiteit Leiden –