FoodRant #3: WOAH! The art of frying!

By Penang Boy

Thank you Mr. Alton Brown.

I sometimes cook and one thing I know, I suck at frying. I know, I know. Frying is greasy and the food is so bad for you. Why would you want to learn how to fry? Hey! Frying is a work of art. It is as honorable a method to cook as pan frying, roasting and even boiling (which is kinda of a no-brainer.)

Thanks to an episode about tempura on Good Eats which I happened to pay attention to, I have finally, for once in my life, been able to grasp the concept of frying! Woo hoo! I am elated beyond imagination! I am so excited! Now I just want to fry everything!

I have this recipe of my favorite dish from Penang that I always want perfected. It’s one of those foods that you can only find in the streets. They are greasy, oily Fried Belachan Chicken (Fried Shrimp Paste Chicken). I don’t know if the origin is from Penang but there are sure a lot of them in Penang street hawkers. It is absolutely delish and it’s one of my all time favorites (next to Fried Oyster. If you don’t know what is that, stay tune for more Penang food blog entries). I whipped up the recipe myself (Yes, pretty creative) but I have never been able to actually perfect it. It’s so frustrating. I’m pretty sure you all have experienced this. You got the recipe right but your technique is not there. I finally got it! This is actually my fifth official try and I GOT IT!! HAHAHA! SO HAPPY! I AM SO HAPPY! I AM SO HAPPY! THIS IS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!!!!!!!

And the result….  Crispy Fried Belachan Chicken! The picture only contains like 10 pieces of the chicken left. I bought 6 chicken thighs. My sister, E, and American Girl kept on eating the chicken as it got out the fryer. Gosh. I was so happy I do not know how to express it in words! Just ask American Girl how happy I was. I just can’t stop being happy.

Well, just for your info, here’s what I learnt. For those who are into cooking, the few tips I learnt are: the fryer has to be perfectly at a constant temperature of 375F. It is also advisable to use alcohol(vodka) to mix the batter as it will not form gluten, which absorbs the grease. The alcohol is actually volatile and will evaporate at a very low temperature so you don’t have to worry about your food being alcoholic. This technique is also useful when you bake. Less gluten, less ‘carb-y’ feeling, lighter taste, oh so goodness.

After my frying experiment, I went on to cook another dish. Nothing spectacular. Just plain old pasta! But… the mushrooms are actually cooked to perfection thanks to an advice from Julia Child. Ah…. cooking techniques are just marvelous! Here’s a picture of my humble pasta.

Ah! I Love Food! Happy Cooking and Eating!

My Favorite Toothpaste

by Penang Boy

Try to guess what my favorite toothpaste is? No, it’s not Colgate. No, It’s not Crest either. It’s……… DARKIE! Ching!

Yes! It’s offensive. It looks disgusting but it is actually a great toothpaste. I used it all my life. (Unless you count the first 2 years in US. I forgot to bring my childhood toothpaste!) Darkie is a very popular toothpaste in Asia and contrary to what you may think based on the aesthetics of it, it actually tastes good! Ask American Girl. She acknowledges that it tastes good after you brush. YUM!

Why don’t they sell Darkie in US? Well, maybe because Darkie is offensive and racial. Well, it’s fine, we’ll just change the name to Darlie! That sounds flowery.

That’s what the manufacturers did anyway. You know what? I want to import it to US. Maybe I should try selling the 15 Darlie toothpastes that I have imported from Penang the last trip back home.

My sister actually requested that I buy some cause she NEEDS to use Darlie. I don’t mind Colgate actually but I would actually prefer Darlie.

If I ever import Darlie at a mass scale, I would love to have a celebrity endorse my toothpaste. Who could I have endorse Darkie…. hm….. I know!!


For more info on Darkie, Wiki it!

Note from American Girl: Penang Boy isn’t kidding. There really is a brand of toothpaste named Darlie (formerly Darkie) and it is THE toothpaste to use in Asia. The Chinese name for the brand translates to “Black Man Toothpaste”. Unlike the U.S., there are no negative connotations in naming something “dark” or “black” in Asia.  Darlie uses a racial caricature, yes, but it’s also a brilliant marketing ploy since I’ve known many Taiwanese who fervently admire the “shiny white smile” of black people.  Seriously though, you’ve got to use it.  It tastes like clean candy.

Update: Thanks to MH! Awesome funniest commercial EVER!

American Girl Learns About the No Refund Policy

American Girl is talking on the phone with Penang Boy, who is in a Singaporean airport.

Penang Boy: I tried to board the plane 40 minutes before my flight and the stuck up lady at the gate turned me away! She said the gate already closed and it was too much paperwork to let me on. What the hell? The sign says “gate closes 10 minutes before flight! And guess what? They don’t have customer service here. You call one number and it just tells you flight time and purchase info. 
American Girl:
Are you serious? Can’t you complain to the front desk?
Penang Boy:
You don’t understand. In Singapore consumer power doesn’t exist. People just take whatever shit is given to them. Nobody will help me.
American Girl:
You’ll get a refund at least.
Penang Boy:
No. Refunds don’t exist in Singapore.
American Girl:
Penang Boy:
Once you swipe that card it’s gone. The best they could give you is an exchange and  it will take me at least two days of persistent arguing with this airline to get it.
American Girl:
You should go back and cuss at her face for not doing her job.
Penang Boy:
That will only make me more angry. That’s why I LOVE the return policy in America.
American Girl:
So how come the U.S. has refunds on everything?
Penang Boy:
I think it’s a rights issue. People feel they have the right to undo what they did in case they don’t want to do something.
American Girl:
…Hey! Is that why I always see you trying to return everything here? (laughs).
Penang Boy:
Why are you laughing?
American Girl: Nothing…you’re cute. Anyways I’m sorry that freaking sucks.
Penang Boy: I can’t wait to get out of here.
American Girl: I still think you should go back and punch that witch in the face.

LanguageRant: The Most Annoying Phrases (Ever)

by American Girl

Penang Boy is currently taking a vacation in Singapore.  From what I could figure out from talking to him on the phone he is quite grouchy.  His reasons are:

a) it’s way too hot
b) it’s too expensive to live in Singapore
c) Why are Singaporeans okay with this!?
d) it’s way too hot he’s going to die

He also laments the loss of freedom of speech. While I agree America is pretty awesome in that aspect I tried to cheer him up by reminding him that Americans use this freedom of speech to burn the Koran and make Snooki famous. They also use that right to say the most idiotic things.

Speaking of idiotic sayings, in 2008 Oxford University academics compiled a list of the world’s most annoying phrases. They are as follows:

1. At the end of the day
2. Fairly unique
3. I personally
4. At this moment in time
5. With all due respect
6. Absolutely
7. It’s a nightmare
8. Shouldn’t of
9. 24/7
10. It’s not rocket science

Now I understand why those particular phrases might tick off some professor, but if you have college friends or work in an office environment, you’ll agree that there are significantly worse phrases out there. Whenever I hear any of these phrases uttered below I am overcome with the desire to punch something.

I don’t appreciate…
Right because I did it to gain your appreciation. It matters a whole lot to me you know, your appreciation.

I have responsibilities you know.
I’m glad you finally figured that one out.

It is what it is.
How deep.

My bad.
Yeah, you are bad. At English.

I’m not gonna lie but…
So you’ve been lying your butt off this whole time?!

I’m keepin’ it real.
You big bag of fakeness.

It’s all good.
It isn’t. It really isn’t.

You know what I’m sayin’?
You’re saying you have no communication skills.

I want to saw off your head.

I’ll give it 110%.
That’s impossible.

What would Jesus do?
He wouldn’t ask stupid questions that’s what he’ll do.

Let’s just be friends.

and I know this is a song but it drives me nuts…

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Are you telling me what to do!?

via don.wing45

What phrases annoy you? I’m really looking forward to your comments on this one.

SouthParkRant: 10 Reasons You Don’t Mess with Eric Cartman

by American Girl

Images from Comedy Central

South Park versus Family Guy: Which is greater?  A surprising number of Americans will answer Family Guy, but then a surprising number of Americans also believe Family Guy to be funny.  I have a hard time explaining to Penang Boy why so many members of my country think a cut away of a character in a random location saying a line which contains no relevance to the story is suppose to be hilarious.  I can respect the creators of South Park however, for managing to maintain a well written and hilarious storyline while examining and critiquing racism, sexism, homophobia, religious violence, environmentalism, xenophobia, and more. And most of it is done through a certain cute foul-mouthed fourth grader.

Let’s engage in a little hypothetical game shall we? If Eric Cartman and Stewie Griffin were given ample time to prepare for a battle against each other, who will emerge victorious? I give Stewie his due for technological advantage and various accounts of murder, but I still believe Cartman to be evil incarnate, and therefore the crowned winner. Unconvinced? Read on…

10 Reasons You Don’t Mess with Eric Cartman

10. He will pretend to have Tourette’s syndrome so he can shout offensive remarks about your religion and race on national television.

Le Petit Tourette
Cartman: Finally, my wish of going public with my illness can come true.

9. He will use your death to legalize stem cells and use stolen aborted fetuses to make his favorite resturant.

Episode: Kenny Dies
Cartman: These are primo fetuses, Randy, I wouldn’t jerk you around. …So what can your company give me for ’em? …Oh Randy, you’re breaking my balls here. …You’re breaking my balls, Randy.

8. He will inherit a theme park and go on TV to ban you from coming as you get a hemorrhoid and lose your faith in God.

Cartman [In TV Commercial]: Wow! It’s the greatest amusement park in the Colorado area, and nobody can go! Especially Stan and Kyle! Hahaha! So come on down to Cartmanland now, but don’t plan on getting past the parking lot, ’cause remember:
[singing] So much to do at Cartmanland, but you can’t come!… especially you Stan and Kyle.

7. He will drink your soul.

Episode: A Ladder to Heaven
Cartman: Alright, look. I didn’t wanna have to say this, but I think maybe we’re not seeing Heaven because one of us doesn’t believe in it enough…You know…one of us is a J-O-O.

6. He will trick you into thinking a meteor has hit the Earth and lock you in a refrigerator so he can steal your vacation.

Episode: Casa Bonita
Police Officer: Well kid, you made an entire town panic, you lost all your friends, and now you’re going to Juvenile Hall for a week! Huh, was it worth it?
Cartman: Totally.

5. He will incite a second Civil War and lead the South to victory in order to make you his slave.

Episode: The Red Badge of Gayness
Cartman’s Letter: I will not rest until the South have won, and Stan and Kyle are my slaves, because I hate those guys. I hate those guys with every part of my tired Confederate body.

4. He will expose your insecurities and drive you so insane you eat your own excrement.

Nanny Stella
: It just…didn’t happen
Cartman: You’re sterile is that it? No that’s too convenient of an excuse, the truth is nobody ever wanted to have babies with you isn’t that it? Always the mom’s maid and never the mom, must be hard on you, knowing that the years are ticking away, your friends all getting married and all the while your uterus slowly shriveling away, drying up, becoming totally worthless.

3. He will inject HIV into your mouth while you sleep.

Episode: Tonsil Trouble
Butters: I know, but are you sure Kyle has to be taught a lesson?
Cartman: I’m not just sure, Butters.  I’m H.I.V. Positive.

2. He will attempt to mass exterminate your race.

Episodes: The Passion of the Jew, Ginger Kids, Die Hippie, Die,
Cartman: We’ve all seen them, on the playground, at the store, walking in the streets. They creep us out, and make us feel sick to our stomachs. I am talking of course about ginger kids.

1. He will grind your parents into chili and feed them to you.

Episode: Scott Tenorman Must Die
Cartman: Do you like it? Do you like it, Scott? I call it, “Mr. & Mrs. Tenorman Chili.

Remember, most of the victims of Cartman’s deeds listed here were his friends.

What other reasons would you not want to mess with Cartman? What reasons would you not want to mess with Stewie? Comment!

MusicRant: 10 Reasons Why Taylor Swift Sucks


by American Girl with suggestions from her brother, Chicken Man (written on a three day trip to Oregon when we got a dose of too much Swift on the radio)

Whenever I tell people I don’t like Taylor Swift, I essentially get the same response.  People look at me like I killed babies and say “Oh my god! How can you say that? You’re so mean! She’s a sweetheart!”  Well, ladies and gentlemen, you can sugarcoat her all you want, but here it is…

10 Reasons Why Taylor Swift Sucks

1. Screeching and Speaking Does Not a Singer Make. Last time I checked the dictionary, singer meant “one that could sing.”  So why is Ms. Swift’s singing flatter than a plasma TV and twice as sharp? Even when all her studio recorded songs are autotuned to death and written in G to compensate for lack of rang, she still manages to sound like a drowning child.  Obviously her live performances = Ear Hell.

2. Headless Chicken Dancing. I know Taylor Swift practices these moves in front of her mirror at home, but they should be banned to prevent public panic. Wrangling the mike and knocking her head back and forth to attempt a hair swish looks more like an exorcism than her idea of a rock star’s performance.  Professionals should always try to hone their stage presence, so her continued refusal to improve herself as a live performer sums up her lazy and egotistic attitude as an artist.

3. “You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess; It’s a love story baby just say yes”. Welcome to Taylor Swift Song Lyric Writing 101. Let’s begin shall we? Hmmm…let’s first pick a subject, which will be boys of course. Then we’ll write about how much I love him or hate him…let’s decide to love him this time.  Oh, and “yes” rhymes with “princess” so that works. Okay…yay! Number 1 hit!  Okay, next song…let’s write about something that doesn’t have to do with boys…I know! Tim Mcgraw! Oh wait, Tim Mcgraw’s a boy.

4. Screwing up Relationships. Here’s another lyric sample from one of her songs: “Now it’s too late for you and your white horse to catch me now.” Instead of both parties actively communicating to improve themselves for their significant others, Ms. Swift feels that in every relationship, the woman has one mission only: find out whether the man is her Prince Charming or Some Hideous Being Trying To Break Her Heart. This all-or-nothing take on relationships sends this message to teen girls: If the guy forgets your puppy’s last name, dump that jerk, write a song about your feelwings, and cry yourself to sleep. And you wonder why it doesn’t work out, Taylor.

5. Self Pity. If you’re going to cry when someone throws you a punch instead of throwing a punch back, then maybe you deserve to be punched for being a damn weakling.  Ms. Swift takes this idea to a whole new level by willingly asking to be punched several times, while using the image of “victim” to her advantage. Her steady whining about why she is so unloved culminated into the Kanye West Incident of 2009, where her shame at being bullied resulted in the entire country supporting her as the underdog, which exploded into the I-Feel-Bad-For-Myself movement that is now seeping into the subconsciousness of all women.  Now thousands of women worship the Taylor Swift technique, or the “I like being bashed because it makes me feel good” technique, or to put it simply, “I enjoy sadomasochistic relationships.”

6. Man Hating.Taylor Swift makes Jane-Austen-loving, gun-toting feminists look harmless.  So let me get this straight, Taylor Swift fans. It’s not okay for the Jonas Brother to break up with our dear Ms. Swift, but it’s okay for her to dump the werewolf from Twilight.  Is that correct? Hmmmm…why? Because girls have feelings and boys don’t? Because when a boy realizes they do not want you in their life, instead of moving on with yours, you need to make the entire world hate him to make you feel better about yourself, is that correct?

7. Actress?! Taylor Swift is a prime example of one who attempts to use her fame to waltz into the Hollywood industry in order to further her popularity. Whether it’s music videos, guest star roles, or god forbid, featured films such as Valentine’s Day, Taylor Swift seems to confuse acting with getting high. Someone please save her, because if she were a Pokemon, she would hurt herself in confusion.

8. White dresses, glittery dresses, fake eyelashes galore! I’ve heard a lot of fans say that the reason they like Taylor Swift is because “she’s so pretty.” Personally I think Ms. Swift resembles Beavis from Beavis and Butt-head. It wouldn’t be too bad, if it weren’t for the fact that every time I enter a grocery store, I bump into magazine covers of Beavis Swift. However, if we assume her attractiveness is what makes her appealing, then why the hell is she singing?

9. And the winner is… “Oh my god, oh my god, I’m going to open my mouth really wide!” Every time Taylor Swift wins an award, she looks like she got hit by a bus. Think about it. The fact that Ms. Swift herself is so surprised she wins any award means she isn’t suppose to win in the first place. As long as the shower of awards and media attention continue, Ms. Swift will continue to believe that she is an accomplished artist, and the garbage that is her songs will continue to crowd the radio stations.

10. The brutal death of country music. Speaks for itself.

Bottom Line: Taylor Swift’s popularity signifies the death of talent in the music industry. It is a slap in the face to hundreds of aspiring musicians,who are being told daily by the entire world that the key to success is not talent or ambition, but stupid teenage girl hype. And ladies? Here’s some girl to girl advice. Keep thinking like Taylor Swift and become an old maid.

Convinced? Unconvinced? Comment!!!

* I invite debate. However, I delete all comments made up entirely of cuss words or racial slurs. Are you kidding me? You’re showcasing the idiocy of Swift fans when you can’t string a proper sentence together. And oh yeah, on the subject of jealousy: Criticism advances human kind. Jealousy is feeling resentment against someone because of that person’s rivalry, success, or advantages. Hate is to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward. Know the difference. Why would I want to be someone who I think sucks?!