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Jun30

Bisphenol A – why and how to minimize exposure

Bisphenol A (BPA) – you’ve probably heard of it if you’ve been paying attention – is ubiquitous and nasty:

  • It’s one of the most manufactured products in the world
  • It shows up it all kinds of food containers (not just the clear water bottles that some manufacturers are promising not to use BPA anymore in)
  • It’s absorbable from receipt paper
  • And it’s even found in water systems. (Mutant frogs are the real life 3-eyed fish.)

Alarms about it were finally heard in the media in 2008, the governments of the world started to admit that it was nasty in 2010, and some bans on some products were instituted.

So why write about it now? It’s everywhere so either we’re all equally screwed or we’re not, what else is there to do?

As it turns out, there is a lot more that can be done, with regards to BPA specifically and food safety in general. Yes, BPA is everywhere, but there are things you can do to minimize your exposure to it. That will be covered in this post. More generally, what is or isn’t a safety concern? How can we tell which expert to trust? That’s a much larger topic which will have to be covered in several posts, but I will start in this post by showing what I did (and you can too) to gauge scientific consensus about BPA.

Bisphenol A

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Jun26

Recuperating dinner: duck noodle soup

Cooking and good food are therapeutic to me. So what better way to recuperate from a bad cold than a home-cooked dinner with piping hot noodle soup topped with lots of pepper and scallion! And of course, 1-dish meal is never enough for me, so I ended up making a 3-course dinner.

Gỏi and bún măng vịt dinner (duck salad & noodle soup dinner)

See all 3 dishes

Jun22

Khô bò (beef jerky) with lemongrass, kumquats, cinnamon, star anise, and cloves

Growing up, I have always loved my Mom’s khô bò (beef jerky). Each bite was tender and packed full of flavors. It was an addictive snack by itself or in a beef jerky salad with green papaya or spaghetti squash. Store-bought beef jerky, which is hard to chew and tasting only of soy sauce and chilli pepper just can’t compete. When I bought a food dehydrator for one of our cooking experiments (making beef crackling, subject of another post), it was time to ask Mom for her khô bò recipe.

What she sent back was just a list of ingredients (with no measurements, of course :)) and a general sketch of the method. It was so different from the detailed recipe she wrote for spring roll dipping sauce. A measure of my progress in cooking? After a couple batches with consistent success (defined by how much people enjoyed my khô bò), here’s my adapted recipe.

Homemade khô bò / beef jerky

Enough rambling already, let’s get to the recipe!

Jun20

Tofu misozuke update #5 – kelp variations

Now that we have a good recipe for tofu misozuke, it’s time to experiment! With the ecology of cheeses as inspiration and guide, we hope to drive the  speciation of our delicious creamy tofu to many unoccupied niches. One of our goals was to recreate a variant we only knew from written description: a pungent, Roquefort-like kombu-wrapped miso marinated tofu. We started a pilot experiment 2 months ago and we were excited enough about the results to pursue further.

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Jun16

Muối quất muối (Salted-kumquats salt)

Ah no, redundant blog post title isn’t redundant.

We’ve posted about salted kumquats before, and various uses for them including as marinade for grilled quails. At the end of the day though, we still had an excess of incredibly fragrant and salty brine. What to do? Open our own salt field (er… dish) of course!

Salted kumquat salt crystal

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