8 Foods You Had Growing Up Cantonese That Are Just As Good Today

8 Foods You Had Growing Up Cantonese That Are Just As Good Today

Yes, bird saliva and black eggs are actually edible.

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Growing up in New York City, I was able to indulge in the Cantonese cuisine my parents had grown up with. Whether it was over elaborate banquets at restaurants or during hectic morning dim sum rushes, Cantonese food brought people of all generations together at the table. How many of these can you recognize?

1. Fake shark fin soup

Personally, vermicelli and other noodles have always replaced shark fin whenever I had this dish — hence, the "fake." This soup is usually scooped out from a large bowl at a big family event like a grandparent's birthday, a distant cousin's wedding, or a holiday dinner. Red vinegar and sesame oil can be added to bring out the flavors of the mushrooms, meat, and black fungus.

2. Bird's nest

Although James Corden has continually ridiculed this delicacy, it is one of the most expensive and sought after ingredients in many Asian countries. It is cultivated from the Indian swiftlet's nest, made entirely out of solidified saliva, and people have to scale up the walls of caves in the dark for them. Then, it is harvested before being sold to the public. Growing up, I was always told that it held anti-aging and health benefits and had high nutritional value. It can be bought in its dried form to use in soups or as concentrated liquids in glass jars. It's perfect as a gift for any older relatives you have!

3. Oil fried breadsticks

Also referred to as youtiao, these deep-fried pieces of dough are often eaten alongside a bowl of congee in the morning. However, they can also accompany any other dish from warm stews to a cup of soy milk.

4. Congee with century egg

Congee is made of rice boiled with water that has been flavored with a variety of toppings. The century egg, also referred to as pidan, is a preserved form of quail, duck, or chicken egg that takes months to make. Although its appearance can be shocking, its flavor is delicious, especially in this dish. Often made with lean pork, green onions, and garlic, it easily warms and fills your stomach on a cold day.

5. Tofu skin

A common dish passed around at dim sum, tofu skin is made up of film collected from boiling soy milk that has been pressed together. A personal favorite of mine, this is also present in soups and stews that have been flavored with a strong meat base, like pork. It soaks up the flavors of other ingredients in the dish and its soft texture melts in your mouth.

6. Choy sum

A common dish at the dinner table, its name directly translates to "the heart of a vegetable." This leafy plant has yellow flowers that are cut away before it is stir-fried with sliced garlic and other seasonings.

7. Honey walnut shrimp

Often ordered at Chinese restaurants, this dish features battered shrimp covered in condensed milk and served with honey glazed walnuts. Usually, it is also served with more condensed milk that has been deep fried. A favorite for children and adults alike, the balance of flavors in the authentic version (not the ones you get at Panda Express) is irreplaceable.

8. Sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf

Also referred to as lo mai gai, this dish is usually found at dim sum restaurants. It is made with glutinous rice, sausage, dried shrimp, scallions, and a salted egg wrapped and steamed between two lotus leaves. As it is quite large, it is the perfect dish to unravel with family and friends at the table!

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How To Play 'New Girl's' True American Drinking Game

"It's 75% drinking, 20% Candy Land, and the floor is molten lava."
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I think it's fair to say that anyone who watches "New Girl" knows about True American. This crazy, nonsense drinking game which pops up every so often throughout the seasons and first introduced in season one, episode 20.

The game, as described by "New Girl" character and fan-favorite Schmidt, is 75% drinking game and 20% Candy Land with a floor of molten lava.

The point of the game is for players to navigate through the Candy Land-like spaces to the "castle," which is a table in the center of the room that holds beer "pawns" and the "king" bottle. The first person to reach and sip from the bottle wins.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things "New Girl" Fans Know to Be True

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Here's how to play:

Step #1: Prepare the "castle"

First, set up your "castle." The castle is made up of beer "pawns" and the "king," a bottle filled with the alcohol of your choice.

The bottle should be in the middle of the table, surrounded by four lines of beer pawns. There is no exact number of beers necessary for each line of beer pawns. Choose any amount of beers that seems appropriate for the amount of players.

Step #2: Set up spaces

Set up spaces using pillows, chairs or any other objects players will be able to stand on. Place an equal amount of spaces around the table. You'll want about 5-8 spaces on each side, depending on the size of the room you're playing in.

Only four of these spaces should reach the castle, lining up with the parade of beer "pawns" and allowing players to take a beer pawn from the castle. For example, in the photo above, each of the chairs touch a corner of the table at the end of the line of beer pawns. Therefore, these are two of the four special spaces that allow players to take a beer. Unlike the pillows pictured, which are just regular spaces that the players can use to move around.

Step #3: Pick teams

Teams are optional. To pick teams, all of the players will place a certain number (1 to 5) of fingers against their forehead on the count of three.

Any players who hold up the same number are a team. Unmatched players can team up as needed or simply pair up with the person standing closest to them.

Step #4: Begin

Begin with a shotgun "tip-off" to determine which player goes first.

The winner of this shotgunning contest will yell, "One, two, three...JFK!" to announce the official beginning of the game. All players will enthusiastically respond, "FDR!" then quickly grab a beer pawn from the castle and run to any space they wish to start at, excluding for the four special spaces that reach the castle.

Step #5: Make moves

The winner of the shotgunning contest has earned the first turn. From then on, the order of turns will move in a clockwise rotation. During each turn, the player will move one space toward the castle and choose to play one of the following mini-games.

Mini-game No. 1: The player whose turn it is will count to three then all players will place a certain number (1-5) of fingers on their forehead. Any player who selects a number no one else selected can move ONE space.

Mini-game No. 2: The player whose turn it is will recite the beginning of a famous American quote. The first player to complete the quote can move TWO spaces.

Mini-game No. 3: The player whose turn it is will name two famous American people, places, or things. The first player to identify what the two have in common can move THREE spaces.

For example, say it's your turn. You will move one space then choose one of the three mini-games. You and all of the players will participate in that game, and the winner will move accordingly. After this, your turn is over and it's the next player's turn (in the original clockwise rotation).

Step #6: "Play on, playa."


Continue playing by these rules until one lucky winner reaches the bottle and sips from its royal glass.

The bottle cannot be opened until every last pawn is removed from the castle. Any players who fail to keep at least one beer in hand, who accidentally end up with more than three beers in hand, or who touch the lava are immediately disqualified. Disqualified players can rejoin the game by shotgunning a beer.

Congratulations!

You are now able to impress all of your "New Girl"-loving friends with knowledge of the workings of the epic True American drinking game. Know your limits, drink responsibly, and enjoy!

Cover Image Credit: i.amz.mshcdn.com

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11 Tips For The College Vegetarian

Eating healthy doesn't have to break the bank and leave you rushing out the door to class.

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Five years ago I decided to become a vegetarian. I have learned so much about healthy eating as a student, making meals cheap and quick yet still delicious. From dorm room smoothies to making the most of dining halls, this list will help you follow a vegetarian diet while attending college.

1. Smoothies are your best friend 

Drink your morning breakfast on the go easily by mixing up your favorite ingredients into a blender. Throwing frozen fruit such as strawberries and bananas in a blender with some milk and yogurt creates the perfect morning smoothie. Adding things like almond butter, almond milk, and protein powder will provide you with enough protein to get through your morning. I like to throw some granola on top of my smoothie for an added crunch as I'm drinking it.

2. Cook in bulk 

Pick a day during the week to cook in bulk. Most halls will have a kitchen somewhere in them and you can utilize it to make some food to eat throughout the week. Cook up a large quantity of rice or pasta on the stove top and keep it contained for eating throughout the week. For a quick healthy lunch take some pre-made noodles and heat them up with some vegetables in a microwave.

3. Research opinions on your campus 

College campuses have a variety of places to eat, but the key to finding places that will fit a vegetarian diet is research. You won't find a lot of opinions at commercial fast food chains, such as Chick Fil A or Mcdonald's, so it's important to know what spots to eat at. At the salad bar, you can load up on fresh veggies and dressings. If your campus has hot bar options, you can pick out things like rice, potatoes, vegetarian soups, etc.

4. Master the microwave 

You can make all kinds of meals in a microwave, which will save you time out of your busy college schedule. Amy's makes plenty of frozen vegetarian meals that you can stock up on at your local supermarket (shown in the video above!!) and Gardein makes tons of meat alternatives packed with protein that will satisfy your hunger.

5. Savor some soup 

Whether it's cold on campus or not, a bowl of warm soup is the perfect way to get a quick meal in. Supermarkets carry a variety of soups that only require water and a quick trip to the microwave that tastes great! Next time you're trying to figure out what to eat, try a hearty soup with some crackers and your stomach will thank you.

6. The power of snacks 

Don't neglect your snacks! If you're ever hungry in class, make sure to have healthy snacks with you so you aren't tempted to splurge on expensive unhealthy food. A hangry mind never makes the wisest food choices. Bring along granola, nuts, fruits, and your favorite snacks to munch on.

7. Drink lots of water 

Most health professionals would recommend drinking about half a gallon of water a day to stay hydrated. Water boosts your metabolism, helps your body break down food, flushes out toxins, and other many other health benefits. Vegetarians, vegans, and meat lovers alike all need to drink plenty of it to take better care of their bodies.

8. Talk to your doctor 

Doctors are the best people to talk to when going through a dietary change. They are educated and qualified to answer the questions you may have. For newer vegetarians, they have packets full of advice and recipes that can start you out. For long-time vegetarians, they often recommend a B-12 vitamin to make sure you don't become vitamin deficient while not eating meat.

9. Replace unhealthy foods 

Don't bring unhealthy food that is going to tempt you into your dorm. Try to avoid super sugary foods and instead eat some fruit if your sweet tooth comes calling. Replace candy with healthy snacks such as nuts, and opt for whole grain options rather than refined grains (white bread/rice).

10. Exercise. Exercise. Exercise.

Most colleges will have a fitness center that you can use to workout in. Part of taking care of your body is exercising it often. Find time in your schedule for a quick trip to the gym or maybe even consider taking a fitness class such as boxing or yoga.

11. Listen to your body 

The vegetarian diet isn't for everyone and there is no reason that you should let yourself go hungry ever. Maintaining it while living in a dorm, surrounded by fast food, makes it a difficult task to manage. So if it is something you want to do and believe in, go for it! If not there's no reason to beat yourself up over it.

Lastly, celebrate yourself. Maintaining a vegetarian diet is no easy task, especially for a busy student looking to save cash. Give yourself a pat on the back for eating healthy and contributing to the betterment of the planet. You deserve it.

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