One of my favorite Asian pastries is Ma lai gao (sweet steamed cake). I’ve been having it since I was a child, and to this day, I still allow myself very liberal portion sizes of this stuff. I love it. That said, there is a Japanese version that can be bought at Uwajimaya or in Japan. When I visited the country a few years ago with my parents, I got a hold of one of these cakes and was dying to find more. One morning, we had plans to go sightseeing and meet in the hotel lobby beforehand. My dad showed up with a bag full of these cakes and simply handed them to me, saying, “eat, eat.” He proceeded to buy them for me at every stop where they were available. We went to Japan again this past February, and although years have passed since the last trip, dad made it a point to get me every type of Ma lai gao he could find. Although we may not catch-up as frequently as we should, it’s memories like this that truly endear him to me.
This year, we celebrated at Facing East for lunch. One of our favorite Taiwanese restaurants in Bellevue.
Painted Hills Beef short ribs in pepper sauce.
Stir fry of Chinese celery, dried beancurd and pork.
I feel horrible for not remembering this fish, and for not knowing the anatomy of fish as to try and make a guess. It was melt-in-your-mouth-delicious though.
Dry noodle mixed with sauce.
Bitter melon cooked with salted egg. This is my favorite.
Deep fried pork riblets.
Shaved ice with taro, large red bean, peanuts and condensed milk.