THE ULTIMATE SUSHI GUIDE: Everything You Need To Know About Japan’s Most Iconic Food

History of Sushi
Over 2000 years ago, the first sushi was created. Of course, it was quite different back then. The original “sushi” was created in Southeast Asia, simply as a way to preserve fish in fermented rice. The process of creating this original sushi, called narezushi, involved having salted fish wrapped in fermented rice for months and the rice would be thrown out when the fish was consumed.

When this became popular in Japan, the Japanese created a new dish, namanare, which involved eating both the fish and rice. The fish was consumed before it changed flavor.

Finally, a third type of sushi was created. Haya-zushi is the form of sushi we are most familiar with. The fish and rice were assembled to be eaten at the same time and the rice was not used for fermentation.

Our modern sushi was created by Hanaya Yohei as an early form of fast food.

 


 

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Proper Way To Eat Sushi

1) Do not rub wooden chopsticks together before use. This may insult your host by saying their chopsticks are cheap.
2) Don’t feel pressured to use your chopsticks. It is also common to eat sushi using your hands. 
3) Sushi is meant to be consumed in one bite.
4) Only a light amount of soy sauce should be used, otherwise you may insult the chef by indicating that the sushi did not have enough flavor.
5) The fish portion of the sushi should be dipped into the soy sauce and your sushi should be consumed “rice up.”
6) Although popular in America, wasabi is not supposed to be mixed into the soy sauce.
7) Use the back end of your chopsticks to grab sushi from a communal plate.
8) Do not place the ginger on your sushi pieces. Ginger is meant to be eaten between different pieces of sushi to cleanse your palette for the next taste.

 

 


 

Different Types of Sushi
Maki (1)
Makizushi
Cylinder-shaped sushi that is rolled up with a bamboo matt and typically wrapped in nori (dried seaweed) and cut into pieces. There are various types of Makizuki, depending on the ingredients inside as well as the size of the roll.
tema
Temaki
Another form of Makizuki, but it doesn’t quite look like the other variations. Instead of a cylinder shape, it is created with nori in a cone shape and stuffed with ingredients.
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Uramaki
Uramaki is a Western-style of sushi, which has rice on the outside and nori/other ingredients on the inside. This was created in the United States as a way of visually hiding the seaweed.

 

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Nigirizushi
Nigiri is hand formed. It is a mound of rice with a slice of fish/seafood placed on top.
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Sashimi
Raw fish served without rice.
Gunkanmaki1
Gunkan Maki
An oval mound of rice wrapped in nori and topped with soft, loose, or fine-chopped ingredients. 

 



jiro
“World’s Best Sushi Restaurant”
Tokyo’s famed restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, is said to have the best sushi in the world. The restaurant is owned and operated by 88-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono, who is the very first sushi chef in the world to receive three Michelin stars. The sushi gathered so much attention that it became the focus of a 2011 documentary called “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”.

Reservations must be made months in advance and customers must be prepared to dish out quite a bit of money. The 20-course “Chef’s Recommended Special Course” is about $300.  While that’s a lot of money for one meal, customers always seem satisfied. They argue that the meal is an experience and an art.

 


 

Chopsticks Tutorial 

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(source)

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Top Asian Magazine Editors You Need to Know

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1. Michelle Lee, EIC of Nylon Magazine

Bio: Michelle Lee, who was previously the chief content and strategy officer at the publishing agency Magnified Media and also the previous EIC of Nylon, is now the EIC of Allure Magazine. Lee is more than qualified for this job, with her impressive history of working as the founding editor for both Us Weekly and Cosmo Girl. She has also written for top fashion magazines for both men and women, including Maxim and Elle.

Founded in 1999, Nylon attained it’s name from combining two of the top fashion capitals of the world, New York and London. In addition to their print magazine and online blog, Nylon also has their own online store, featuring clothes with sassy quotes as well as accessories, shoes, home, and beauty products.


 

 

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2. Joyce Chang, EIC of SELF

Bio: Current executive editor Joyce Chang of the ever sexually explicit magazine Cosmo, recently took over as EIC of SELF last month.  She considers herself an “old-fashioned girl making her way in a digital world…”, but her impressive resume begs to differ. Formerly the executive editor at Marie Claire, she is sure to bring a fresh perspective to Self.

SELF Magazine is one of the leading fitness magazine’s for women in the nation, covering everything you need to know about health, working out, guides for losing weight, and how to eat right.


 

 

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3. Janice Min, EIC of The Hollywood Reporter

Bio: Former long time editor of Us Weekly, Janice Min is the Co-President and Chief Creative Officer of Guggenheim Media‘s Entertainment Group, overseeing The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard.  The Korean-American writer and Columbia grad has written for In Style magazine prior to Us Weekly, and was also previously named Editor of the year by Adweek.

The Hollywood Reporter was founded in the 30s, and serves as your ultimate guide to anything and everything within the entertainment industry. They are a multi-platform brand that covers television, motion picture, technology, fashion, and even law.

 


 

 

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4. Joe Zee, EIC of Yahoo

Bio: Joe Zee, longtime creative director at Heart’s Elle Magazine, is now a “Yahooligan” as Yahoo Fashion’s EIC and executive creative director. Though Elle’s EIC Robbie Meyers stated that Zee’s departure was a “big loss” for Elle, he also believes that this is the perfect job for him.  In addition to his new position at Yahoo, Zee has also been busy with his side projects at Sundance TV, as the executive producer and host of the show “Revealing”, and “All the Line with Joe Zee.”

Yahoo Fashion is a women’s lifestyle blog, featuring the latest fashion news, trends, and beauty products.


 

 

 

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5. Radhika Jones, Executive Director of Time Magazine

Bio: Prior to her installation as executive director of Time in 2011, Radhika had been writing for Time for three years and showed promise early on. She had previously served as arts director for Time, and was also the managing editor of The Paris Review before that. Jones also has a PhD in English from Columbia University.  As exec director now, Jones’ main responsibilities include handling the magazine’s special issues, such as The Person of The Year Issue.

Time Magazine is the world’s largest circulation magazine and covers news, politics, and more.  In addition to their 25 million readership, they also have editions all over the world, including Latin America, Asia, Europe, as well as Africa.

 


 

 

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6. Eva Chen, EIC of Lucky Magazine

Bio: During her college years at John Hopkins University, Eva started out as an intern for Harper’s Bazaar, but could not find a permanent job at a magazine post grad. She worked at a law firm for awhile, but shortly realized that was not her calling and decided to pursue her dream to work in fashion.  Eventually, she landed a job at Elle as their assistant beauty editor, and went from there to Teen Vogue as beauty director for seven years. She was later hired to be a consultant for Lucky, and was later appointed EIC.

Lucky Magazine is essentially the ultimate bible for the average girl, specializing in teaching girls what to wear and how to wear it, as well as shopping guides for fashion and beauty products.
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Meet Moana, Disney’s First Polynesian Princess

Exciting news from Disney! The newest Disney princess, Moana, is Disney’s very first Polynesian princess!  Marking Disney’s 56th animated feature film, this new princess will be available to us in November 2016, not 2018, which was the initial rumored year for the film’s release.

And this is definitely official. Walt Disney Animation confirmed the release date on their official Twitter!

 

Photo courtesy of https://twitter.com/

Photo courtesy of https://twitter.com/

 

Moana is an adventurous, born-navigator, and spirited 14-year-old teenager who “sets sail in search of a fabled island” to succeed her ancestors’ exploration of the Pacific Ocean 2000 years ago from today. Throughout her voyage, the legendary demi-god and her hero, Maui, accompanies her and faces thrilling and astounding sights along the way. Many may be familiar with Maui since he is a recurring character in both Maori and Polynesian mythology.  Moana will be voiced by Auli’i Cravalho and her sidekick will be voiced by no other than the Dwayne Johnson.

The two directors of the film, John Musker and Ron Clements, also directed other Disney movies including Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and The Princess and the Frog.

“Moana is indomitable, passionate, and a dreamer with a unique connection to the ocean itself,” Musker said. “She’s the kind of character we all root for, and we can’t wait to introduce her to audiences.”

The screenplay was written by Oscar-nominated film-maker Taika Waititi, who was behind the New Zealand 2010 hit film Boy and the 2004 Academy Award-nominated short film Two Cars, One Night.

Photo courtesy of http://www.sheknows.com/

Photo courtesy of http://www.sheknows.com/

 

Here’s a little sneak peek of the up and coming film:

 

Feature image consists of fan-art by johngreeko.

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Itty Bitty Titty Committee

I think when I say that I have problems finding a good fitting bra since I am so petite, some of you would probably nod in agreement because you feel the same way.  Yes, I have a small bust and I was ashamed of it.  Going to bra shops and trying on the smallest size they carry, usually a 32A, and realizing I can’t even fill those up only added to my insecurity.  Ladies, if you have experienced the same situation, please know that we all come in different shapes and sizes.  You are beautiful no matter what size you wear and I am excited to tell you that you no longer have to worry about being “too small” because there are shops that carry petite lingerie so you’ll finally be able to wear a bra that’s the right size for you.

First of all, it’s important to find out exactly what size you wear.  Lingerie companies tend to use different calculations to arrive at your bra size, but they always take the same measurements: the under-bust area and the fullest part of your bust. If you personally visit a lingerie shop, ask them to measure you, or for those who are shy, tell them your two measurements and they should be able to tell you your size.  If you buy bras online, be sure to check their fitting section since they tend to vary.

When fitting, you should be fastening your bra at the outermost hook because the band tends to stretch overtime and you can move in a hook when this happens and still fit the bra fine.  After you put it on, pull the back of the band outwards and it should only stretch out 2 inches.  Go up or down a band size depending on how much it stretches out.  Do take into account that cup size changes with band size: when going up a band size, go down a cup size (e.g. the cups of 30B and 32A should be the same).

Lula Lu Petites

From left: Wireless Push-up Bra ($36.00); Azaria Bralette & Azaria Thong ($48.00/$30.00); Isabella Demi Cup Bra ($54.00). All from Lula Lu Petites.

Lula Lu Petites Lingerie

Some of you may be comfortable and proud of your petite breasts.  You may not want to pretend to have more than what you own with major push-up bras, but can’t seem to find small bras that fit you without thick padding.  Ellen Shing’s lingerie collection, Lula Lu Petites, feature bras that are unpadded to lightly-lined. Sizes range from 32AAA-36AAA, 32AA-38AA and 32A-36A.

The Little Bra Company

From left: Lucia ($56.00); Sascha ($60.00); Angela ($52.00). All from The Little Bra Company.

The Little Bra Company (TLBC)

For those of you, like me, who don’t have a whole lot in the chest area, but would still love some cleavage, Emily Lau from TLBC has the solution.  Their bras do not contain a whole lot of padding, but the size and fit are able to miraculously give you enough push for a desired shape.  They carry bras that range from 28A-36B in either smooth or lace cups.

Itty Bitty Bra

From left: Signature Bra ($50.00); Bralette ($42.00); Removable Pad Bra ($60.00). All from Itty Bitty Bra.

Itty Bitty Bra

Jane Alden Hodgdon understands that grown small-busted women do not want to be searching the teenage section for a fitting bra. Women like us need a bra that not only provides support, but is also stylish and comfortable. They carry bras in sizes 32AA-36B.

Figleaves

From left: Embrace Lace Petite Push-up Bra by Wacoal ($69.00); Bahia Demi Cup Underwire Bra by Aubade ($82.00); Just Peachy Lace Padded Balconette Bra by Figleaves ($22.53).

Figleaves

Figleaves does not specialize in petite lingerie, but they do carry small sizes, such as band size 28 and 30. They bring together bras from many different companies so there are plenty of options.

 

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Flashback Friday | Top 10 Asian American High School Girls Next Door

High school: such a pivotal time in a young woman’s life for college/career decisions, familial tension, first loves, first rejections, no-holds-barred attitude, and unexpected self-discoveries.

And when high school years are depicted on American film and television, extracurricular activities may involve solving murder mysteries (Pretty Little Liars), and unrequited love is sometimes best told through songs (T.V. Carpio’s cover of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” in Across the Universe).

One could argue that Tamlyn Tomita’s Kumiko was the ultimate Asian American high school “girl-next-door” crush, even if, back in 1986, the Karate Kid had to travel all the way to Japan to be in the right neighborhood. But in the past 25 years, there have many memorable Asian-American girls  — as well as British-Asians, Asian-Scots, and Asian-Canadians that we snuck onto the list — that we can look up to (or reminisce with) in these classic tales of high school.

 

Below are our Top 10 Asian American High School Girls Next Door:

10.  Tina Cohen-Chang (Jenna Ushkowitz); Glee

Jenna Ushkowitz has been playing Tina on Glee since the first season debuted in 2009. After dating Artie, she connected with “the other Asian,” Mike Chang (Harry Shum Jr.), making them arguably the most prominent Asian American couple on television.  As part of the glee club, Jenna has had many notable performances, covering songs such as “True Colors,” “My Funny Valentine,” and “Gangnam Style.”

 


 

9. Cho Chang (Katie Leung); Harry Potter

3,000 girls auditioned for the role of Cho Chang, and the Scottish Katie Leung made her debut in 2005’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  As Harry Potter’s first love interest, she also gives him his first kiss.  Though Harry and Cho’s romance is short-lived, bookended by Cedric’s death and Cho’s jealousy of Hermione, Leung continued to reprise her role until the final installment.


 

 


8. Margaret Yang (Sarah Tanaka); Rushmore

Rushmore fans remember Margaret Yang as the sweet, bespectacled student at Grover Cleveland High School who has a crush on Jason Schwartzman’s Max Fischer. Unfortunately, the 10th grade extracurricular activities junkie is too busy chasing after the new teacher (Olivia Williams) to pay any attention to her.  Yet, Margaret Yang is the one that ultimately gets to call Max out on his bullshit — “You’re a real jerk to me, you know that?” — eliciting a well-earned apology that made Noise to Signal‘s 10 Most Affecting Wes Anderson Moments.


 

 

7. Annabelle Manalo (Joy Bisco); The Debut

In The Debut, Joy Bisco plays Annabelle Manalo, the best friend of Rose Mercado (Bernadette Balagtas), who is having her 18th birthday party (aka her “debut”).  Rose’s brother Ben, played by Dante Basco, is the high school senior who clashes with his father and struggles to reconcile his Filipino American identity.  Annabelle, a beautiful dancer with a dangerous thug boyfriend, easily charms Ben by putting him at ease on the dance floor (“If you’re Filipino, you can cha cha. It is in the blood.”), and, as an unexpected confidante, she makes a lasting impression on Ben and viewers alike.


 

 

6. Emily Fields (Shay Mitchell); Pretty Little Liars

The sporty Emily Fields, played by half Filipina, half Irish/Scottish actress Shay Mitchell, is one of the four leads in the murder mystery, ABC Family series Pretty Little Liars, which debuted in 2010 and will air its 7th season mid-2016.  In the first season of the show, Emily comes out of the closet to both her friends and later to her parents (played by Hapa actors Eric Steinberg and Nia Peeples).  Since then, the series has explored her difficult relationship with her mother and subsequent tragedies in the girls’ mysterious lives.

Click here to watch the Pretty Little Liars coming out scene.


 

 

5. Knives Chau (Ellen Wong); Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Scorned by her first love, Scott Pilgrim, Knives Chau is a 17-year-old girl learning about heartbreak (and boys who aren’t the best at communication) for the first time. Played by Ellen Wong, Knives is not just an ex determined to win her boyfriend back, but a fireball of passionate energy that bursts out of the screen.


 

 

4. Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens): High School Musical

In the popular High School Musical franchise, Gabriella Montez — played by the Chinese-Filipino-Spanish-Irish-Native American actress-singer-dancer Vanessa Hudgens — was ultimate high school dream girl to the ultimate high school dream boy, Troy Bolton, played by Zac Efron. The dream only intensified when the fictional relationship spilled over into reality: the High School Musical movies were released from 2006-2008, while the two lead actors were real-life lovebirds until 2010. While the first two movies were made-for-television, the stakes were upped when High School Musical 3: Senior Year was brought to the big screen.


 

 

3.  Jesminder “Jess” Bhamra (Parminder Nagra); Bend it Like Beckham

The 2002 film that picked up Golden Globe and British Academy Award nominations features Parminder Nagra as Jess, a tomboy in London who idolizes David Beckham and wants to play football (soccer), even though her Indian immigrant parents will not allow it. This ultimate underdog story, directed by Gurinder Chadha, not only kickstarted Nagra’s career (as she would later play Dr. Neela Rasgotra on the hit show ER for six years), but it also showcased early performances by Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and Archie Panjabi.


 

2. Lana Lang (Kristen Kreuk): Smallville

Though Smallville ran for 10 seasons, during which the relationship between Clark Kent and Lana Lang would reach greater highs and lows, involving a time travel crystal, and eventual break-up, we will focus on the high school years — Seasons 1-4 — for the purposes of this list. The half Dutch, half Chinese Kristen Kreuk played Lana Lang, Clark Kent’s literal girl next door.  Clark Kent (as Superman) saves her again and again, without her knowledge, but as their feelings for each other deepen, his secretive behavior continues to be a source of distrust.  Smallville‘s ultimate high school moment has to be when Lifehouse comes to sing at their prom, and Clark asks Lana to dance.  In that pure, fleeting moment, all other potential love interests understand that there’s no coming in between them.


 

 

1. Lane Kim (Keiko Agena): Gilmore Girls

And my personal favorite has got to be Lane Kim, Rory Gilmore’s best friend in Gilmore Girls, which ran from 2000-2007. The character of Lane was loosely based on Helen Pai, a Korean American producer on the show who was raised as a Seventh Day Adventist. Because Lane’s super strict mother (played by Emily Kuroda) disapproves of everything loud, and non-Christian, and non-mother-approved (which is most things), the aspiring drummer has secrecy perfected to a tee — hiding her rock CD collection under the floor boards of her room and concocting elaborate stories so she can date without her mother finding out.  And, as an actress, Keiko Agena perfected delivering Amy Sherman-Palladino’s cleverly complex lines at super speed, a fun requisite for being on Gilmore Girls in the first place.

Click here to watch the scene where Lane reveals her scheme to get her mom to like her new secret boyfriend, Dave.

 

Tell us who your favorite Asian American high school girl next doors are!

 

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Get Your Greens On

Story & Photos Christina Ng. 

With the exception of bok choy, most people are not all that familiar with Asian greens. But with springtime just around the corner and perhaps the novelty of salad waning, maybe it’s worth looking into.  Asian greens are chock full of vitamins and contain a wide variety of textures.  Unlike their western-salad cousins, Asian greens are rarely eaten raw and can be quite filling as a dish.  The best thing is that most of these greens can be prepared in minutes and can satisfy whatever flavor mood you’re in.


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SAVORY: YU CHOY 

Yu choy or choy sum is a favorite in Chinese households. Both its mild flavor and firm, yet tender texture make it an extremely versatile green.  Depending on how old the yu choy is, the stalks can become mildly bitter and usually require a slight trimming before cooking. It’s usually sautéed with oil and garlic and topped off with a dollop of oyster sauce, which really brings out the yu choy’s sweetness. Yu choy is packed with iron and vitamins A and C, and has been referred to as a super green.

Yu Choy with Oyster Sauce

-Blanch yu choy in boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending on how crunchy you want the greens.

-In a pan, heat oil with chopped garlic until fragrant.

 

-Toss in yu choy and turn off the heat.

 

-Top with 1-2 tablespoons of oyster sauce and serve. 

 


 

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SWEET: CHINESE WATERCRESS

Chinese watercress is very similar in flavor to western watercress. The juicy stalks and peppery leaves lend itself well to soups, which is how the Chinese love to prepare watercress. As the watercress cooks, the pepperiness mellows and the leaves become sweeter.  Watercress is known to be an anti-cancer superfood and is high in vitamins A, B, C, and K and also in minerals like iron and calcium.

Sweet Watercress Soup

-Simmer 1⁄2 pound of cubed pork, a small handful of goji berries, and a small handful of jujubes or dates with a quart of water for about 1 hour.

 

-Add in watercress and some cubed tofu and continue to simmer for an additional 20 minutes.

 

-Add salt to taste. 

 


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BITTER: BITTER MELON 

Bitter melon is similar to a lumpy, bitter cucumber, so by no means does its appearance or taste seem appealing, but surprisingly, bitter melon is very widely eaten across Asia. It’s packed with vitamin C and is used regularly in herbal medicines for digestion and diabetes. It’s also good in pork dishes, and many people will cook the melon with sugar or a sauce to diffuse the bitterness. Do remember to scoop out the center of the melon, as the insides are quite tough.

Bitter Melon with Minced Pork

- In a pot of boiling water, cook two bitter melons that are cut into 1⁄4-inch slices for 2-3 minutes.


– In a frying pan, brown 1⁄4 pound of minced pork with a teaspoon of minced garlic, soy sauce, and rice wine. Add salt, pepper, and sugar to taste.


-Toss in bitter melon and sauté for 30 seconds. Remove onto a plate.


– Deglaze pan with several tablespoons of water mixed with a little bit of cornstarch. Cook for 30 seconds until sauce thickens.


– Toss sauce with the meat and bitter melon. Serve warm.

 


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SPICY: TONG CHOY

The Chinese also call this water spinach, kong xin cai, which literally translates to “hollow vegetable”.  Tong choy is known for its crunchy, straw-like stalks.  In the past, the green has been known to grow in waterways and canals, giving it the reputation of an unclean or unhealthy green.  However, today tong choy is grown in farms across the U.S. and is a good source of vitamins A and C, folate, and other minerals like magnesium and iron. Tong choy is traditionally eaten with fermented tofu, which is slightly fishy, spicy, and creamy, and can be found in your local Asian grocery store. Some quick tips when cooking tong choy is to wash the stalks thoroughly as it does get very sandy. Also when cooking, try to put in the stalks first because it takes a little longer to cook than the more delicate leaves on top.

Tong Choy with Fermented Tofu

- Wash stalks thoroughly and cut stalks in half so that the bottom stalks are separated from the top leaves.


– In a pot of boiling water, cook stalks for about 3 minutes. Then put in leaves and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.


– Drain and add several cubes of fermented tofu into the greens. Mix until cubes are creamy and well combined
.

 

 


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SOUR: SUAN CAI 

Sometimes referred to as the Chinese sauerkraut, suan cai is a lacto-fermented, mustard green.  Lacto-fermentation is different from pickling in that it doesn’t use vinegar, but instead uses the vegetable’s natural bacteria to ferment itself (like kimchi and sauerkraut). There are numerous health benefits associated with lacto-fermented foods, as it introduces good bacteria back into your body.  The Chinese use it as a condiment, mixed with pork dishes or sprinkled on top of noodles.  A word of caution: Although suan cai translates into “sour vegetable,” it is also very salty, so feel free to rinse the fermented greens prior to serving.

Minced Mustard Greens

-Chop packaged mustard greens into a fine dice.

-Put on top of noodles, mix with ground meat or use as a condiment. 

 

This story was originally published in our Spring 2014 issue. 

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First Year of Motherhood

Let’s be honest here — the first year of motherhood is hard. Unless you’re one of the lucky few out there who are breezing through the first couple years of motherhood (what sorcery is this?), chances are you’re barely getting any sleep, your body is still recovering, and you’ve worried yourself sick over a small head bump.  Oh, and you’ve been thrown up . A lot.

With the hustle and bustle of life, it’s sometimes easy to overlook the challenges that a woman may experience during her first year of motherhood, so Pampers Japan decided to give new fathers an opportunity to thank the mother of their newborn.

This extremely moving video shows fathers surprising their beloved with a photo gallery, celebrating and documenting the first year of motherhood. Most touching of all, the gallery includes heartwarming thank you messages, which truly show how much mothers are appreciated for all their hard work.

Get the tissues ready and check out the heartwarming video below:

 

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Beating the Blues: Wintertime Yoga

Holiday season has come to an end, but don’t let the worst of the winter months get the best of you. You are responsible for your own happiness, so take charge, relax, let go. Even if you’ve never done yoga before, try these four easy ways to beat the winter blues.



1. Meditation

Find a clean, quiet corner.  Sit comfortably with your legs crossed and spine tall.  Roll your shoulders back. Deep breath in, deep breath out. Try to clear your mind by focusing just on your inhales and exhales.  Imagine the inhales as a golden, pure light and the exhales pushing all internal impurities out of your system. Imagine that golden light circulating throughout your entire body.  Let the mind and body fully relax. One breath at a time, let your mind be at ease.

You may want to use a mantra to stay focused.  Here are five you can repeat; use any or all: “Let go,” “I am light,” “I am peace,” “I am free,” “I choose happiness”.

Your meditation can be just as quick as one or two minutes, or even as long as 30 minutes or more. Let yourself smile if you feel the corners of your mouth lift up. Let yourself feel safe, warm, filled with light, and at peace.

 

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2. Laughter Yoga

Studies have shown that fake laughter may have the same physiological and psychological benefits as real laughter.  As silly as it sounds, laughter yoga was actually developed by an Indian physician in the ’90s.  Start by grabbing a partner.  It can be your friend, your significant other or — my favorite — a child! A child’s pure heart and naturally open mind makes him or her the perfect partner to get laughter going. Start by making eye contact with your partner and simultaneously shouting out, “HA, HA, HA, HA, HO, HO, HO, HO” — in other words, fake laugh. Make it so fake that it sounds ridiculous! Soon you’ll “fake it till you make it,” as real laughter eventually kicks in.

 


 

 

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3. Yoga Pose: Relax

Child’s Pose is a great way to breathe in a receptive position. Get on your knees and spread them out shoulder width apart, big toes touching behind you. Sit your hips on your heels and fold over. Your ribcage should fit perfectly between your thighs. Drop the forehead down to the ground.  Stretch the arms by your sides, palms up. Relax the shoulders and neck.  Breathe in, out through the nose.  Repeat this mantra throughout the pose: “I am safe.” Stay for 5 to 10 breaths.

 


 

 

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4. Yoga Pose: Choose Happy

For the Puppy Dog Pose, get on all fours, palms and knees to the ground. Shoulders are above the wrists, hips above the knees. Walk the hands forward as you lower your chest down to the floor and curl your toes under.  Exhale and move your buttocks halfway back toward your heels. Engage your entire arm from the fingertips to the triceps, while relaxing the shoulders and neck. Keep a slight curve in the lower back. Lengthen the entire body, feeling the stretch in your spine. Feel the shift in your mood as this pose helps you open the heart and chest.  Repeat this mantra: “Choose happiness with every passing thought.” Stay in this position for 5 to 10 breaths.

Sunina Young (sunina.com) is a yoga + SLT pilates instructor in New York City.

 

Story by Sunina Young
Photos by Andy Hur, andyhur.com

 

This story was originally published in our Winter 2014-15 issue.

 

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Top 5 Must Go Destinations

We spoke to five tastemakers about their most favorite places in the world to spend their vacation. Start planning on where to spend the next couple of months or even your summer vacation.  Here are some tips about where to stay, what to eat, and what to do. Check out our list of Top 5 Must-Go Destinations.

 

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1) Bagan, Burma

Chosen by bridal gown fashion designer, Trish Lee. Read the full story here.


 


with 2
2) Tokyo, Japan

Chosen by actress Josie Ho. Read the full story here. 


 

 

with 3
3) Florence, Italy

Chosen by online travel magazine writer, Geena “Super G” Dabadghav. Read the full story here.


 

 

with 4
4) Algonquin Park, Canada 

Chosen by So Young bags and accessories’ Catherine Choi. Read the full story here.


 

with 55) Ko Lanta, Thailand
Chosen by Audrey’s editor-in-chief. Read the full story here. 

This story was originally published in our Summer 2014 issue.

 

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Asian Remedies That Will Cure Your Hangover

Sure, Asian glow is one thing to worry about, but what about those nights when things go a bit too far and you end up taking one (or five) more shots than intended? Hopefully you got home safe and sound (that’s what’s most important, after all).

But when you wake up the next day, you have to face an immediate problem. When the world is still spinning and you feel too nauseous to move, you know you’ve been hit with the dreaded hangover. For my friends and I, a comforting bowl of pho usually does the trick. But what helps everyone else?

Buzzfeed shared their list of interesting traditional hangover remedies from around the world. Below, we bring you the hangover cures, Asian style! We have to warn you though, you may have to be a brave one to try a few of these…


Philippines: Balut and Rice

Ah, yes. The signature “weird” delicacy of the Philippines is also a well-known hangover cure.  According to the Travel Channel, balut, which is a developing duck embryo, contains cysteine– a substance that breaks down alcoholic toxins in the liver.

Hangover_ModernFarmer

Courtesy of moderfarmer.com


China: Congee 

This rice porridge contains ginger, garlic, and scallions. All three ingredients combined should help ease those headaches.

Hangover_Safarinewsegnet

Courtesy of safarinewseg.net


Japan: Umeboshi

Umeboshi is a pickled sour plum that is well-known for its health benefits. It contains natural bacteria, enzymes, organic acids, and alkaline. These help eliminate excessive acidity in the body.

Hangover_TokyoTerrace

Courtesy of tokyoterrace.com


Mongolia: Picked Sheep Eye in Tomato Juice

Commonly known as the “Mongolian Mary,” this beverage is not for the faint of heart. Tomato juice contains simple sugars to boost your glucose levels back up as well as re-hydrate you after a night of drinking. The significance of the sheep eye? Well, that’s still a mystery.

Hangover_ViralNova

Courtesy of viralnova.com

 


 

 

South Korea: Haejangguk

South Korea definitely came prepared because Haejangguk literally translates into “soup to cure a hangover.” Although the recipe differs in every region, this spicy beef broth usually contains pork, spinach, cabbage, onions, and congealed ox blood.

Hangover_SeriousEats

Courtesy of seriouseats.com

 


 


 

 Indonesia: Kaya Toast

This traditional Indonesian breakfast will satisfy all of your sweet and salty hangover cravings (ladies, this would probably be just as helpful for that time of month). Warm toasted bread slices are served with salted butter and Kaya Jam, a sweet mixture of coconut milk, sugar, eggs, and pandan.

Courtesy of latimes.com

Courtesy of latimes.com


 

 

Bangladesh: Coconut Water

We can’t argue with this one. Coconut water is known to have a significant amount of potassium and will keep you hydrated.

Hangover_BlogdotCoxAndKings

Courtesy of blog.coxandkings.com


Thailand: Pad Kee Mao

Nicknamed “drunken noodles,” this spicy dish is said to be a favorite among Thai men after a night of drinking. It usually consists of wide rice noodles, ground beef (or other meat), basil and other spices, onions and bell peppers.

lif_03ThaiSpiceKitchen072513

Courtesy of thaispicekitchen.com


Let us know your go-to hangover cure!

Feature image courtesy of Zatarains.com

 

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