My 100th Post and a Blogging Marathon: 30 in 30 days

A new look for the new year?

A new look for the new year?

It’s a new year, and lucky for me, means I don’t have to make any resolutions for another month.  On the flip side, I now only have a month to get my Dragon List completed before the snake rears it’s head on the 10th of February.  I will then discover what I have accomplished, what was a lack of judgement on my part, and what was just me losing perspective. (Did I really say that I would read a book in Chinese?)  Once the new year hits, I get to start the cycle all over again and create another list of 29 goals for my 29th year.  Holy. Shit.Because my lists where always private, I would find some way to use a loophole, excuse, or exaggeration as to why I didn’t, couldn’t, or sort of complete a task and be satisfied with the answer.  However, this year I decided to go public with my list, and have already been reminded through emails, calls and conversations of the many things on my list that I still need to do.  It’s like everyone has become my Aunt Martha, hovering over me and piercing a hole in every excuse I throw at her as to why I didn’t want to go to Yoga to do an intense side stretch.  (Note to my friends, I don’t have an Aunt Martha.  It’s not a common Taiwanese name).

However, because of the accountability, I’ve decided to attempt most of the list.  One of my goals this lunar year was to write 54 posts.  There is no excuse why I have not done this, I couldn’t blame a person, the internet, a third party, or my brother’s cat.  (All which would have failed the test of my Aunt Martha if I had one).  So, in order to get close to crossing this one off my list, I’m doing a blogging marathon.  If folks remember a couple of years back I did 30 posts in 30 days.  It was a fun and challenging experience that ended in a well stocked refrigerator, a full roomate, and a bank account that was slightly higher than usual because of the amount of money I was saving from not going out to eat lunch.

So, in honor of the new year, the dragon list, my procrastination, and my 100th post;  I will commit to writing 30 posts in 30 days.


This is my 100th post.  When I first started this blog a few years ago, I was looking for a way to best document the dishes that have been so important to me.  I wanted to have a place where I could keep a list of recipes that are significant; Each one holds a cherished story or memory from my childhood.  I had no idea how much of an impact food would have on me, my childhood, my discoveries, my growth, or my relationships.  Writing for brb…eating has  been an amazing journey; One that I thought would have been finished in a year or so, but it’s clearly developed into a longer adventure that I now consider to me very much a part of who I am.  I’m so glad that I’ve been able to share it with all of you and I look forward to many more to come.  To commemorate my 100th post, I’m revisiting my first blog post, “Chicken Adobo.”  I’ve edited it (my writing has improved so much in the last 100 posts) and updated the recipe (It’s taken me a few years, but I now understand why ingredients are listed in a specific order.) I hope you enjoy and thank you for following me on this journey.

Chicken adobo; not the witch's brew version.

Chicken adobo; not the witch’s brew version.

“I’m not sure it’s suppose to look like that…”

My brother and I stared at the pot of chicken bones bubbling in a tan, creamy, gravy like sauce with bits of chicken pieces floating about.  We had spent over an hour on this dish and had no idea how or what it had turned into.

“It doesn’t look like the Filipino Chicken Adobo we get at the restaurant. It’s suppose to have the look of braised chicken.”  Instead it looked like something only mentioned in fairy tales when describing the witch’s brew.  We tried it, and I continued to question the tough, rubbery texture and flavor of the sauce.  It was a “first time cooking Chicken Adobo” failure, it was also one of the first times that my brother and I cooked together.  Before this, it was rare for my brother and I to ever be able to cook together.  We are 7 years apart which translates to me being home as a kid while he is in college and then us being in separate parts of the country while I was in college and he was being an adult.  Luckily I found my way to New York which has made the two of us even closer as well as many more days of cooking together and more successful attempts.

A few days after the adobo attempt, my brother figured out that what we had made was basically soy mayo with chicken in it.  If it sounds gross, you are right.  It  looked gross too.  The vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar mixed with the protein from the rendered chicken was basically the foundation of a mayonnaise or aioli.  At the time of attempting this dish, my culinary techniques where a little lacking.  I thought that turning something on high meant you where hungry and it would cook faster and that braising was for people with patience.  However, the rolling boil of the liquid  was enough to agitate the protein and fat and essentially mimicked the whisking or shaking that produces mayonnaise.  Oh, so that’s one of the reasons we braise things.

A couple of years later, I asked my friend Holly how her mom made the dish.   She gave me the list of ingredients and the family secret.  Her mom finishes the chicken off in the oven to ensure that it develops a crispy skin and slight glaze.   So with my knowledge of braising and the importance of a slow low heat and now with some insider secret from new Tita, I was able to recreate the Chicken Adobo with my brother.   The flavor was sweet, salty, and tangy.  The vinegar and slow braise allowed the chicken to become extremely tender and juicy.  The best part was the crisp skin that came from the few minutes that chicken was  in the oven.  To add more sauce, you can reduce the braising liquid down to give it a thicker consistency while the chicken is finishing, or you can skip the oven step all together.

If you have access to cane vinegar, I recommend it.  You can get it from most Asian stores.  It has a slightly sweet quality to it, but white vinegar is a good substitute.


2 lb chicken (I like to mix wings and drumsticks)

1 tbs vegetable, peanut, or canola oil

4 large garlic cloves

2 dried chili crushed, or 1 tsp red chili flakes (to taste)

2 bay leaves

3/4 cup soy sauce

3/4 cup white vinegar

1/8 cup sugar

1 stalk of scallions, minced


sear chicken on high in a large dutch oven or heavy based pot with oil and remove chicken

add chili flakes, bay leaves, and garlic to the pot and sauté until garlic is fragrant and slightly toasted

return chicken and pour soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar and stir to coat

turn down heat to medium low and let simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

remove chicken, put onto baking dish and broil on high until chicken is slightly crispy (4-5 minutes)

reduce the braising liquid and pour over the chicken

garnish with green onions (optional)

-serves 6-



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i hunger...i cook...i eat...i come back...i reminisce...i blog...enjoy.


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