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where to find "makhua phuang"/pea eggplant

Is it ok to resurrect a 6 year old question that was not answered? I just got back from my 6th trip to Thailand, and am dying to find MaKhua Phuang, tiny green pea eggplants. I am in Northern NJ, but will travel to NY, NJ, or CT.

I am assuming this question was never answered because I read they are not allowed to import these. I was hoping they may grow these in Florida, like they do the green golf-ball-sized eggplants, Ma-kuea, which are easy to find in Chinatown or Terri Lee Grocery in Maywood, NJ.

Anyone have a source for makhua phuang?

Oct 31, 2013
chowsue in New Jersey

Rice Cooker Recommendation with Extended Keep Warm

No, I was replying to Law who recommended a cheap rice cooker or using a pot on the stove.

Apr 10, 2013
chowsue in Cookware

Rice Cooker Recommendation with Extended Keep Warm

Everytime I cook rice on the stove it comes out horrible. It sticks to the pot, making cleanup a pain, it is usually mushy. Maybe I am a spazz.
The rice cookers make perfect rice every single time. NO cleanup.

And I disagree. Cheap rice cookers do not work just as well. I have had rice at a neighbor's house in a cheap rice cooker, and it is not as good as the rice I make in a more expensive cooker.

Everyone has to do what works for them. Maybe someone reading this thread will find that works for them, so thanks for the suggestion. My mother makes rice on the stove. But she doesn't work outside the home and has the time to do so. I work 40-90 hour weeks, and manage the household completely on my own, along with other responsibilities. And we eat all made from scratch, homecooked meals everyday. A rice cooker makes that possible for me. Sometimes I have to work the second shift....and my husband doesn't cook. So with the rice cooker, he can come home after work and reheat a meal I left for him....and fresh rice is ready for him, and he doesn't have to cook a fresh pot on the stove. He refuses to eat refrigerated rice, as he does not like the texture. My husband cook rice twice a day every day on the stove? LOL. Right. You so funny. :-)
I gotta do what works for my family, and this WORKS.

Hey, millions of people throughout Asia and the world can't ALL be wrong about rice cookers. Different strokes for different folks.

Apr 09, 2013
chowsue in Cookware

Rice Cooker Recommendation with Extended Keep Warm

thanks calumin. Someone who GETS IT.

Apr 09, 2013
chowsue in Cookware

Rice Cooker Recommendation with Extended Keep Warm

good idea, will keep an eye out for that when this rice cooker I just bought bites the dust in about 5 years.

Apr 09, 2013
chowsue in Cookware

Rice Cooker Recommendation with Extended Keep Warm

I wound up buying the Zojirushi NS-TSC10. It was on sale at Hmart for $99, normally $200. WOOT!

My biggest complaint is that the lid doesn't open naturally all the way enough to remove the inner pot. After popping the button to open the lid, I have to push the lid back with my finger a bit, to make a big enough clearance for the pot. I have never before seen a rice cooker not open enough when the lid is popped.

So far, so good. The rice stays fresh for about 2 days. Good enough. Not as great as our original Magic one, the National, but everyone I talk to about this says the same thing

"They don't make them like they used to"

Apr 09, 2013
chowsue in Cookware

Harried 'hounds: what's your get-dinner-on-the-table-FAST meal plan for this week?

I could not agree more! I am really so jealous of everyone on this board! Everytime I work up a meal plan for the week, DH goes and ruins it with "oh by the way I am leaving for Kentucky tomorrow for 4 days", or "by the way vendor so-so is taking me out for dinner tonight" or "by the way I invited 10 people over for dinner". Yes I know, welcome to my world. My friends at work think this is outrageous. I say, hey we have been together for 15 years. I don't sweat the small stuff. :-)
I used to get all wound up about it. Now, I just go with the flow, and much happier. 10 people over for dinner? No problem. I got it.
Plus, I freelance, so my schedule is wack-a-do. I am so jealous of folks that work 9-5, come home and cook a nice meal every night, and spend evenings with their family. Wish I could go back in time and pick a different major in University! THEN I would be able to do a meal plan. :-) I have to go with the flow. Works though. We never order takeout. I eat all homecooked meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner), DH dinner, and we go out only once every other month. Crockpot is awesome. Freezer cooking helps. Have fun!

Mar 16, 2013
chowsue in Home Cooking

Rice Cooker Recommendation with Extended Keep Warm

This one intrigues me! I can steam and cook veggies all at the same time and it is dirt cheap! I may get 8 cup one, as the 20 cup one you have is way too much for us.

I may just try it out! (I may get a disapproving glance for getting a non-Japanese one). :-)
The silver one does look cool though.

I love steaming, but hate steam baskets, for some reason. (it's just me, shrug). This looks simple.

Mar 16, 2013
chowsue in Cookware

Is it possible to make a delicious pork chop?

I actually agree.

I grew up with horrible pork chops. My mother is a fabulous cook. However, the pan fried pork chops were always inches thick and dry.

My husband dreams pork.

He would agree with the other posters here. Supermarket pork chops are terrible. There is not much you can do with them. He likes those shake and bake. And trust me, he would eat nothing other than pork everyday if he could.

However, we went to a fabulous restaurant in Manhattan (Hearth) and ordered the pork chop, not expecting much. iT was amazing! It really does come down to the quality of the meat.

I once went to a Japanese restaurant in midtown NYC, quite famous for their pork katsu....Katshama. The use Berkshire pork only. It is mind boggling! The quality does matter.

But if you can't get a good source of meat...
shake and bake is delicious
or pan fry brown, bake a bit in the oven...and cover with onions and some sort of jus...

I made a Thai/Vietnamese style pork chop with lemongrass and stuff and it was pretty noteworthy. "Your best" I was told. :-)

Mar 16, 2013
chowsue in Home Cooking

Corned Beef--In A Slow Cooker

Yes! This is the perfect way to make corned beef, and this is the perfect cut of meat for a crockpot!

I usually host St. Pat's, and I do a cookoff...
Momma's way ..the way I grew up eating corned beef my whole life. She boils it for hours and hours.
my a crockpot with beer, water, and the spice package.

And every year, the crockpot wins the smackdown. Hands down. Like, everyone fighting each other for the last bits and pieces from the crockpot.

The stovetop boil method produces a much cleaner slab of beef to looks great on a serving platter.
The crockpot one is a hot mess, falling all apart. But simply declicious!

So do you want a nice looking meal or a sloppy delicious mess? IT is a personal preference, really.

I have left many things in my crockpot 11 hours, including the corned beef. I work, so I am out of the house 8-10 hours a day, with 2-3 hours commuting. So I really have no choice. I find if I put enough liquid in....nothing ever burns. For this meal, I usually put a bottle of beer, and pour water in until the beef is covered.

I usually put half the carrots, potatoes, onions, and cabbage on the bottom of the crockpot. The usually come out mushy though. Then half I boil ont he stovetop. The only reason I do this is because my crockpot is not big enough to fit 6 pounds of beef, and a pounds of veggies. So I split it up. Inevitably, the crockpot everything tastes better, but it messier.

I don't remove the fat. Fat always makes meat juicier and tastier. I let my guests remove it, if they want! :-)

And everything gets slathered with mustard. Some like horseradish on everything (I do).

And we wash it down with Guinness.

This year I made Baileys buttercream, chocolate cupcakes. Delicious!
And I am attempting homemade soda bread the first time tomorrow. I am trying two versions - traditional and Irish-American version (with eggs and stuff). Wish me luck. I don't make break all that often. It is fun trying new things!

Have fun!

Mar 16, 2013
chowsue in Home Cooking

Rice Cooker Recommendation with Extended Keep Warm

I am pretty intrigued by the ones that steam veggies too...and make bread.

I am trying to figure out if the $380 Zo is really worth the price! That is expensive and not a whole lot of ratings.

Mar 15, 2013
chowsue in Cookware

Rice Cooker Recommendation with Extended Keep Warm

I think I may want a 4 cup or higher though. Ours is 5 cup now. We use 2-3 cups regularly, and 5 for dinner parties and parties.

Mar 15, 2013
chowsue in Cookware

Rice Cooker Recommendation with Extended Keep Warm


Mar 15, 2013
chowsue in Cookware

Rice Cooker Recommendation with Extended Keep Warm

this looks good. I like that it has the retractable cord.

Does it have extended warm and warm function?

2 days is fine. That is what my current Zo does, before it funkified.

I could not see the pix was very small...

and does it have Quick cooking feature?

DH gets testy if his rice isn't ready in 30 minutes. :-)

Mar 15, 2013
chowsue in Cookware

Rice Cooker Recommendation with Extended Keep Warm

YES! Tiger! That is the brand I have seen on a few kitchen counters, now that you mention the name!

And yes, I know they all bought theirs in Asian markets, definitely not on Amazon. Maybe that matters.

oh, and I asked a friend of mine...she said "oh, they don't make them like they used to! They only stay warm a day or two nowadays now with ones you can buy now."

Thanks for the help.

Mar 15, 2013
chowsue in Cookware

Rice Cooker Recommendation with Extended Keep Warm

Well, I answered that question in the original post.
I know it was long winded, but the reason I made it long-winded was to explain the details.

As indicated, in case you did not know, it is very common in Asian households to keep rice in a rice cooker, often overnight, and up to a day, maybe two, depending on the brand of rice there is always rice ready, without the wait. My husband lived his entire life on this earth doing this, and hasn't died of bacterial growth yet. Neither have any of his multitude of friends and family, who all do the same thing.

It is not unsafe because the rice cooker is made to support this. That is what "extended warm" function on a rice cooker is for. Some are good for 12 hours, and some more. If you check the Zojirushi website (a leading brand of rice cookers), it clearly says the Warm function keeps rice warm for 12 hours and Extended Warm for 20 hours.
I am saying our National safely kept rice warm and fresh for days on end, as does other models I have seen in other people's homes.

Hope this helps explain and answers your questions!

Mar 15, 2013
chowsue in Cookware

Rice Cooker Recommendation with Extended Keep Warm

Sorry, I am specifically asking for folks who have a rice cooker that they KNOW keeps the rice nicely for days.

Thanks anyways!

"It's not like it takes all that long."
QUICK cook is half hour. "Ain't nobody got time for that!" LOL.

But I hear you..
I guess we could make a fresh batch every morning and set the timer. We have never had to do this before, so that would be a life time of habit to change.

Maybe I will just go visit some of his friends and peak in their kitchens and write down what brand and models they use. They all keep their rice fresh for a few days.

Mar 15, 2013
chowsue in Cookware

Rice Cooker Recommendation with Extended Keep Warm

As indicated, our last rice cooker kept rice nicely for days.

Mar 15, 2013
chowsue in Cookware

Rice Cooker Recommendation with Extended Keep Warm

I was hoping to get a recommendation for a new rice cooker.

When we first got married, my Thai husband brought a National rice cooker with him. We still, to this day, call it the "magic rice pot". It made perfect rice every single time. You could put too much water in, not enough, perfect every time. And you could leave it on extended warm for days. YES. Days.
It was a National, which I guess was bought by Panasonic.

What I soon learned is that every Thai home we visited always had a big rice cooker sitting on the counter, with rice cooked, and ready at all times.

Well, in a moment of foolishness, I persuaded DH to give up the magic rice pot. We purchased a $190 Zojirushi NSDAC10. It had only good ratings, and mostly because it looked so cool sitting on our new beautifully renovated kitchen counters.
And I foolishly sold the magic pot for $20 on Craigslist. What I wouldn't give to get that magic pot back!

The NSDAC10 lid opening button does not work well. Never did. You have to press the button...and pry the lid open with the other hand. Lame. His Thai friends all come to visit us, and make fun of this. :-(

The extended warm also does not work as well as the National. Rice only keeps for 2 days tops, whereas the magic pot kept for a whole week.

And now....rice doesn't keep past a few hours without getting a rancid, spoiled-egg smell, and the rice gets hard and turns yellow the next day. Uh oh.

I assume the extended warm feature is not keeping the rice warm enough, so it is spoiling. Or the gasket on the lid has bacteria in it. Or the steam vent is a problem (I haven't seen steam come out the machine is over a year, and it used to). I have also noticed the rice is damp, so perhaps extra moisture is occuring.

In addition, the pot is scratched up. I know, I know, naughty...I used a fork to fluff the rice every time, and I guess scratched the surface. So perhaps that is causing the issue?

A new removable lid gasket and pot is $50. I almost think it would be worth it to buy a new rice cooker, then pan out $50, and that may not solve the problem.


Does anyone have any advice for saving our 6 year old Zojirushi?

And more importantly, can someone recommend a rice cooker that will keep rice for days?

It should be 4+ cups, have a timer, extended warm, and any budget will do.

I kindly ask folks from restraining from responding with comments about cooking the rice and storing it in the fridge or freezer. My husband did not grow up doing this, and he claims it changes the taste and texture. He refuses to eat refrigerated rice, so please refrain from those suggestions.

Thank you!!!!!!!

Mar 15, 2013
chowsue in Cookware

London Chow

Wow. That is pretty insightful, and I think that just may be spot on advice.

Since you asked....
Harwood Arms- I loved the atmosphere. I would go back. I felt the food was forgettable. But like I said.... Maybe I just ordered the wrong things
Arbutus-great service, smart place and smart food. The mackerel cake and snails were divine. I got talked into ordering stel, and I on't like steak much....but can't blame anyone but myself for allowing myself to be pressured.
Jose- fun place. Thoughtful. I was really annoyed that I was practically ignored, yet rushed to get out and make room for more business. Too crowded to be enjoyable. Average food, but not bad.
Bocca- the broadbean salad was revolutionary to and inspirational to me. I can make a better crab linguine. Love sitting at the bar.

Jul 15, 2012
chowsue in U.K./Ireland

London Chow

My approach is scattergun because:
1. I am only searching out what others tell me (colleagues & Internet & chowhound)
2. I appreciate all food. I am not a snob that has to only eat at white napkin establishments, but can appreciate a truly awesome lamb chop fom a dive
3. I can't spend hours a day months in advance making reservations, so sometimes I just walk in someplace close and with seats
4. If joining friends, sometimes social people go places they wouldn't ordinarily picked themselves! Lol

Your list sounds really good!

Jul 15, 2012
chowsue in U.K./Ireland

London Chow

I was slowly coming to this realization. This is good advice...thanks for the thoughtful guidance.

Jul 15, 2012
chowsue in U.K./Ireland

London Chow

I come to my beloved chowhounds for guidance.

I am a New Yorker spending the summer in London. In two months, I have tried 50 places in London. I keep reading about a culinary revolution here, but am having a tough time finding it. I am still optimistic, and think perhaps I am just going to the wrong places, or perhaps ordering the wrong dishes. I have always gotten really good advice on CH, so return here for some good guidance.

I have tried:
Harwood Arms
Mother Mash
Newman Arms
Bocca di Luppo
Maroush Express
Dickens inn
Cay tre
Busaba Eathai
Village East
Cantina del Ponte
Jamie Italian
Muhib Brick Lane
Monsoon Brick Lane
Monmouth Coffee
Kappa casein
Pâté Moi
ginger Pig
La Tua
Neal Yard
Caphe House
The Narrow
Great Queen Street
Nordic Bakery
Cote brasserie
Casa Brindisa
Banger Brothers
M&S triangle sandwiches
Greenwich Market Sunday Roast

Antico has been my fav restaurant so far. That lamb pappardelle is a show stopper. I have been back for it three times, and I NEVER visit restaurants more than once...too many to try! Booked thru and got 50 percent off too!

Tayyabs was incredible. Brick Lane was the worst Indian food I have ever had.

Seashell was enjoyable to try out traditional fish and chips. I adored the Borough Market.

Lebanese was awesome.

Was pleased to find bun cha at cay tre...I can't get that in my, and fell in love with it in Nam. Broth was yawn tho.

Had the worst meal (and expensive!) at Hix. Jamie's was the worst disappointment...I was really looking forward to it. Hated Casa Brindisa. Hated Great Queen. Enjoyed the salad at Polpo but hated the meatballs and pasta. Hated Wagamama. I heard it compared to Momofuku and fell off my chair laughing.

Liked Zucca. Enjoyed Nando peri peri. Like Mother Mash, but hated Banger Bros.

Where should I go before I leave? What places must I try?

All I ask is...please do not tell me to search the boards. I did. Look at my likes and dislikes and maybe you have some suggestions. Also, please do not critic my is not constructive or helpful.
Will travel for good food (within one hour) and it can be cheap and dirty or expensive and posh.

Thanks for your help.

Jul 14, 2012
chowsue in U.K./Ireland

Food trucks and Street Meat website/map

Bob's your Uncle!
Thanks for the great info. :-)

Apr 14, 2012
chowsue in U.K./Ireland

Food trucks and Street Meat website/map

"other areas"...NO! Not necessarily. Remember, NYC's street meat foodie scene has BLOWN UP only in the past few years. There are parts of the world that have excellent street food scenes that will rival sit-down establishments.....for a long, long time. Think Thailand, Vietnam, all over SE Asia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Carribean, South America.....

Thanks for the links!

Apr 14, 2012
chowsue in U.K./Ireland

Food trucks and Street Meat website/map

go visit Thailand, Vietnam, or even NY, and will you will understand the excitement over street food. I would rather eat a Bun Cha from the street in Hanoi, sitting on a tiny blue stool on the sidewalk, than to blow $300 on a pretentious meal at PerSe in NYC (done and done). That said, luxury dining establishments have their place, but street food, at its best, will knock your socks off. But hell, if you don't believe me, ask Anthony Bourdain, who travels the world to eat food, as his job. Just saying. The whole point is not cheap food on your way home. If you think so, you missed the whole point. The whole point is gourmet food, innovative, without the constraints and limitations of "tradition".

Apr 14, 2012
chowsue in U.K./Ireland


don't agree at all. Sorry. Are we talking about the same store? The Aldis East Rutherford?? The Food Basics in Wallington?? I am so confused.
Or are you comparing Food Basics in some other area to Aldis in some other area?

The Aldis in ER had something like 4 aisles. It is small. Food Basics is easily twice the size.
I have never had to wait at Food Basics for more than a few minutes on line, and I have shopped there for 7 years.

I would not compare the Aldis in ER to Trader Joes. No way. Are you referring to a different branch maybe??

Mar 30, 2012
chowsue in New Jersey

Food trucks and Street Meat website/map

How is the food truck and street meat scene in London??
From reading the **few** threads here, and a few articles elsewhere, it seems it is growing, but not quite like it is in other areas yet.

In NY, we have a fabulous website that lists and reviews all the options in that burgeoning scene. It also has a twitter tracker to help folks find the trucks, since they park in different spots every day. There is also which rocks, lots of food porn. There are iPad apps for food locators with maps, etc.

Any websites/apps like that in London yet?

Mar 30, 2012
chowsue in U.K./Ireland

London - Olympic Park

30 minutes there (with security) and 30 minutes back is too long for a lunch, yes.

Mar 30, 2012
chowsue in U.K./Ireland

London Restaurants for Single Women

Good to know. I have dined all over the world, solo at times. I have no problem with walking into the fanciest of the restaurants in NYC, and other big Westernized cities- with no magazine in hand! I realized quickly in Asian countries it was a big cultural no no. Glad to hear London will be comfortable for solo female diners.

Mar 27, 2012
chowsue in U.K./Ireland