Celine Pun

Celine Pun

46 posts

Soothing video of soy sauce being made from scratch in rural China goes viral on TikTok

  • A soothing TikTok video showing the process of making soy sauce from scratch has gone viral.
  • When the soybeans can be mashed between his fingertips with no resistance, he spreads the steaming beans on a flat wooden beaded tray for fermentation before sprinkling a yellow powder — called Aspergillus oryzae, a common fermentation microbe for soy sauce — over them.
  • In this video, @craftsman0011 presents himself as a simple country man, wearing a plain tangzhuang with natural outdoor lighting and local green landscapes as his background. His tools and kitchenware emphasizes a rustic ambiance: made from woven fibers, ceramics, stone or metal.
  • The video has garnered over 489,7000 views and 49,700 likes as of this writing.

A video of the peaceful yet lengthy process of fermenting soybeans into soy sauce has gone viral on TikTok.

TikTok user @craftsman0011 has amassed over 144,000 followers from their videos of items being made from scratch, such as ink, chopsticks and rapeseed oil. Their videos sometimes have traditional Chinese or acoustic music in the background, but the naturally soothing sounds of the processes are usually most prominent.  

Iconic Chinese paddlefish and wild Yangtze sturgeon officially declared extinct

  • In 2019, the Chinese paddlefish was listed as extinct in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. A recent reassessment published on Thursday verified the extinction of the species.
  • Another freshwater river fish species, the Yangtze sturgeon, or Acipenser dabryanus, was listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species in 2019, with the recent reassessment relisting the Yangtze sturgeon as extinct in the wild.
  • Both the Chinese paddlefish and the Yangtze sturgeon’s population declines have resulted from human impact and environmental degradation such as overfishing and overharvesting, habitat fragmentation, deforestation, mining, water pollution (wastewater and runoff) and dams.
  • The construction of the Gezhouba Dam and the Three Gorges dams blocked the anadromous migration of the Chinese paddlefish, reducing their reproduction for offspring.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has officially verified that the Chinese paddlefish and wild Yangtze sturgeon are extinct on their list of threatened species. 

The Chinese paddlefish, or Psephurus gladius, was one of the largest freshwater fish in the world, weighing up to 660 pounds and measuring up to 10 feet in length. They were gray, had a white underbelly and small, round eyes. These fish were endemic to the freshwater wetlands in the Yangtze and Yellow River basins. They migrated upstream to their estuary in the East China Sea to spawn during mid-March to early April. 

Tô Văn Lai, creator of ‘Paris by Night,’ dies at 85

To Van Lai Passes Away
  • In 1983, Tô Văn Lai produced the first “Paris by Night” show to reach Vietnamese refugees living in France who felt distant from their culture.
  • “Paris by Night,” a Vietnamese-language musical variety show hosted primarily by Nguyễn Ngọc Ngạn and Nguyễn Cao Kỳ Duyên, is still running to this day.
  • The production focuses on expressing Vietnamese culture and features modern pop stars, traditional folk songs, plays and comedy sketches.
  • On July 19, Tô Văn Lai died at 11:05 a.m. at 85 years old after battling an illness.
  • Over 70-80 million Vietnamese people worldwide have watched “Paris by Night,” according to Thuy Nga Productions in California.

Tô Văn Lai, creator of the iconic Vietnamese musical variety show “Paris by Night,” died on Tuesday.

Born on May 11, 1937, in Saigon-Gia Dinh, Lai received a bachelor’s in philosophy from the University of Education in Da Lat and taught at a girl’s school in My Tho, which earned him the life-long nickname “Professor.”

Forget pineapple pizza — it’s all about durian mango pizza with fried chicken

  • In Pizza Hut Taiwan’s Durian Water Gold Pizza, large chunks of durian add creaminess and softness to the pizza’s standard base layer. Meanwhile, a mango sauce introduces a sweet and tart flavor to compliment the offensive, fruity flare of the durian.
  • Small pieces of Pizza Hut logo-shaped cheese made with even more durian is topped on the pizza. Finally, coconut powder is dusted on the crust for a refreshing taste from those last few bites.
  • If pizza is not your thing, the pizza chain also released Durian Cheese Tang Yang Chicken, a fried chicken version where large boneless chicken thighs fried to crispy perfection are topped with more mango sauce, durian cheese and shredded coconut. The umami and juiceness from the chicken create a hearty meal combined with the sweetness and creaminess from the tropical flavors.
  • At 539 yuan (approximately $80) for the durian mango pizza and at 239 yuan (approximately $35) for the durian cheese chicken, the items are now available in limited quantities and exclusively sold online and in Pizza Hut stores in Taiwan since June 28.

Pizza Hut Taiwan launched a new pizza and fried chicken flavor made with durian, mango and cheese on June 21. 

The chefs over at Pizza Hut must have had a lot of creative freedom over the last year, previously releasing pizzas made with interesting combinations from oreos and popcorn chicken to dim sum and tartar sauce to pig’s intestines and pig’s blood

Hot pot how-to: 10 simple steps to have the most epic dinner party

When I was at UC Santa Barbara, I hosted a lot of hot pot dinner parties. My college apartment grew fragrant for the stragglers, the ones who couldn’t go home and the international students who stayed behind during the pandemic. One of our favorite dinner parties involved sitting around a hot pot induction stove with colorful plates of vegetables, thinly sliced meats and herbs. 

Hot pot has numerous names. In Japan, it is shabu-shabu. In Vietnam, cù lao. I learned it as huoguo: fire pot. Hot pot is a communal meal, and each step encourages you to enjoy the presence of the people you are dining with. 

Toronto’s ban on single-use plastics could cripple some Asian businesses, say restaurant owners

  • On July 7, Canada released regulations prohibiting single-use plastics and suggesting alternatives to reduce the environmental impact and wildlife harm of plastic pollution.
  • The new measures also aim to shift Canada from a linear to a circular economy, in which the products will stay “in the economy and out of the environment.”
  • To accomplish this national goal, the regulations ban single-use plastics, including the manufacture, sale, import and export of checkout bags, cutlery, foodservice ware (such as clamshell containers, lidded containers, boxes, cups, plates, or bowls made of polystyrene foam, polyvinyl chloride, carbon black or oxo-degradable plastics), ring carriers, stir sticks and straws.
  • Asian restaurants, especially curry, ramen and pho restaurants, rely on single-use plastics to stay in business.

Canada’s new regulations prohibiting single-use plastics could severely impact Asian businesses that sell sauce or liquid products.

The regulations, announced on June 20 and set to take effect in December, aim to not only reduce environmental impacts such as plastic pollution and wildlife harm, but to shift Canada from a linear to a circular economy, where according to the regulations, the products will stay “in the economy and out of the environment.”

Right person, wrong time: Vince Xu, Kasey Ma show ‘what Asian love is’ on ‘The One That Got Away’

  • “The One That Got Away” premiered on June 24 with 10 episodes on Amazon Prime Video.
  • The show centers on a social experiment that has six singles dating random people from their past to see if one of their missed connections was the right person at the wrong time.
  • Chinese American Twitch Streamer Kasey Ma and lawyer Vince Xu sat down with NextShark to talk about their experience as Asian American contestants on the show.

Twitch streamer Kasey Ma and lawyer Vince Xu sat down with NextShark to talk about their experience as Asian American contestants on the Amazon Prime Video reality dating show “The One that Got Away.”

The new show centers on a social experiment that has six singles date random people from their past to see if one of their missed connections was the right person at the wrong time. For a month, the singles live without their phones, building genuine relationships with the others around them.

Soda chanh muối: The perfect summer drink from Vietnam that only takes 4 simple ingredients to make


Have a glass of soda chanh muối – a salty, sparkling Vietnamese drink – to keep you refreshed this summer. 

Soda chanh muối is a type of limeade or lemonade made at home and also served in most Vietnamese restaurants. As its name suggests — with “chanh” meaning lime and “muối” meaning salt — this drink is made with limes that are fermented, offering a special twist on a classic beverage. This drink can also substitute limes for lemons depending on preference. 

Honoring my scallions: How my Asian parents’ food waste made me an environmentalist

Growing up as a low-income, first-generation Asian American, I was motivated by my immigrant parents’ food insecurity to fight for our planet. 

I was born into an American culture of honoring consumption. I was never shy, taking extra servings of catering food home from school events. Not because I was stingy, but because my immigrant parents whispered their fears of starvation after moving to the United States to escape poverty and the Vietnam War. My Chinese Vietnamese family of six struggled to stretch our monthly food stamps, like most families in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles. 

New ‘mabuhay’ kicks from Vans shows off Filipino culture, ‘Checkerbayan’ pattern with Philippines flag

Vans x DJ Javier
  • Filipino American artist DJ Javier collaborated with Vans to design three new pairs of shoes celebrating Filipino culture.
  • The new Vans x DJ Javier shoes have Filipino-inspired design features, such as the Philippines flag, sampaguita, carabao, mabuhay, aspins, salakót and Lapulapu.
  • The Sk8-Hi top and Slip-On VR3 SF shoes were all launched June 12 on Vans’ website and have already sold out in most sizes within a week. Fortunately, another batch of shoes will be released along with the Slide-On Sandals in early July.

Filipino American artist DJ Javier collaborated with skateboarding shoe company Vans to design three new pairs of kicks celebrating Filipino culture.

Raised in Goleta, California, DJ Javier began developing his artistic career in high school. His bold artworks marry graphic design and fine art and can be found across the nation in cities like Los Angeles and New York.

Uncle Roger gives his take on Singaporean cuisine: ‘weird, less good version’ of Malaysian food

  • Nigel Ng, the 31-year-old Malaysian comedian known for his Uncle Roger persona, ranked Malaysian cuisine as better than Singaporean food.
  • The spontaneous ranking was spoken lightheartedly out of national pride. Ng was born in Kuala Lumpur and is Malaysian Chinese with parents of Hokkien heritage. He expresses his nationalism towards his home country’s food, and praises it at the expense of Singaporean food.
  • Uncle Roger is known for his orange polo shirt, strong Cantonese accent, and criticism of Western attempts at Asian cuisine.

Nigel Ng, a Malaysian comedian known for his Uncle Roger persona, ranked Malaysian cuisine better than Singaporean food in a new interview.

Referring to Singaporeans, Ng, 31, told Singapore-based news outlet The Straits Times, “You guys just do a weird, less good version of what we do [in Malaysia], to be honest.”