Roichen Bites the Dust

It was good for a while….Roichen ceramic pans. I bought two and reviewed them here and then later, here. But then the coating started to rub off. And then things just kept sticking, requiring more scrubbing, which took more ceramic coating off. Until it was just plain frustrating to use. Actually, my Dad threw one away when he visited recently. So…Roichen…isn’t so good afterall. Sorry guys.

Next pan I’m trying is one of those carbon/graphite coated ones. And so far, THAT has been amazing. I can get a good sear with meat. Eggs cook great. I don’t have to fuss over finding the perfect temperature. Will see how this goes!

Meat oh Meat, Why Must I Love Thee?

I recently watched Cowspiracy, a documentary by Kip Andersen whose most recent cut is directed by Leonardo DiCaprio. It blew me away. The case against animal protein has been around for a while. While I’d acknowledge the merits to what they were saying, I’d rationalize and find other justifications to keep eating meat. I know the benefits of eating vegetables over meat…and I don’t consider myself a heavy meat eater anyways. I try to keep to serving sizes as recommended by Health Canada even though I know the recommendations by WHO is actually lower. I also acknowledge there are some awfully inhumane animal processing practices out there, because how else are you going to produce so much meat so cheaply and quickly? So I try to by organic or free range or grass fed where possible (read: convenient). I generally don’t have moral issues with eating animal products. I feel that domestic animals are for human use and consumption, so long as we treat the animal with respect and not take it for granted. Kind of like in Avatar where they thank the animal for giving its life for their food. Plus I’m Cantonese and we take pride in our diversity of food and flavors and ability to use the whole animal whether it is from above ground, on the ground, below ground or in the sea. There is very little wasted. 

But this documentary…wow. Scientists predict fishless oceans by 2048…that’s in my lifetime. I do not want that kind of world for us or Nessness. The numbers behind how much agribusiness negatively and devastatingly impacts our planet just astounds me. It’s not as though you could fudge the numbers and round up and sway the argument in its favor. And it IS very curious that none of our local champions of environment care organizations mentions how eating animal products have a direct impact on our environment. Could it really be that the massive and enormously wealthy animal lobbyist groups have bought everyone out? 

Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 sq ft of forested land, 20 lbs CO2 equivalent, and one animal’s life. – Cowspiracy

If enough of us change from our meat-centered life-styles, these are some real numbers that can actually help the health of the planet more than recycling or conserving water and electricity in your home. But going from meat lover to vegan? Or to vegetarian? Or even in just cutting red meat? I’m struggling. Why didn’t I watch this AFTER I made some ox-tail stew or osso buco or rack of lamb or prime rib roast??? 

I’m working it out…struggling. I might not even be “that bad” in meat consumption (much less than 9oz a day which is the American daily average.) But one thing is certain, I have to change. Question is how? Follow our journey as we try to figure this out.

Roichen Still Pretty Good

A while ago I raved about the Roichen ceramic pan I wrote about here. And then I received a comment asking how it was now. It’s a great question and this is my followup reply :

The Riochen pan is still holding up well. I can fry an egg and get it crispy. I can get a nice sear with meat and stir fry. You do need some oil (I use grapeseed oil). You also need to figure out the right temperature so that the egg or meat lifts off by itself when is cooked enough. Cleaning it is still pretty easy. I would caution against using rough scrubbing sponges on it.

Just make sure you are buying the real thing. I bought a non-Riochen ceramic pan after this one and it’s terrible. Everything I cook sticks to the bottom (even with a lot of oil) and requires heavy scrubbing to clean it after. My Dad hates cooking with it and tells me to throw it away every time he visits.


(Image not mine)I am very very very sad to share that the Chinese doctor I’m seeing for my thyroid condition has advised I cannot eat seafood for ONE YEAR.

One year!!!

That’s no sushi. No sashimi. No seaweed. No crab or lobster or shrimp. No KING crab. No mussles or oysters or clams or scallops. No abalone. No squid or octopus or jelly fish. No sea bass or ling cod or salmon or tuna. NO. SEA. FOOD.


It’s a total first world problem…but hey, if I lived by the sea and seafood was the predominate food source this could be a real problem. Wait…I DO live by the sea! Bwwwaaaaaa!!!

Pulled-together rationale: Seafood contains iodine. It is especially high in seaweed. Iodine is essential to the thyroid for making thyroid hormones which regulate metabolism amongst a whole host of other processes in our bodies. Most North Americans have the problem of an underactive thyroid hence our table salt is iodized to reduce hypothyroidism in the population. Having Graves Disease means my thyroid is already on the hyperactive side so I need to greatly reduce iodine intake to reduce thyroid hormone production. Yes that  means I don’t use regular table salt and I try to make most sauces and dressings from scratch so I can monitor its salt content. I can’t escape eating iodine, but by cutting seafood out, I greatly reduce the intake.

On a more positive note…at least this restriction isn’t forever. And if it can help me go into remission…I’m going to do it.

It still sucks a$$ not being able to eat seafood though.

Highlight in SFO

Skywalker and I recently went on a road trip to San Francisco. More details and pictures to share later but first want to point out one of the highlights of our trip. A little Thai restaurant was recommended to us by a friend and conveniently it was just a five minute walk from our Chinatown hotel so we tried it out. To the delight of our eyes and wallets, we saw this:


I have never ever seen such low prices for beer! The food was also tasty and well priced (though it can’t be compared to the food in Thailand of course) so we definitely recommend you to check this place out if you’re in San Fran.

And in case you’re wondering….we only had one beer each. I know.