“I don’t know why I don’t know how, but my best friend was a cow”.

In a town where passing clouds are the most exciting thing to see, you can either try to live or otherwise you better flee. The rising of the sun can make a devastating noise, as can the mountain moving half an inch with its loud voice. Here I was born, not much to do. Here I was born to love you.

OK that will do for now. Sounds like a country song to me, I can hear the melody already. How different it is for Joel, born in Taipei city  with a lot of people. … about 8,5 million. Say that again please…… 8,5 MILLION PEOPLE! I don’t know where to begin, this is mind boggling. Can you actually reach the outskirts of town, can you get lost and found again in a city like that? How far lives your grandmother from your front door? Or does she live with you? Too many questions, to many scenarios! A little town I can handle, but something that big, that gigantic… So Joel left town, and came to the Netherlands to the small town of Utrecht. At least for him it is a small town, with its canals, little bridges, and the famous DOM-tower. At its max it’s 10 minutes cycling and Joel has left the building, ehhh the city walls, and he is out in nature. A calming forest with long lanes where he can stroll in the shadow of the trees, and hear the birds tweeting, “tweet, tweet,” … or was that his mobile phone?


Being a kid of this time, electronics are never far away, and he has to because his family lives on the other side of this globe! In the small town of Utrecht he is more alone than in that multi million city in the east. How does he survive? How does he keep his good spirits? Studying Biology at the University of Utrecht, he is doing research on EMR, or electromagnetic radiation, or what ever that is. Ask him, ask Joel form Taipei, he is your man on the subject.


But after classes, the research for Taiwanese food is on his agenda. I meet him outside the “Amazing Orientel” store on the Amsterdamse Straatweg in Utrecht. His first stop in scouting the supermarket is at a tin of  ground fried  fish from of course Taiwan. Very good for making sushi, the downside is it doesn’t taste like fish! Next stop is at the weed shelves, that is the sea-weed! It is probably easier to get weed in Utrecht than this circular disc of dried sea-weed where you just break of the piece you need for your soup. It is a rare find. Then we arrive at the soft little baby feet section!, Yes, these Taiwanese rice-cakes are so tender, they feel like baby feet! Next, Joel wants to show me that healthy food is very important, and he picks a bottle of soy bean paste. To me it looks like the water out of the canals in Utrecht. And while I ask this, he admits that it is not so nice! I have to say, Joel is a very nice and calm person, and willing to teach and learn. Eager to hear from me how to make a home-made pizza, and I am not even Italian!


Here you have his written recipe for fried rice, from Joel, from Taipei, from Taiwan, probably from his mother. So give it a try.

1. rice
2. meat (could be what ever you like but without bone in it, e.g. chicken breast, salmon, beef, pork) – needs to be cut into small peaces
3. vegetables (could be what ever you like, you can also buy cut vegetables in the supermarket, e.g. carrot, leek, tomato, celery) – again,need to be cut into small peaces
4. eggs
5. oil
6. sauce: depends on what you like, tomato sauce or soy sauce. or just add salt that is also fine.

1. First you have to cook the rice. You can use a rice cooker or pot. Just don’t make it too wet. If the rice is too wet, then it is better to put it in room temperature overnight.
2. Then get a pan to fry the chopped vegetables with oil. (Don’t use too much oil, just 2/3 of a tea spoon of it. While frying it you must mix it frequently) Put the fried vegetables on a clean plate.
3. Put the chopped meat in a bowl and add some salt. You can add some soy sauce if you like. Leave it for couple of minutes and then fry it.(don’t add too much oil, while frying it also must be mixed frequently)
4. Make the scrambled egg then add all the material from previous steps(1 to 3) into the pan. Mix it well, add some oil and salt depending on your taste. In this step you can add some soy sauce or tomato sauce.(If you want to do this you must not add too much salt in the beginning otherwise it will be not very good for your blood pressure)
5. Turn off the fire when the fried rice is mixed well and that’s it.
p.s. Normally this dish will take 20-30 min depending on the quantity you want to make.
You can also use the left over to make fried rice, I believe many restaurant in China do so. It will enhance the flavor.

So next time when you see Joel, say hello and thank him for the recipe

Amazing Oriental Amsterdamsestraatweg 299 3551 CG Utrecht Tel: 030 223817


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