干锅土豆片 (Sizzling Sliced Potato with Pork), taken by Alicia Chow.
  1. Take the first bite of your chosen spicy food. Ignore how red the dish looks, the amount of chili piled onto it. It can’t be that bad, right? It’s just for show.
  2. Raise the food to your mouth, eyes watering at how good and spicy it smells. The savory heat tickles your nose, luring you in. You bite.
  3. Take in how delicious it is. It’s so tasty, flavor bursting across your tongue like fireworks — hot, bright, and burning. It burns so bad.
  4. Down water to chase away the fire that’s raging in your mouth. It doesn’t help; if anything…


A series of vignettes on love, heartache, discovery — and most importantly, boba.

An inviting cup of milk tea with pearl, shot by Samantha Fang (@sweetnsam_)

A lot of online quizzes do this. That’s how they get you — they make you think your favorite food will reveal something about you, that your favorite color opens up your inner thoughts, that your hopes and dreams lie at the bottom of your latte. They say they can tell your personality from your boba order, your sun sign, or any other various tidbits of information that only make up a fraction of the person you really are. They think they know you. They don’t.

Let’s pretend. Pretend that all the boba orders you’ve memorized could tell you something…


Image by Samantha Fang, @sweetnsam_

Home is not a place, but a feeling…

三杯面粉对一杯水,my grandma instructs

Reverting to gravelly mother tongue in a drowning Florida

My mother learns this craft with me — three generations

pinching flour and water together

Two pairs of clumsy fingers turning clever

One satisfied family, feasting

Hawaiian suns shine through the window facing Mauna Kea

On palms shaping rough dough into something of magic

Massaging simple ingredients into flesh-warmed skin

揉两百次。。。 sore hands become strong

Firm and supple, life-giving

Roll wrappers to hold spiced meat and egg

(一定要放姜,去腥)

Tasting like only home can

On the 19th floor watching fireworks

the kitchen bustles with laughter as flour gets everywhere

Alicia Chow

Eating since 1999, writing since I learned how to! Usually based in the Bay Area, currently based in Hong Kong. Passionate about anything food-related!

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