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CULLINARY THRILL SEEKING — Get set for TET with cultural flavors

Dried baby sardines make Taiwanese bar snacks, and ramen stacks make burger buns. If you like a little rap with your marbled eggs, Canadian Trevor Lui will set you up.

He’s so fusion his Chinese history has gotten Nashville hot. “The Double Happiness Cookbook’ offers “88 Feel-Good Recipes and Food Stories” that can help flavor your Lunar New Year season.

Stories and flavors sound so good you’ll want to hang out with this tattooed globe trotter who seems to have a different sassy  T-shirt for every global market he shops. I’m so endeared to his “food saved my life” concepts that I’ll forgive him the one I think in this book I could pass on: NOLA-Style Vegan Gumbo. In Texas, we’re too close to NOLA. It’s too soon, Mr. Lui. But I still want to hang with you.


TET Time

Friday/Feb. 12 is the New Year with Port Arthur’s Vietnamese shops prepping for the year of the ox/buffalo, said to bring prosperity and wellness. Bring it. Here are some other flavors the spark your senses:



A couple of  self-proclaimed dorks and their friends are inviting you to shop their noods at

They’re a mix of chefs, gamers and fun folk who think paying a fare wage and producing good ramen noodles is a good thing, because sometimes “everything you eat can have everything you need.”

The future of food is nutritionally complete, says their entertaining site offering mixtures such as Vegan White Miso and Garlic Pork Tonkotsu. This means quick noodles in a packet that takes just as long as those famously cheap and highly processed versions.

But these taste fresh and do have some essential vitamins, minerals and protein without artificial preservatives or frying. In a few minutes you can be slurping your noodles, just as these dorks invite you to.

A friend of mine cooked some up, and his guest proclaimed, “It’s like eating health.”


Ricante Everything Sauce

Is noting three times over the course of a meal how good the pineapple sauce is normal? For me, yes, but my husband also could not stop saying it.

Ricante’s new line of Everything Sauce got him going in the Tropical Pineapple Habanero-Infused version. The thick sauce from a bottle dressed up some leftover turkey like you wouldn’t believe.

It’s actually from Costa Rica, but the sweet and spicy of it all fits in with this Culinary Thrill Seeking theme. In addition to the flavor, I loved the yellow colors with colorful red and green specs that celebrate Costa Rican paradise. New flavor profiles let you “come to the rescue in a variety of culinary situations.” Yes!

Tropical Guanabana ChimiChurri will likely be my favorite. I feel like I’m on the beach. Everything means dipping, marinating, salad dressing, reducing, etc. How freeing that word can be.

I’m using the “approachable spice” and it does leave you wanting more. While New Year’s cabbage was priced right, I used the Mango Cocoa version in a slaw. Tamarindo went on eggs. Guanabana Chimi Churri went on “everything” like the makers suggest. Look for products at Whole Foods. They are Keto-friendy and Whole30 approved.

It’s like Tex-Joy with the local steak seasoning. We do use it on “everything.”


Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie who loves to experience other cultures. Tell her about yours at


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