September 18, 2014
by Dos Chinos Food
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Why Use Linen Napkins in Restaurants?

Linen napkins are essential equipment in a restaurant especially when it serves soup or foods that have sauce. This is primarily because they can be messy to eat; requiring you to dab on your face a little to remove any food debris. Although some may prefer to use tissue table napkins to do away with washing, using linen napkins can be very beneficial.

Why Use Linen Napkins in Restaurants?

Using linen napkins are actually cheaper than tissue napkins in the long run. At first, you may find them expensive as it may cost you around $20 to $100 (depending on the type of napkin you decide to buy), but if you calculate the number of tissue napkins you will need on average to serve the needs of the customer, it is actually cheaper.

They also add to the decoration of the table since you can choose designs or fold it according to the restaurant’s theme or to the occasion. It is important to note that when you prepare a table for meals whether you are hosting dinner or running a restaurant, presentation is really very important. This is primarily because humans process with the eyes and first impressions really matter.

Why Use Linen Napkins in Restaurants?

Linen napkins are more durable than paper napkins. It doesn’t instantly tear apart when it gets stained with sauce or any liquid; thus eliminating the need to get a new one. This is especially important if you have kids as customers because, more often than not, they would only play with them and crumple them.

Aside from all that, using reusable napkins can help in reducing the amount of trash we throw away; thus, you will be helping the environment. Even though paper napkins are biodegradable, it takes time for them to decompose and with our overwhelming population, garbage are just piling up in the landfills.

August 30, 2014
by Dos Chinos Food
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Street Food Culture of Latin America and Asians

Street food is actually common in both Mexico and South East Asia. In these countries, you would commonly see food vendors on the street, selling different kinds of foods from vegetables to noodles to other delicacies. As opposed to dining in restaurants, eating street food is actually way cheaper — sometimes even cheaper than fast food chains.

Street Food Culture of Latin America and Asians

In Mexico, you would greatly appreciate their street food culture especially on their holidays. You would actually see dishes that are typical to Latin America such as tortillas, stuffed cheese and vegetables, tacos, and quesadillas. You can also enjoy different recipes for corn as an ingredient and as a food itself. Some recipes that make use of corns include tortillas, gorditas, and some shredded meat and salsa.

In South East Asian countries, on the other hand, rice is definitely the main dish. Their street food would include steamed and fried rice, stir-fried vegetables, spring rolls, as well as noodles. Noodles and the wrappers for spring rolls are usually made up of rice flour. Popular Asian street food dishes include Vietnamese pho, pad Thai, and NasiGoreng.

Another common thing between Mexicans and South East Asians is their love for spicy foods; which is why when you are travelling to these places, you should expect their street foods to be spicy. The types of spices they use, however, may differ as the Asians usually use ginger, garlic, lemongrass, and turmeric to create a flavorful food. Mexicans, on the other hand, use pungent oregano and chipotle. But they also have a common ground in terms of spices because both cultures use cumin and coriander. Aside from that, both also use pork and chicken as their ingredients.

Their street food cultures have also caught the attention of several western and first-world countries. The street food of these countries takes in the form of food stands and food trucks that you commonly see in the train station, at the streets, and at the park.

Street Food Culture of Latin America and Asians

Because of the ease of travel and the growing number of immigrants to other countries, the world has been increasingly diverse; you can see a lot of Asians and Latinos in United States nowadays. This diversity has created the idea of fusing various food cultures in food stations and restaurants. Some restaurants nowadays serve two cuisines at a time; one restaurant may serve Mexican and Vietnamese cuisine, while some may serve Mexican and Thailand cuisines.

Fusing and combining two different cuisines might sound odd for some, but others actually find it delightful; it is just in a matter of the client’s drive to exploring new tastes. Fusion of cuisines actually has two types. One type is the one that was mentioned above where a restaurant serves two or more cuisines. Another type is the use of another culture’s ingredients to make a food that is known for a certain culture.

Street Food Culture of Latin America and Asians

These fusion cuisines are the result of the creative mind of both the owner and the chef of the restaurant. It has opened the mind of the people into embracing the diversity of each culture. It also helps in getting to know other cultures as well; somehow eliminating racism.

August 12, 2014
by Dos Chinos Food
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Cilantro: A Latin-Asian Ingredient

Cilantro, otherwise known as Chinese parsley, is one of the ingredients used in cooking Latin-Asian cuisines. It is a green feather-like herb that has a strong aroma. It is most commonly used to garnish dishes, as well as to add flavor to summer salads. Aside from being a fine food decorative, Cilantro also has its health benefits.

Cilantro: A Latin-Asian Ingredient

Cilantro is said to be very effective in cleansing our bodies with toxin. The chemical composition of cilantro binds with toxic substances, loosening them up from our affected tissues. More often than not, its herbal properties are used by people who are exposed to a toxic metal called Mercury. Its users report reduction of their disoriented state after consuming moderate to large amounts of Cilantro over a period of time.

Aside from that, Cilantro also helps in aiding your digestive health by pain relief caused by intestinal gases. It is also helpful in the treatment of urinary tract infections since it aids in the reduction of inflammation. It is very nutritious as it is rich in vitamins that help in relieving stress, nausea, and headaches as well.

Cilantro: A Latin-Asian Ingredient

As to the taste of Cilantro, opinions really differ from person to person. It has a strange taste and aroma which is very difficult to describe. Although several people like its fresh and pungent flavor, a few of them strongly dislike the taste of cilantro as they claim it tastes soapy.

Depending on your purpose of using Cilantro, its preparation actually differs. If you want to treat your indigestion or colic, you need to prepare a cilantro tea preparation. However, if you want to prevent infections on your open wound, you might want to crush the herb first and then sprinkle it on the wound before washing it with soap and water. Note that these are only recommended when your condition is not yet severe as it is intended only as home remedy.

May 26, 2014
by Dos Chinos Food
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Asian Fusion Restaurants

The fusion or the blending of cuisines has been a trend among restaurants for a while now. Many might not have noticed it primarily because they are too busy to look around or they’ve enjoyed their food too much. Some of the fusion cuisines you usually see nowadays are the mix of Latin and Vietnamese foods that are served in one restaurant.

Asian Fusion Restaurants

Note that when we say “fusion”, it is not technically the mixing of different ingredients from two cuisines, but merely serving both cuisines side by side. Their menu would basically consist of two or more types cuisines; mostly Asian and Latin recipes. This idea of fusing cuisines has been thought of maybe because the world has a diverse culture. With the influence of the media, people nowadays become curious in tasting other dishes other than their own. And because colonization is common during our early years, some dishes we know have actually been influenced by the food from other cultures.

In some cities and states, in fact, you can find a food strip that would bring you around the world. You would see restaurants that serve various dishes from Asia to Europe to South America to US. And because some restaurant owners want to hit two birds in one stone, they decided to fuse two cuisines.

It is important to note that although two cuisines have been fused and served in one restaurant, they have, for the most part, built a high wall around themselves to distinguish their difference from one another. However, this wall can be broken with authority; that is, it depends upon the restaurant’s chef and its manager as well.

There are food fusions wherein a food that is based primarily on one culture is prepared using the ingredients that is inherent to another culture. Take for example, taco pizzas which are a combination of European and Hispanic cuisine; the pizza is made up of cheddar, pepper jack cheese, salsa, and other ingredients of taco. Another example is that of a rolling maki wherein different types of rice are used with cheese, and salsa.

Asian Fusion Restaurants

Restaurants like these usually have a high risk of failing. However, its success can be attributed to several factors. One is the cultural diversity of your target market. If you are staying in a city wherein there is a wide range of diversity in terms of race and culture, it would be best that you do a survey first. These surveys can be in a form of questionnaire or an ocular survey will do. You can also try to get information with the local government as to what cultures comprise the majority of the population.

Aside from that, it also depends upon the travel practices of the population. More often than not, their preference of food would depend upon the places they have traveled to; they usually try new cuisines in their travels and when they like it, they would usually go to restaurants in their hometown that serves these dishes.

Asian Fusion Restaurants

Lastly, it would also depend upon their openness to try new food. Some clients are picky with food and they tend to eat only those that they are familiar with. This, however, can be changed through proper marketing and advertising of the products.

May 12, 2014
by Dos Chinos Food
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Don Chinos Food Truck

Food is the most basic necessity of all living creatures in the planet besides air. This is basically the reason why one of the most promising business ventures is that of the food business. One of the rising sectors in this industry is that of the food trucks.

Don Chinos Food Truck

A food truck is a travelling food business that enables one to sell anytime, anywhere as long as it is not prohibited. You can usually see them in parks or at public beaches. One of the famous food trucks we have today is the Don Chinos Food Truck that serves customers with a mixture of Latin-Asian cuisine.

What makes Dos Chinos unique from the rest is that they allow you to choose what type and how you like your meat to be cooked; from Vietnamese to Korean style, and you can even choose to go tropical. They have different combos you could choose from; taco, burrito, and quesadilla combos.

Don Chinos Food Truck

They also serve Ala Carte Style for just a small price. Their menu serves Latin-American dishes which include Papas Fritas Con Carne. Aside from that, they also have specialty drinks where you could choose whether you choose Asian or Latin flavored drinks.

Because of their Asian dishes, they are one of the most-sought after fast food trucks for Asians as they also serve rice.

April 14, 2014
by Dos Chinos Food
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Korean-Mexican Fusion Dishes

One of the famous Korean-Mexican fusion dishes in some of the food trucks in California is the Bul-Kogi beef, otherwise known as bulgogi. It is a traditional Korean dish consists of thin-cut sirloin and other prime cut beefs.

Korean-Mexican Fusion Dishes

In preparing Korean BulKogi Beef, you need to marinate the beef first with the mixture of garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, red wine, beef stock, black pepper, and scallions for 1-2 hours or more. Although marinating ingredients and recipe may vary accordingly, those are actually the basic ingredients. Soy sauce and sesame oil forms the base of the marinade sauce, meanwhile the rest of the ingredients create the characteristic flavor of the dish. To achieve best results, you should use high quality steak cuts like that of a tender sirloin. It is important to note that they should thinly sliced before you marinate them. After marinating, the beef is then ready to be grilled and is usually served with rice according to preference.

Kogi beef became so popular in the United States mainly because the beef is so tender that in can melt in your mouth. The quality of the beef used and the tenderizing process of the beef make this dish very delicious, capturing the tastes of the majority. It is important to note that the key to tenderizing this type of beef is that you have to pat it in the opposite direction of its texture using the back of your knife. This process, however, may take time; which is why it is highly recommended that you tenderize it while you are on the process of marinating.

Korean-Mexican Fusion Dishes

Because of its flavorful and out of the ordinary taste, no wonder it has become popular among Americans. These Kogi beefs are commonly fused together with traditional Mexican home-made tortillas. The most popular fusion truck serving this type of cuisine is actually the Kogi BBQ which already has 5 food trucks and one bar located in Los Angeles, California. Kogi BBQ’s food truck serves tacos that are filled with Kogi beef, Kogi hotdogs, kimchi quesadillas, and other dishes; all of which use the traditional way of marinating Kogi beef.

The fusion of two cuisines in one restaurant has become increasingly popular today primarily because of the diversity of culture living in one place. Everybody has become adventurous in terms of food that they would actually want to try anything that is new to them.

February 13, 2014
by Dos Chinos Food
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Dried Shrimps in Latin-Asian Cuisines

Dried shrimp is a popular ingredient in Latin and Asian cuisines nowadays. It is small, orange-pink in appearance, but has a strong flavor despite its size. It is a shrimp that has been shelled, salted, and sun dried. It has become a popular snack primarily because they are used in a wide variety of cooking. They can be added in soups, stews, chowders, noodles, and stir-fries in order to add a salty and sweet flavoring to the dish.

Dried Shrimps in Latin-Asian Cuisines

When using dried shrimps in stir fries, you need to soak them briefly for reconstitution. Note that, the amount of time you need to reconstitute them depends actually on the size of the shrimp; although, it is very easy to see when they’ve already plumped up. Dry the soaked shrimps using a paper towel and then add them to the stir fry at the last few minutes of your cooking.

You can also cook dried shrimps by grinding it up in the food processor. You can use them as special flavorings to your sushi rolls, gumbos, chowder, and soups. Because they have a very salty and strong flavor, it is essential that you make sure to only use only a little bit of it to keep it from becoming too overwhelming to the taste buds. To ensure that you have added enough, try to add a little at a time and frequently taste your dish; adding more until the flavor suits to your liking.

Dried Shrimps in Latin-Asian Cuisines

They are also a good substitute for salt; which is why it is also advisable for you to add them in to your gumbos, soups, and chowders. Remember that when you include dried shrimps to your recipe, you may do away with adding salt to keep it from becoming too salty.

You may also mix the dried shrimps and fry in a pan with bacon, okra, Chinese cabbage, and chicken stocks. In fact, they can also be added to green beans and asparagus dishes. Aside from that, you can also braise it with tofu and your preferred seasoning. Note that what go well with dried shrimps are garlic, ginger, and soy sauce.

Dried Shrimps in Latin-Asian Cuisines

With great imagination and experimentation, you will be able to create various dishes with dried shrimps. You can also fuse it with other cultural cuisines. Note, however, that it would take much practice and mastery in order to achieve its delightful taste. Another thing to remember is that you need to ensure that the people who are going to eat your dish are not allergic to shrimps to avoid dangerous reactions to their health.

January 11, 2014
by Dos Chinos Food
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Commonly Used Spices in Latin and Asian Dishes

Latin and Asian dishes are two very different cuisines. While Asians are big on fishes and vegetables; Mexicans, on the other hand, are big on meats. However different they are in so many ways, some of their dishes use the same ingredients; and these are spices. Both cultures actually love to sprinkle their food with spices to serve an appetizing meal.

Commonly Used Spices in Latin and Asian Dishes

One of the most common spices these two cultures use is Saffron. Saffron is actually a dried yellow stigma of a small flower called purple crocus. This flower only provides 3 stigmas that should be carefully picked and dried; making it very labor-intensive. It actually takes 225,000 stigmas in order to produce a pound of saffron; thus, making it the world’s most expensive spice. Fortunately, it only takes a pinch of this spice to make a colorful and flavorful dish.

An inexpensive alternative to Saffron is the Turmeric spice, otherwise known as the “poor man’s saffron”. You can buy ground turmeric or the whole seeds for grinding. Although it costs much less, it also yields the bright yellow coloring that the saffron gives to the dishes. However, its flavor is bland with a bit of earthiness. It also tastes bitter when consumed in larger amounts.

Commonly Used Spices in Latin and Asian Dishes

Another spice common to them is Cumin, which is an orange colored spice. It gives an earthy sweetness with the slightest hint of bitterness. It is sold in the market whole or ground and in three different colors: amber, white, or black. The most common of the three is amber; however, black has the most complex flavor.

Cayenne pepper is also used in both Latin and Asian dishes since it is readily available everywhere. It is deep red color and it is a spicy mixture of capsicum pepper pods and seeds. It is used in its flesh, dried, or powdered forms. Because of its spicy flavor, it is one of the main ingredients in various hot sauces, most especially those that use vinegar as a preservative.

Lastly, both cultures use paprika in some of their spicy dishes. Paprika is usually mistaken for cayenne pepper primarily because of its bright red color and its spicy taste. High quality paprika can be imported from Spain or from Latin America. However, there are also domestic varieties available in the groceries; but, they will only give out less flavorful taste. It is available in ground form and it should be stored properly to maintain its flavor.