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‘Crayfish’ Is Now a Major

Spring has sprung! Along with the warmer temperatures, the time for consuming copious amounts of spicy crayfish and cold beer on a flimsy plastic table in the middle of the busy sidewalk is coming.

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Photo by Mark Fischer via 

Hoorah. We love it.

The upcoming crayfish season is also great for a clever bunch of students who are China’s very first batch of graduates from Jianghan Vocational School’s specialty school of crayfish.


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All 130 students who started this program back in 2017 have already found employment months before graduation this year. The students have scored jobs in logistics companies, wholesale markets, and large restaurant chains. With the average monthly salary of a crayfish chef with 3 years of experience going for between ¥30,000 – ¥50,000, approximately 6-10 times that of the national average, these kids are going places. Forget that M.B.A. program, mastering the art of crayfish is where it’s at.

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Originally hailing from the southern U.S. state of Louisiana, the red swamp crayfish was brought to China by the Japanese during the second world war. The invasive species quickly spread and became a major nuisance to rice farmers by destroying seedlings and making holes in paddy fields. This all changed in the early 1990s when ingenious street food vendors began frying up the pests by the wok-full and serving them in steaming piles of pure deliciousness.


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Thanks to the success of the program, the college is expanding the number of spaces available up to 200 and introducing new courses such as restaurant management, marketing, and even crayfish farming.

Are you ready to go crazy for crayfish?

We’re ready to chow down on 小龙虾  – aka XiaoLongXia or as the literal translation goes, Little Dragon Shrimp.


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Happy Pi(e) Day!

3.14159265359…. the fun just keeps going and going!

Now that March 14th (3.14, duh!) is here, it’s time to celebrate the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Pretty thrilling stuff, eh?


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It wouldn’t be rational (just like pi itself!) to skip today without a big bite of baked sweet berry pie, a steaming hot shepherd’s pie, or even a slice of pizza pie. Just remember to say thanks to math for helping humanity to understand circles.

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If you’re going to go full-out for this geeky holiday, try putting Ang Lee’s incredible ‘Life of Pi’ movie while you’re at it.

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What’s your go-to pie for celebrating pi?


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Incredible Chinese Food Videos from Li Ziqi

With VPN connections to the outside world severed lately (cough, thanks Two Meetings!), we’ve turned to the Chinese language web to look for delicious foodie content.

Much thanks to our Sherpa’s customer Gordon from Seattle for introducing us to the fantastic videos of Li Ziqi (李子柒).

Apparently, we’re slow to the game as she first gained popularity back in 2017, but she’s just started on her second season of short videos on Youku. It’s the perfect time to start watching. Altogether there are 68 videos in the first season and three in the second at the time of writing. Ziqi aims to produce one new video each week.

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Born in Mianyang, Sichuan, Ziqi was orphaned at a young age and moved in with her grandparents in the countryside. She lived and worked in the city as a young adult, but chose to return to the countryside to take care of her grandmother after her grandfather passed away.

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She started to shoot and edit incredible videos highlighting ancient-style recipes and techniques for cooking. She does everything herself from harvesting the ingredients, scavenging for mushrooms, mashing beans on a hand-cranked stone grinder, and cooking the final dish on a wok over an old-school fire oven. The only technology is her DSLR camera and fancy Apple iMac.

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She even has videos showcasing how to make bamboo furniture, craft wool clothes from scratch, and D.I.Y. printmaking! All these videos take place in an idyllic, peaceful nature setting. It’s a relaxing change from the usual hustle and bustle of China.

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We’ve watched mouthwatering videos on mountain chicken fried rice, pomelo tea, mapo tofu, and char-grilled wild mushrooms.

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A word of warning though: every single dish she creates looks absolutely amazing. You will be consumed by food cravings, and there’s no way to get homestyle dishes like these unless you hop on the next plane to Sichuan.

Have any of you checked out Li Ziqi’s videos? Which ones are your favourites? Let us know in the comments below.

P.S. If you can make it on YouTube, Ziqi’s fans have also uploaded her videos there. You can check them out with less of those annoying unskippable ads. Hoo rah!


2019 Oscar Winners (And Their Food Pairings)

Yesterday was one of the biggest award shows of the year, so in case you missed it we are bringing you the Oscar results. However, because of some lame copyright laws we can’t show you actual pictures of the movies or the night.

This is about the closest to an Oscars image we can get (Photo by Samuel Zeller via Unsplash)

Instead we’re going to list the winners with beautiful images of food that we think best matches the movie!

It’s kind of like a wine pairing, but with Oscar winning movies. Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, Sherpa’s presents to you, (some of) the 2019 Oscar winners…

Best Movie – “Green Book” – Durian

Controversial winner Green Book is the worst rated best picture to win Best Movie since “Crash”, are you following? It’s the story of an unlikely road-trip friendship between musician and composer Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) and night club bouncer Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen).

Photo by Gliezl Bancal via Unsplash

It left a unpleasant taste in some mouths, and a pungent backlash on twitter, while some still defended it as a feel-good movie that deserved the award, so what better food to pair than durian.

Recommended dishes: Durian Cheeseburger (Grinder Burger), Baked Durian (Awana), Durian Pizza (Pizza Hut), Durian Cheesecake (Culsec)


Best Director – Alfonso Cuaron “Roma”  Mexican

Although Roma missed out on Best Movie, director Alfonso Cuaron got the well-deserved Best Director award. “Roma” is a semi-autobiographical drama film set in 1970s Colonia Roma neighbourhood of Mexico City and follows the life of a live-in housekeeper of a middle-class family.

Photo by Natasha Bhogal via Unsplash

Receiving 10 nominations and winning 3 awards, it was the most popular foreign film of the night. It’s highly rated, enjoyable with friends, but does end with some disturbing images.

Recommended dishes: Pipian Chicken Verde Burrito (Cantina Agave), Tortilla Chips (La Coyota), Ground Beef Enchiladas (Pistolera)


Best Actor – Rami Malek “Bohemian Rhapsody” – Tofu

Bohemian Rhapsody topped all other winners, taking home the Oscar in four categories. Rami Malek plays Freddie Mercury in this biographical film about the lead singer of the British rock band Queen. Despite receiving mixed reviews upon its release, there is an echo of a great performance by Rami Malek.

Photo by Jingyi Wang via Unsplash

Why tofu? There are devoted fans that wouldn’t say a bad word about it but the truth is, without all the ‘song and dance’ it’s boring and soulless.

Recommended dishes: Silken Tofu Curry (Jujube Tree), Mapo Tofu (Han Mama), Deep-Fried Tofu (Heng Shan Xiao Guan)


Best Actress – Olivia Coleman “The Favourite” – Pie

Olivia Coleman’s tear-jerking speech gave the humble actress the recognition she truly deserved with a stellar performance. The Favourite is a historical period comedy-drama set in early 18th century England examining the relationship between two cousins competing to be court favourites of Queen Anne.

Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem via Unsplash

Pies date back to medieval England and are defined by their outer-layer; from the outside it’s hard to know what to expect but with a good crust and a well-seasoned, hearty filling the results are always good.

Recommended dishes: Bee Cheese Pie (Pie Society), Kafta Brimo Pie (1001 Nights), Pumpkin Pie (Pie Bird)

Don’t agree with our food pairings? Let us know in the comments below!