Korea

Losing everything is not the end

In the early December 2014, one of my best friends shared with me about her worry. She learned that her parents are likely to lose a major proportion of their savings due to unfavorable investment.

She asked me to pray for her parents, I will be praying everyday! My prayer list is getting very long, but as I have lived longer, I have witnessed that some of my prayers have been answered miraculously. Thank you very much!

servicefromheart the praying hands of baby Ren never lose hope

I know her parents. They are honest and hardworking people, who started from zero and have become a hero and a heroine for their children, their past customers, their subordinates and their suppliers. My friend once shared the secret of their parents being given opportunities by their suppliers: reliability. They always pay their business loans no matter how difficult the circumstances are.

Her mother is a very frugal lady who bought only new clothes for the new year. Nevertheless, when the family went out with friends of their children, the parents would generously treat others.

Her father is in his 60s. In recent years, my friend felt that it is better for her father to enjoy the fruit of his labor and hardwork done over the past years and decades. However, a single turning point in life has changed everything. He left with much little of what he has saved a-dollar by a-dollar, if not cents by cents over years and decades.

I also empathize with my friend and feel her pressure. She belongs to a sandwich generation. She has to support not only two generations before and after her: her parents and her children, respectively, but also her younger sibling. I am proud of my friend, showing the quality of filial piety. I tried to encourage her that bearing a great responsibility is a privilege. Only the capable and the trustworthy are shouldered with such great tasks of life.

We love to and must take inspirations from the past generations who are able to turn adversity into something positive (逢凶化吉).

♥ ♥ ♥

Among many inspiring talks that I attended in Cambridge, UK, was a talk delivered by the extremely intrepid Christina Dodwell, a British explorer, travel writer, and lecturer.

She vividly described her 1975 trip to Africa with a girlfriend and two men. The men stole their jeep, leaving the women stranded with nothing. Her remark, “Losing everything is not the end,” echoes in my mind that is subconsciously searching for stories to encourage my friend. Christina and her friends then found two wild horses to ride; they survived!

♥ ♥ ♥

Another story that I first learned from Hui, is about Lim Tow Yong 林道荣 (1925-20120407), a legendary founder of Emporium Holdings that owned Oriental Emporium (英保良) retail business. Lim lived a roller-coaster life of fortune and success, yet he always show tenacity and never-say-die spirit.

With a humble beginning as a farmer’s son in Suatow (仙都乡), Jinshizhen (金石镇), Chao’An (潮安县), Chaozhou (潮州市), China, Lim ventured to Nanyang in 1940. Hardworking, visionary, charismatic, and a talented polyglot (English, Mandarin, Malay, Hokkien, Cantonese and Hainanese), Lim grew his business, spreading all over Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei and Hong Kong. It was thriving until 1985.

In 1988, the 63-year-old Lim Tow Yong was declared a bankrupt by Singapore high court. Most people would have given up but not Lim Tow Yong.

In 1990s, Lim started another departmental chain in Sabah, and later Brunei and Labuan, with sheer determination and hardwork. In 1999, Lim Tow Yong was finally discharged from bankruptcy. He sold his business in mid-2000s and became a millionaire once again at 79.

Losing everything is not the end, as long as you are still alive.
Losing everything is not the end, as long as your love, hope, ideas and wisdom are alive in the heart of people whom you care.

♥ ♥ ♥

All these three stories also made me reflect on investment. I was asked by two men older than me, “if you know any safe investment with good return, please let us know.” The eldest, who is going to celebrate his 41st birthday tomorrow, aims to have USD 1million.

You don’t know about real loss, ’cause it only occurs when you’ve loved something more than you love yourself.” ~ Good Will Hunting

After thinking and reflecting, I conclude that the best investment is on yourself. Seek knowledge. Master unique skills. Use your knowledge and skills to serve others from the bottom of your heart. Be creative and productive.

You want to transform yourself into a precious talent, such that as you grow older, you become more valuable than ever. As days pass, you become highly desirable to give positively-impactful advice to ordinary people and Fortune 500 companies. As years go, you are wanted for your unique talent and tremendous creativity. As decades change, you give your best to the world, and the world will shower you with more opportunities to make your investment grow many folds.

Invest in goodwill. Love people. Help others and do favors without expecting a favor in return. The power of the universe will do you favors especially when you need it, in unexplainable manners, in unexpected ways.

With love
ServicefromHeart
20141204

Thank you post to Jen

Dear Jen

I hope you are doing very well.

This week, I attended a talk by a charming professor from Korea, who looks like a slender Korean pop star. She is 45 years old but appears as youthful as 30s.

Professor Ham immediately reminded me on you, Jen! Both Professor Ham and you are highly enthusiastic, confident and knowledgeable.

ServicefromHeart Thank you post to Jen be like water

I would also not forget how Sir went an extra mile to dim the projector by climbing onto the table.  It is an inspiration for delivering service from our most sincere hearts.

Both you and Professor Ham are interested in the molecular mechanism of amyloid-beta in the Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia.

Sadly, most people will develop Alzheimer’s, if they live long enough.  But again, this experience beats the other alternative – dying young.

Of course, everyone wants to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s.  Recently, I learned that just by inheriting a copy of APOE4 allele (alternative form of the gene) on chromosome 19, increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.  About a quarter of people carry an APOE4 allele, that codes for the ApoE4 protein.

The ApoE4 protein strongly promotes the deposition of amyloid-beta in the brain, and ApoE are made by neurons under stress. No matter what happens, let us calm down and be stress-free. Choose and decide on happiness.

In the middle of Professor Ham’s talk, she gave us a quiz. Simply put, she asked a question to reinforce the concepts that she was sharing.

While a student, I have been trained rigorously to find patterns (including similarities) in my study projects. I could not help noticing that both Prof Ham and you have beautiful eyes and long delicate fingers with a ring and polished nails, that both of you use aptly to explain some (difficult) concepts.

Recalling how we met, it was a serendipitous one for me at the staircase outside the CyberCafe that encircles the pyramid. Thank you for offering your help in the technical details of my projects. You were a God-sent angel to me, then a struggling student.

I must also credit you for introducing me to Andy, from whom I get to know other awesome mentors.

Herein, I express how much I am thankful for your early guidance in my formative years in Cambridge.

Many thanks
ServicefromHeart
20140602

K for kimchi for #AtoZChallenge: kimchi longan pancake recipe

Hello Korean food fan! Kimchi (김치 in Hangul) is a Korean national dish that has gone global. The most popular kimchi are fremented from napa cabbage, radish, scallion, or cucumber as a main ingredient. My favorite kimchi includes sweet lotus root kimchi, what are yours?

In Singapore, I bought spicy & sour kimchi from NTUC Fairprice. Perhaps one day we can also try the special low-calorie and vitamin-rich version of Korean space kimchi, publicized as starship kimchi, that was designed for the astronauts Ko San / 고산 / 高山 & Yi So-Yeon / 이소연 / 李素妍, the first Korean and the second Asian woman (defined as a female resident of an Asian country) to fly in space.

For #AtoZChallenge on 2014 April 12 Sat, I lovingly present a kimchi longan pancake recipe by ServicefromHeart.

kimchi longan pancake recipe by ServicefromHeart

Thanks to Korean drama series & movies through Korean diaspora, we have been introduced to delicious Korean food.

You can refer to this recipe as partly accidental, yet it brought simple happiness to me and baby Ren who loves it too!

I was given lotus root powder, that I do not know what to do with it. How is about using it to make pancake?

Lotus root is cooling in nature, usually taken during the summer months. Therefore, it can balance the hot and spicy kimchi.

I also need to consume some items that have been residing in our fridge for some days. These include parsley and longan.

The combinations of sweet longan, spicy-tangy kimchi, salty anchovies, and fragrant parsley brings joyful treat to your taste buds.

The texture of longan is also slightly similar to some shrimps that I have eaten.

Parts of this recipe are also inspired by the recipe of green onion pancakes by Holly of BeyondKimchee. In particular, the tips to use cake flour instead of plain flour, so that you can obtain crispier texture of panckage. Later on, I decide to minimize the use of cake flour after realizing that it contains chlorine.

kimchi longan pancake recipe by ServicefromHeart

Servings: 2

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

For pancake:

♥ 1/2 cup of plain flour

♥ 1/2 cup of water

♥ 1 tbsp of lotus root powder

♥ 1 egg

♥ kimchi (if you like spicy, add more; else use slight amount)

♥ longan

♥ anchovies (you can also use salt)

♥ pepper

♥ parsley (you can also use green onion / scallion)

For cooking:

♥ olive oil

♥ garlic

For sauce:

♥ 1 tbsp of Thai Fish Sauce

♥ 1/2 tbsp of vinegar

♥ 1 tsp white sesame seeds

Directions:

1. Mix flour, lotus root powder, pepper, water, in a bowl. Add egg, and re-mix.

2. Add kimchi, anchovies, and peeled cut longan. Mix again.

3. Sautee chopped garlic with 1tbsp olive oil in high heat until fragrant. Cover the frying pan for a while.

4. Turn the heat to between medium and low, add the pancake mixture.

5. Add the pancake mixture onto the frying pan to form a circular or any shape that you want. If you have heart shape stainless steel, your kimchi pancake will look even more romantic!

If you need to prepare a meal faster, please check also our other #5minutemeal recipes, particularly the easy kimchi fried rice.

With love,
ServicefromHeart
20140412

easy kimchi fried rice recipe

Kimchi (김치 in Hangul) is a Korean national dish that has gone global. The most popular kimchi are fremented from napa cabbage, radish, scallion, or cucumber as a main ingredient. My favorite kimchi includes sweet lotus root kimchi, what are yours?

In Singapore, I bought spicy & sour kimchi from NTUC Fairprice. Perhaps one day we can also try the special low-calorie and vitamin-rich version of Korean space kimchi, publicized as starship kimchi, that was designed for the astronauts Ko San / 고산 / 高山 & Yi So-Yeon / 이소연 / 李素妍, the first Korean and the second Asian woman (defined as a female resident of an Asian country) to fly in space.

easy kimchi fried rice recipe by ServicefromHeart

Please find here an easy recipe for kimchi fried rice / 김치볶음밥 / kimchi bokkeumbap.

It is ideal for breakfast to kick start a hot day at work or play. South Koreans believe that the invigorating qualities of kimchi has helped them to build their country’s economy into one of the biggest in the world in a matter of decades. You can build our lives excellently too with kimchi!

easy kimchi fried rice recipe by ServicefromHeart

Servings: 2
Preparation time: < 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
♥ 2 tbsp sesame oil (麻油)
♥ 1 tbsp dried shrimp (虾米) / anchovies (凤尾鱼)
♥ 5 cloves garlic (大蒜)
♥ 0.5 onion (洋葱)
♥ 2 eggs (鸡蛋)
♥ 8 tbsp kimchi (韩国泡菜), julienned / chopped into small pieces
♥ 2 East Asian rice bowls steamed rice (米饭), pre-fridge so less sticky
pepper (胡椒粉), to taste
Optional:
♥ 1 tsp sesame seeds (芝麻粒)
♥ 1 scallion (), chopped

Directions:
1. Heat a frying pan with sesame oil. Meanwhile, break the clumps of rice using a fork.
2. Sauté garlic, onion & anchovies until aromatic.
3. Lower the heat & add eggs then kimchi. Stir quickly until the kimchi turns soft and deep in color, 5 – 6 minutes.
4. Add rice, pepper & scallion. Stir evenly & mix with a final tsp of sesame oil.
5. Garnish with sesame seeds.

Tips:
♥ You can add meat such as beef, chicken, pork, bacon, ham or tuna in accordance to your preference, but meatless version of kimchi fried rice is delicious and faster to cook.
♥ Once, we enjoyed kimchi fried rice with haloumi cheese. This combination goes well too!
♥ If you want sunny side up eggs, fry the egg first with 0.5 tsp oil, dish out & set aside.
♥ I use dried shrimps or anchovies to give the salty taste to the dish, you can also use 1 tbsp soy sauce as a substitute.

Other recipes that I love:
kimchi fried rice by Bee @ Rasa Malaysia
Kimchi Bokkeum Bap by Hyosun Ro @ Korean Bapsang
kimchi fried rice by Debbie Lee @ Food Republic

Check also our other #5minutemeal recipes.

With love,
ServicefromHeart
20140301

Kimchi pancake with yoghurt mixture recipe by servicefromheart

Food image is here.

Ingredients for pancake mixture:
♥ 1/2 cup cake flour (or all purpose flour)
♥ 1/4 cup sweet potato flour
♥ 1 tbsp anchovies
♥ 2 tbsp chopped kimchi to ensure its tangy fragrant is spread evenly
♥ 1 tsp sesame oil

Directions:
1. Heat olive oil over medium heat.
2. Pour pancake mixture to the frying pan, lower the heat to between-medium-and-low.
3. After a side turns golden brown, flip to cook the other side.
4. Garnish with your favorite vegetables / fruits.

Tips:
♥ If you like crispy pancake, ensure you spread the mixture thinly on frying pan.
♥ Serve the hot pancakee with cold salad, the yin-yang sensation of hot and cold brings delicious treats to our taste buds.