30 Before 30 – A Bucket List

Have you heard of this? Trying to complete 30 things before your 30th birthday?

Well, I’m almost 30. And each year, time seems to be slipping by faster and faster. I do think that I’ve been very fortunate so far in what I’ve managed to do in my life. I’ve traveled a lot, I’ve lived abroad, I’ve climbed Mt Fuji (twice), I’ve bungee jumped (in China), I’ve ridden on camels (in Tunisia and Mongolia), I’ve eaten a lot of strange things and along the way, I’ve met some truly amazing people. Not to mention I managed to marry the most wonderful man in the world (not sure how that happened).

Yet there is still so much more to do. So many more things to learn. So many more places to go!

I have a friend who used to be an investment banker in New York City. He’d come to the US from France to go to school and then stayed on for work, much like I did. When he was in graduate school, he almost never went out. How can you live in NYC and not explore I ask you? Well he didn’t. Until a close friend visited and he was forced to take her out (this I can relate to, since I only started to truly discover Paris when my college friends came to visit and I had to play tour guide). But then on after, he was hooked. He set himself on a mission to explore the city, to find the best burgers in town, to do things that he had never done before. He and his friends created a bucket list.

The idea is not novel. There’s been a movie around this concept after all. Still, I found it endearing and attractive; maybe because it was a group of four guys doing it together, a la three musketeers. My friend has now moved to Japan but I believe he still carries with him the spirit of the bucket list: dare to try something new, set goals for yourself, see them through. (As a side note, he recently ran the Tokyo marathon and came within the first 250 out of 35,000 runners. If that’s not amazing, I don’t know what is.)

So in the same spirit, I’d like to present my 30 before 30 food list – my own bucket list of 30 dishes to master before I reach the age of 30 (I’ll take a *loose* definition of “master” ahem). Putting this list together was more difficult than I imagined. In a sense, this list is more than a collection of random dishes, it is somewhat a distilled representation of myself. So I had to think really hard; what are dishes that I love, that I would want to share with my friends and that would prove challenging enough to be worthy of a spot in the top 30?

Here goes:

  • Croissants
  • Pains aux raisins
  • Eclairs
  • Baguette
  • Macarons
  • Pate en croute
  • Rillettes
  • Ha Kho
  • Siu Mai
  • Xiao Long Bao
  • Cha Lua
  • Nem Chua
  • Banh Bao/Bao Zi
  • Teochew chives dumplings (Gu chai gue)
  • Chinese/Portuguese egg tarts
  • Soba noodles
  • Tonkotsu ramen

The list is pretty eclectic and mostly includes foods that I’ve always loved to eat since I was a child and never thought of making myself, such as various dimsum dishes and Vietnamese snacks. And, well… ok. I could only come up with 17 dishes that fit all of the criteria I mentioned. Not so great for someone who claims to love food so much heh?

Obviously I need some help and inspiration. This is where you come in, dear readers. Leave a comment, email me, suggestions welcome (and very much needed). All dishes need not fit the aforementioned criteria, and I might just throw some random dishes in there for fun.

Do you have your own bucket list or 30 before 30 list?

4 thoughts on “30 Before 30 – A Bucket List

  1. There is not enough dessert in your list! I strongly suggest to try the high calorie home made fondant au Chocolat with Vanilla ice cream…you know the one when your fork breaks into it and chocolate flows out :) . You can try the Oreo-vanilla flavor for the ice cream as well!

  2. OOh let’s make bao zi together and xiao long bao. Actually what I think we should tackle is those xiao long bao bao zi they make in Shanghai. They look like steamed bao zi but have a xia long bao center and are also pan fried so they are crispy on the bottom. Did you have these in Shanghai? I learned how to make bao zi and I am pretty happy with my usual dumpling filling so I’ve been wanting to try to make these, maybe in May! It’ll be my 1 before 29. :)

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