Tofu steak: a childhood favorite

One of the best things I ever ate growing up was the tofu steak at Kappo Seafood in Torrance. It was this crunchy, creamy, deep fried block of tofu with mushrooms that were stewed in a sukiyaki-type of sauce, served with bonito flakes and scallions. I still remember ordering it as a kid, just out…

Beef and kale arancini

I really love arancini. For those of you who don’t know what they are, arancini are deep fried risotto balls. Truthfully, I don’t make them often enough, but that’s because I would first have to make risotto, and then make the arancini out of that, and that’s far too much labor for a snack. However,…

Dou Jiang inspired dumplings

I literally came up with this dumpling while I was driving to Milkbar one Saturday morning. I was craving Chinese brunch, and I remember eating dou jiang, or warm sweetened soy bean milk, with youtiao, or kruellers. For those of you who aren’t familiar with soy bean milk, it’s Chinese soy milk. Unlike the Silk…

Back to life: a plated dish

This dish is a nod to Mystery Skulls, specifically their new album and song, Back to Life. When I was conceptualizing a dish around that focuses on one of my biggest banes to existence, being the filet mignon, and focusing on taking that and making it vibrant, exciting, and beautiful. Honestly, filet is a giant…

If I can’t meet you: a plated dish

When I was conceptualizing this dish, I really thought of comforting and warming flavors that work in the winter. Since it’s getting colder, although in Southern California, that means nothing because we basically have two seasons: warm or warmer, I wanted to make a dish that highlight Chinese fusion comfort food. I love eating Halal-Chinese food(yes,…

All for one: a plated dish

Whenever I have a whole duck, I love to go to town. Being a butcher, it’s a ton of fun to work with the whole animal. In this case, I wanted to do duck three ways. The first was braising and roasting the leg. The second was a seared duck breast. The third, it was…

Game bird congee with Chinese krueller (youtiao)

I really came up with this concept out of a necessity of not wanting to waste produce. I happened to purchase a lot of different game birds, ranging from quails to Cornish hens to duck, and I also made stocks out of each and every one of those birds, and reserved the carcass meats as…

Let’s go in the garden: a plated dish

For this dish, I really wanted to prepare something that conjured up nostalgic childhood memories. With lamb, it was something I grew up eating a lot of, because my parents loved it. With the garnish, I knew I wanted to do something that resembled vegetables sprouting out from the earth, and so I went with…

Prince of the Dawning Sky: a plated dish

This would have been my main course for the finale. Inspired by the sun-filled sky, and the morning, it is duck and mushroom congee with ponzu-black garlic puree, duck egg yolk, braised duck thigh meat, crispy shallots, cilantro duck fat, caramelized mushrooms, and micro cilantro to garnish. The idea has multiple folds behind the inspiration….

IDGAF(ilet mignon): a plated dish

When I was preparing for season 10, I did cook with a lot of different kinds of meats and proteins. Lamb, duck, pork, chicken, scallops, fileting and then cooking with whole fish such as salmon, rainbow trout, black cod, I even practiced cooking ribeye for steaks. I never thought to practice with filet mignon. And…

Pork belly, apple, and cauliflower bowl

I really just came up with this dish after reading through the “Everything I want to eat” cookbook by Sqirl LA’s Jessica Koslow. In the book, there was this delicious pork belly bowl, and I wanted to make my own version of it. They paired the housemade bacon with a sorrel pesto, farro, ricotta cheese,…

Tooigai: a fried chicken sandwich

Who doesn’t like a fried chicken sandwich? I know I’ve made my fair share of them in my 24 years of living. For this rendition, I wanted to do a Japanese take on a Southern classic. I went with milk rolls, and karaage styled fried chicken, using mochiko to crust some thigh meat. For the…

Stronger than you: a plated dish

For this dish, it was my chance to redeem my horrendous performance with the Latin America brief. Being a panicky idiot, I had no clue what to make. So I opted for the snapper, made a yucca puree that was wallpaper glue(fun fact, yucca should NEVER go into a food processor, because the starch content…

One Day Afternoon: a plated dish

For the first Mystery Box of my MasterChef 10 experience, the people who were not saved during the mise en place challenge had to cook with British ingredients and make a dish inspired by Gordon himself! It was a really interesting challenge, and I was actually kind of bummed that I didn’t get to cook…

“Now or never”: a plated dish

This dish was meant to be more of a compliment to my signature chocolate cake, “Shines forever”, hence the rhyming names. For this dish, it is a seared ribeye(aka the only steak I really can confidently cook), with beef fat-wilted kale, crispy kale chip, red wine-mushroom-beef reduction, and a homemade phyllo-duxelle tart, garnished with shaved…

Mille feuille nabe

I love hotpot. To be honest, I was thinking of how I could actually make a hot pot recipe, but at the same time, it’s really just such a simple thing to do. Whenever we would fly back to Taiwan during summer or winter vacation, one of my favorite places to go to would be…

Bacon-wrapped rabbit roulade with mushroom pappardelle

Something that I have always wanted to try was cooking with rabbit. Now don’t get me wrong, I actually adore rabbits and bunnies, so a part of me is sad to be cooking with them. But at the same time, they actually can taste quite delicious if cooked under tender, or paired with the right…

Roasted silkie chicken leg with polenta

When I was butchering black chicken, I decided to make a full-on chicken dinner out of the legs and wings! Taking the contrasting color of the chicken, and making a bright yellow polenta, a purple-ish sauce, and these colorful radishes. So with the legs and wings, I decided to roast those and pair them with…

Spring pea agnolotti with squash, brown butter, and pomegranate

I love making pasta from scratch. There’s something so satisfying about getting this golden, stretchy dough super thin, and being able to take something so flat and paper-like and fold it into all sort of fun shapes. I guess that’s why I love origami so much. The transformation is exciting! For my pasta, I did…

Fred Bread Buns with Roast Duck and Scallions

I love making “Fred Bread”, which is my take on Japanese milk bread. I also adore making steamed buns with duck. So I figured, why not combine the two? The end result? A really light, fluffy steamed bun with a buttery crumb. It’s pretty awesome. We made these for new years, and since the recipe…