Chrysanthemum Douhua

One of my earliest food memories was going to dim sum with my parents on Sundays. We would be served chrysanthemum tea with everything we ate and we would usually finish off a meal of spareribs, sticky rice, and dumplings and fried radish cakes with egg tarts and a sweet tofu called douhua. Douhua, which…

Yuzu-Castella Strawberry Shortcake

One of my favorite childhood memories growing up was coming back from a long day at school, and being greeted by my mom with some sort of baked good from the local Taiwanese bakery. Sometimes it was cheesecake, other times, mont blanc, but one particular favorite of mine is castella. Castella is a fluffy sponge…

Vegan and gluten-free pecan praline brownie sundae

I came up with this recipe because I wanted to see how challenging it would be to make a dessert that is both gluten-free and vegan. I wanted to take the most decadent, self-indulgent dessert, being a brownie sundae, and make it 100% free of animal products and gluten. Truthfully, making a vegan and gluten-free…

late nights are for lonely people: a plated dessert

If there is a flavor combination that I have ever fallen in love with, it would be cherries, pistachios, and earl grey tea. I have done another dessert with those flavors plus chocolate in the past, and I just adore the balance! We have tartness from cherries, bitter floral notes from the tea, and smoky,…

Tahini panna cotta with soy sauce caramel

So I made a riff on this dessert about a year ago for a digital cook-along event for the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester, Minnesota(thank you, Shari for inviting me to do this!). For them, I did a demo on a dessert, which would be delivered to those who participated. For the dessert that…

“Rebirth”: a plated dessert

With this dessert, I was going for that phoenix from the ashes motif, but using all gluten-free and vegan ingredients! One of my absolute favorite vegan components to make is a chocolate-tofu mousse, which is super straightforward to make and you wouldn’t be able to tell it is vegan! To add some contrast, a kinako(toasted…

“Feathered Apple”: a plated dessert

I created this dessert from just several techniques that I fell in love with, and wanting to compose those techniques into a cohesive dessert. Homemade phyllo is always something I love to do, while the usage of Almond Inspiration was just to add a pleasant nuttiness. I wanted to use hojicha as well, since it…

“Fever Dream”: a plated dessert

I literally named this dessert after my favorite mxmtoon song, “Fever Dream”. For me, that term represents memories and milestones of your life, past, present, and future, just melting together into one moment. So I wanted to do that in this dessert! For starters, I wanted to use cherries, since my birthday cake growing up…

Tofu ice cream with tofu water meringue

So this would not be the first tofu ice cream recipe I have made. However, it would be the first where I do not use coconut milk – that makes a huge difference in the actual flavor of the ice cream, as coconut milk, while it does contain the necessary fat to create creamy vegan…

Sea Angel: a plated dessert

This was the last dish in my “Namie” pop-up dinner, featuring strawberries and lychees to embrace the summer. I wanted to use both in several different ways, and I also wanted to use pate choux as the base for this dessert, since I just love how choux with craquelin resembles a coral reef. With the…

Head in the clouds: a plated dessert

The inspiration for this dessert came from me testing out a couple new techniques – using sago, which are little tapioca pearls, to make a strawberry flavored “caviar”, and using lychee juice to make a foam. I wanted to create this sort of ethereal, sea-meets-sky, summery sort of dessert, embracing fresh lychees, and pairing them…

“Husk of the Black Forest”: a plated dessert

So when I was conceptualizing different desserts that would use salted duck egg, one of them that I had in mind was with injeolmi, which is a roasted grain mix from Korea, similar to misugaru, but with a less earthy flavor profile. I was first introduced to injeolmi by my friend, Ann, who ordered it…

Fortress: a plated dessert

This is sort of my take on a PB&J, with a Jordanian/Albanian spin, using summer produce! I wanted to feature the peaches since we are in peak peach season in the summer, while using white sesame just felt like a great pairing, because more light and delicate than the more robust and hearty black sesame….

Pavé the Way: a plated dessert

I spent about three days trying to figure out what I was making with salted duck eggs. I initially purchased them for my hiyoko manju, but that recipe only used two of the eggs, and the packet I bought came with six. After coming up with several dessert ideas, then realizing that none of them…

Dango with black rice pudding and salted rice milk

I love mango sticky rice. The stewed down rice with salty coconut milk and juicy mango, it’s a fun combination to play around with. For this particular recipe, I wanted to accentuate that classic Asian dessert by doing rice three ways, and mango two ways. For the rice, I used black rice and did a…

Only a fool: a plated dessert

So a fool can refer to a lot of things. It can be somebody who undercooked his filet mignon on national T.V. despite being a trained butcher(whoops), somebody who does not know what 2+2 is, or it could also be a dessert that involves a fruit puree being folded into cream. In the case of…

“Beautiful World”: a plated dessert

So I conceptualized this dessert around initially two flavors, being pistachio and olive oil. From there, I sort of expanded it to include rosemary and lemon, since I have fresh rosemary in my backyard, which has been blooming these beautiful flowers, and the lemon adds a nice acidity to counterbalance all of the other ingredients….

Chrysalis: a plated dessert

During my senior year of college, I made a plated dessert called “Sanagi” – sanagi is the Japanese word for chrysalis, or cocoon. The dessert itself was matcha pate choux with spun sugar, made to resemble a little caterpillar crawling into a cocoon, hence the name of the dessert. I wanted to do a more…

Sweet tofu panna cotta with chrysanthemum poached pear

I was mostly inspired by douhua, or sweet tofu soup, when I was conceptualizing this dessert. The idea of this silky sweet tofu that is swimming in a ginger-palm sugar-type of syrup just takes me back to Sundays at my local dim sum restaurant in Lomita(which sadly has since closed and been replaced by a…