Ricotta gnocchi with squash, fennel, and salsa verde

So this dish was actually inspired from when I was watching The Chef’s Line on Netflix. For those unfamiliar with the program, it’s a cooking competition show that was originally in Australia, before it premiered on Netflix as well. Sadly the show is no longer running, but there were a lot of cool recipes and…

Tea-smoked duck with green apple and onion

I came up with this dish because I was thinking about what the prettiest duck dish I could make, and this is what I thought up of. I love to tea smoke proteins, and I love tea smoked duck. Smoking the duck in chamomile tea specifically gives it a pleasant earthiness, and I wanted to…

Roasted cabbage with pork belly and mushroom dashi

So this is a dish inspired directly from mille feuille nabe. I wanted to do a dish that featured layers of roasted cabbage and pork in an umami-rich mushroom broth. I could imagine these soft, tender layers of cabbage that are steamed with the rendered pork fat from the belly slices between each leaf, sponging…

Scallion pancakes with braised oxtail and bone broth

So I was inspired by birria tacos, but knowing that I cannot make them authentically, I figured, why not take dishes and ingredients from my own culture, but just serve them in the same fashion? So I took the concept of a wrap with a dipping broth, and essentially made it Chinese/Taiwanese. I still remember…

Winter Glow: a plated dessert

I literally came up with this dish because a family friend gifted us Osetra caviar, and I did not want to squander it. For those of you unfamiliar with it, Osetra caviar is harvested from an Osetra sturgeon fish, and it is one of the most prized and expensive kinds of caviar, second to only…

Something New: a plated dessert

I’ve been meaning to make this dessert for ages. I stumbled upon baobab(an African superfood fruit that tastes like citrus) when I was doing research on natural food colorings, and I was too curious for my own good to not buy a bag of baobab powder from Amazon and try baking it with. I have…

Vegan tofu gnocchi with shiitakes and chili oil

I came up with these gnocchi when I had the epiphany that tofu, being so similar to cheese, is whippable. Because it is whippable, you can use the tofu just like a ricotta or mascarpone, and in the case of the former, ricotta gnocchi is a thing, so surely tofu gnocchi could work, right? And…

New Rules: a plated dessert

For me, this dessert was all about trying a couple of new things. Using gjetost cheese in a fonduta was a new idea, and playing around with more savory things like carrots and pairing that with mugicha, which is a barley tea. I also featured yuzu in this dessert as well, since the sort of…

Something comforting: a plated dish

I really love stewed chickpeas. Actually I just love chickpeas in general. And luckily, I got to cook with them more often these days because I need them for their aquafaba. However, with all of the vegan meringue I have been making, I still need to get rid of the actual chickpeas themselves. So this…

Pork belly okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes)

Okonomiyaki are one of my personal favorite things to make. The first time I ever had one was with my cousins, and it was delicious. It’s a Japanese pancake batter that can have a variety of things in it, but typically you would find cabbage, pork, and a delicious sauce and Japanese mayonnaise. A lot…

“番茄炒蛋”: a plated dish

番茄炒蛋, or tomato-fried eggs, are a childhood staple for me, and probably every Chinese/Taiwanese person. Simply put, it’s scrambled eggs with tomato, topped with scallions and/or cilantro. A very humble dish, and because of that, a great blank canvas/ inspiration for a prettier, more complex one. My mom’s version included ginger, since it provided a…

Hallucinate: a plated dish

I was actually coming up with this dish when I was doing a quarantine Google Hangout cook-together with my friends, Ann and Sylvie. We agreed that we would each make a pasta dish, so I came up with this one. I took the inspiration from my childhood favorite, beef noodle soup aka Taiwan’s national dish, and transforming…

Can you feel the sunshine?: a plated dish

Even since MasterChef season 10, there were three things I sought to learn more about/perfect. The first was tarte tatin, the second was cooking in a cast iron, and the third, which I finally have gotten around to doing, is learning more about Latin flavors. After that disastrous showing with prickly pear, I knew I…

Vegan baklava with pistachio ice cream

Baklava is one of my absolute favorite Middle Eastern desserts. Layers of flaky phyllo(or spelled filo as well, but same thing), with a toffee-like filling of caramelized nuts, and a delicious spiced syrup that soaks through everything and really brings it together. The really cool thing, for me anyways, about Middle Eastern desserts is the…

Rabbit rack with carrot puree and warm kale salad

For my second rabbit dish, I wanted to feature the loin and rack instead. I always loved the look of a chop of meat, be it a tomahawk steak or a lamb rack, because it appeals to that carnal instinct we all have from being descendants of cavemen. Despite that being an inspiration, I wanted…

Braised rabbit leg with mushroom risotto

In honor of Easter and April, I wanted to make another dish using rabbit. So I decided to embrace buying a full rabbit by making two dishes with it, this risotto being the first. Risotto has always been such a fascinating dish for me, just because I was used to eating either steamed rice or…

Quick cassoulet with black pepper cornbread madeleine

In light of the quarantine pandemics surrounding the coronavirus, my plating bestie Bri and I thought it would be a lot of fun, very interesting, and perfectly fitting if we could take canned foods and transform them into gourmet or fine dining dishes. The challenge was to see what we could make in an hour…

High tea on high teas: a plated dish

I really wanted to just dabble more with savory cooking, just because I do so much with dessert, and not nearly enough with actual cooking. When I was conceptualizing this dish, I was actually running. Some of the best (or most original) ideas come to me when I’m experiencing an adrenaline high, and everything is…

Gnocchi with lamb and pork brodo

I love making pasta. There are so many different kinds of shapes you can make, and they are all perfect for different functions. Stuffed pasta is great for keeping a filling and a sauce distinct, noodles are great for soaking up a sauce or broth, and for the case of gnocchi, they are great for…