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…

Give you the world: a plated dish

So this dish was actually in my to-do list for about four months. I wrote up the concept back in October, but I never really got around to making it. This dish is an homage to Middle Eastern food, which is actually a cuisine I came to really love during my time in D.C., living…

Breathe again: a plated dish

So this dish was obviously inspired by the song “Breathe again” from season 2 of Carole and Tuesday. The song itself talks about reaching new heights, and being able to take a sigh of relief now that you have succeeded in making something of yourself. For me, a component that perfectly embodies all of that is…

Lamb potstickers with mala-pepper broth and whipped yogurt

Now it’s no secret that I love Halal-styled Chinese food. The spices, the flavors, it’s really a warming, comforting cuisine. In the spirit of Chinese New Years, I definitely wanted to do something festive, comforting, and family-friendly, so my mind immediately went to dumplings. Specifically, potstickers. I feel like any and every Chinese family has…

Want to: a plated dish

I really love to take classic and rustic dishes and breathing new life into them. For some odd season, I have always been attracted to Southern food, despite never really visiting the South. There’s just something about biscuits, barbecue, buttermilk, and corn that just really, really appeals to me. So I wanted to do a…

Fantome: a plated dish

So this was a concept I had in my back pocket since the summer, but just never got around to making until recently. I love blood orange and I love scallop, and I wanted to do an Asian fusion take on it with elements of French, Chinese, and Japanese cuisines. The one issue I always…

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…

Echoes of seashells: a plated dish

One of my favorite proteins to cook is clams. They’re juicy, succulent, full of beautiful, ocean-y brine, and they lend themselves well to flavoring anything that they’re cooked in because of that. For this particular dish, I wanted to make something that captures the delicate nature of seafood in general, while packing a huge punch…

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…