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…

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…

“Chicken and dumplings” wontons

I wanted to create a play on chicken and dumplings, but using wonton soup as the inspiration. Mostly because I had half of a leftover chicken that I needed to get rid of, so I figured, why not just grind up the wing and leg meat and turn that into a dumpling filling? I also…

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….

Prince of the Sea Angels: a plated dish

So even though I was eliminated in top 10, I actually did have dishes in mind for the finale. The amount of thought you saw put into the crab lantern dish, trust me, a lot more were put into these. So while it is a shame I could not make these dishes for the judges,…

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…

Mapo tofu mandu

When I was coming up with creative new dumpling ideas, I wanted to do something with mapo tofu. Upon doing a little research, I found out that Korea’s national dumpling, the mandu, actually contains kimchi and tofu in it! I knew right away that I could sub out the kimchi with spicy bean paste, and…

Vegan sunchoke shuumai

When I was trying to think of new and creative dumpling ideas, I decided to go back to pasta dishes I had in the past. One of them was the trois soleil dish from Baroo, LA. The dish itself featured sunchokes three ways, in pickles, chips, and a “cream” sauce. I use the quotations there…

Butter chicken potstickers

In continuation with my dumpling project(where I take dishes and translate them into little parcels of love and joy), I wanted to try merging butter chicken with potstickers, just because I felt like the two could have a lot of potential to really compliment one another. So we have the chicken thighs that are marinated…

“Welcome to the lantern festival!”: a plated dish

This dish was definitely my favorite to make when I was in the competition. Not only did I get to impress the judges(and finally claim some much needed emotional redemption!), but also Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto as well! And with a freaking $500 Alaskan King Crab! Like what the hell?! Even to this day, I…

Beef and Broccoli Revised: a plated dish

On the back of that wedding challenge, the elimination that followed was a freaking outdoor grilling challenge, in the patio where we all stood during the helicopter intro! It was crazy! The contestants on the losing Red Team had to choose from a huge variety of steaks and grill a dish in an hour. Which…

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…

Phoenix in the Hawker Stall: a plated dish

So continuing on with my experiences in the lovely, most amazing MasterChef Kitchen (I hope I had enough adjectives there), there was actually a challenge where we had to cook with chicken. This challenge, not to brag, would have been a cakewalk for me, because I practiced breaking down chickens regularly in college (mostly because…

“Friends in my heart”: a plated dish

This dish was inspired by my MasterChef journey (only the season 10 part, not the very short-lived seasons 8 or 9 parts LOL). I had met two people I became extremely close to, being a young lady from Texas named Mollie, and a guy from Sacramento named David. After I got a certain stage in…

it’s my life: a plated dish

Now you might be saying, if you somehow managed to read through ALL of my blog posts, that I had already made something with this as the name. That was a dessert. This is a savory course. I’m allowed to have a dessert and a dish share the same name, since they can be different…

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…

“Moon Crying”: a plated dish

Back when I was thinking of signature dishes for MasterChef, I wanted to make sure I covered my bases, so I had this dish in my back pocket in the event I had to make a fish dish. I named it Moon Crying, again after a Koda Kumi song, because she’s by far my favorite…