You’re my superstar: a geode cake

I’ve made so many galaxy cakes over the years. I just love the aesthetic of stars and constellations! For this specific recipe, I wanted to decorate it with konpeitou, which are these really pretty rock candies that come in different colors. They look like the star bits from Super Mario Galaxy and they are just…

Salsa Macha Noodles

I was craving some chili oil-noodle business, and I was watching the Chef Show on Netflix, where they were making salsa macha, and that was literally how this recipe came about. For those unfamiliar with it, salsa macha(not to be confused with matcha green tea), is a salsa made with dried chilies, sesame seeds and/or…

Shaymin Nerikiri

I would be lying if I said this recipe was easy. Namely because it took me 4 hours from start to finish. A lot of it, not going to lie, is just the amount of time it took perfecting the color and shape of these little nuggets. That and I tried to make a half-batch…

Chocolate-sesame-cardamom cake

How this cake came about was hilarious. It was 6:35AM, and I had just finished my workout. It was also my friend’s birthday, and I was debating if I wanted to make a cake for her or not. But I did not want to be a crap friend, and I decided, screw it, 50 minute…

Gluten-free sesame-buckwheat mousse cake

I had yet to make a true vegan chiffon cake prior to writing and testing out this recipe. Last year, I did make a pumpkin roll cake, but it was not a true chiffon batter, just a cake roll. When I say chiffon, I’m talking whipped whites folded into an egg yolk mixture. Doing so…

Rough puff galette de rois

Galette de rois is a French pastry that consists of two circles of puff pastry surrounding an almond/frangipane-type of filling. Usually, there is a bead, bean, or some kind of trinket baked into the cake, and whoever finds it is crowned the king (or queen) for the day! Because of that, this cake is usually…

Sunburst: a plated dessert

I named this dessert ‘Sunburst’ after a Tobu and Itro song that came out a while ago of the same name. And also for my Chinese namesake, which translates to Winter Morning Sun. I had to use sesame since it is a favorite ingredient of mine, and I paired it with sea buckthorn to add…

Black sesame purin dorayaki

Dorayaki were one of the first wagashi I ever really came to adore. Mostly because being raised in America, I love pancakes, and dorayaki just being a pancake sandwich, was super appealing to me! I wanted to make a special dorayaki and I actually had this idea for over a year, but never was able…

Odessa: a plated dessert

So this dessert was my take on an almost-entirely black and white dish. I went with a sesame chocolate cake with tahini mousse, white chocolate mirror glaze, white chocolate-sesame bark, chocolate-sesame crumble, and white sesame ice cream. I was really happy with how this dessert came out visually, and I was also stunned when the…

Duck fat-grilled onigiri

These rice balls were just a way for me to utilize a bucketload of leftover brown rice. With rice of any kind, it can be very bland. In the case of brown rice, that is no exception. I knew that I had to inject as much flavor as I could into it, so I wanted…

Black sesame brioche ring

Going to Asian bakeries like JJ’s and 85 Degrees C as a child, I loved all of the different kinds of pastries you could find and buy. Flaky, bready, buttery, sweet, salty, crunchy, there were so many different kinds of treats with an equal variety of colors, ingredients, and flavors. One of my absolute favorites…

Gomakashi: a plated dessert

When I was coming up with this dessert, I had already made a black sesame flan in advanced, but didn’t necessarily know what else to pair it with. Luckily, my friend Ellen had just reached out to me, suggesting I make a dessert using dalgona coffee. Dalgona coffee, which has been recently been popularized on…

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…

After the fire: a petit gateau

So I really wanted to make a dessert using these new wooden sake cups I bought, since I don’t exactly drink, and I really have been enjoying seeing these wooden box tiramisus on my Instagram feed lately. I did want to do a take on a tiramisu, but I didn’t exactly want to do a…

michi: lemon-blueberry tartlets

I have always wanted to make those ovular tarts that I see on Instagram, but the issue was that I didn’t own the right tart tins. This should be the part where I say “until now”, but it’s not. I still don’t. But I do own aluminum foil, and from my previous experiences with using…

Mixed berry cheesecake and black sesame macarons

For the second half of MasterChef’s Sweet Week, we had 60 minutes to make a box of twelve macarons in two flavors, and they actually had to all fit inside the box. In the past, I have royally messed up my macarons because they got too runny and melted into each other at the piping…

Andante: a chocolate and rose plated dessert

The word andante refers to a slow tempo, while the inspiration for the dessert came from the concept of falling in love. It should not be something to rush into, but rather, something you can take your time enjoying. For the dessert itself, we have a chocolate-coffee panna cotta, a rose-goat milk fluid gel, black…

Starry Wish: black sesame-coconut-tangerine petit gateaus

I was thinking of a way to utilize the many tangerines we had at home (fun fact, when you are family friends with citrus farmers in Southern California, you have a fuck-ton of citrus that you get to cook with). From that, I thought, why not go with an Asian inspired dessert? And not because…

Matcha-sesame checkerboard cookies

I love making cookies, but one of the coolest kinds (and most common to find an any Asian bakery) are the checkerboard cookies. Typically, they’re chocolate and vanilla, but I wanted to do a different spin on them. So I went with the two most mainstream Asian dessert flavors I know matcha and black sesame,…

Thai tea-black sesame mousse cake

I really just made this dessert because I wanted to. It was such a perfect dessert for Halloween too, just because of the color scheme, but it can also represent the fall as well, I guess? I went with black sesame jaconde sponge, Thai tea syrup, black sesame mousse, Thai tea Bavarian cream, and black…