“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…

Duck banh mi with homemade baguette and purple yam chips

One of my absolute favorite sandwiches is the banh mi. A Vietnamese-French hybrid, it features a baguette that has pate, some sort of meat, pickled vegetables, chilies, and cilantro on it. It’s been one of my favorites for years ever since I had one from Lee’s Sandwiches(yes, I know it’s a chain, but still, the banh…

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….

For Mollie: a plated dish

So during the beginning part of my MasterChef journey, I had made several close friends, besides my bestie Bri. There was Sage, the 18 year old from Long Beach(my neighboring beach town!) who competed on MasterChef Junior, season 1(and sadly didn’t make it to the top 36). David, my fellow skinny Asian/straight clone from NorCal….