Tofu steak: a childhood favorite

One of the best things I ever ate growing up was the tofu steak at Kappo Seafood in Torrance. It was this crunchy, creamy, deep fried block of tofu with mushrooms that were stewed in a sukiyaki-type of sauce, served with bonito flakes and scallions. I still remember ordering it as a kid, just out…

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…

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…

“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…