Crunchy mala-spiced popcorn

Whenever I go running, I always come up with really fun food ideas. I don’t know why, maybe it is because my body is craving certain kinds of foods while I am exercising, or the adrenaline is going to my head and it helps me think better or more creatively, but this recipe, regardless of…

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…

Moussaka pizza

One of my favorite dishes from Greece is moussaka. It’s basically layers of ground meat, typically lamb, sometimes beef, stewed in this tomato sauce with eggplant, potatoes, and a creamy béchamel on top of that is broiled until golden brown. With the exception of the potato, honestly, all of those things could be incorporated into…

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…

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….

Nightmarket: a plated dish concept

The entire basis of this dish came from wanting to shove as many Chinese/Asian inspired dishes into one thing. So we have roasted duck leg, seared duck breast, green papaya salad, and a duck fat infused bun, served with a duck-blood orange-soy sauce. It’s a lot of food, but it’s guaranteed that you’ll find something…

Duck-scallion congee with duck fat-Chinese churros

Whenever I butcher whole ducks (this happens a lot more than you’d think, but I guess that’s the benefit of butchering whole animals), I love making stock using the bones, and then taking the scrap meat from the carcass and folding that into congee, which is Chinese rice porridge. When I was learning how to…

Kale Fagottini

When I first heard of the name of this pasta, I tried really hard not to react. The term, fagottini, I pronounce the “g” like a “j”, just because I don’t want to accidentally offend anyone. The pasta itself is a purse-like dumpling, stuffed with traditionally sausage or ground mince meat. However, when I prepared…

Mussels with Latin flavors

This dish was originally inspired by the Mediterranean, but forcibly took a detour into Mexico when I could not find the right kind of chorizo and just went with it from there. Going to school in Boston, you come to love shellfish and seafood. I love eating and cooking mussels, because they plump up in…

Coffee crusted ribeye with steakhouse sides

What? Just because I bake and I make spongecakes doesn’t mean I can’t make a delicious steak dish. This particular dish, I actually made two years ago, to celebrate finishing summer school. The entire dish was a coffee crusted ribeye with mushroom jus, kale chips, garlic rubbed bone marrow, and mac n’ cheese. And yes,…

Munti with tomato broth

I was inspired to make these last summer from a couple different things. Lamb munti, a Turkish dumpling, I learned how to make these from reading Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton. For the broth, I was inspired by a restaurant in Cerritos, California, called Omar’s Halal Chinese, where they do these hand pulled noodles with a smoky…

Raspberry Harissa

Harissa is a North African spice paste that is used as a condiment for most dishes. Traditionally, it contains dried chilies, olive oil, garlic, coriander, and lemon juice. This version uses Sriracha, an Asian spice paste that already contains chilies and garlic, and combines that with the ingredients used in the authentic harissa blend, as…

(A Semi-traditional) beef noodle soup

So a national dish of my native Taiwan is beef noodle soup. And of course, I’m bastardizing it, because while I am a legal citizen and was born there, I speak less Mandarin than the employees of Panda Express and have less knowledge about Taiwanese traditions and culture than most of the Chinese mainlanders who…