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…

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…

Pork belly, apple, and cauliflower bowl

I really just came up with this dish after reading through the “Everything I want to eat” cookbook by Sqirl LA’s Jessica Koslow. In the book, there was this delicious pork belly bowl, and I wanted to make my own version of it. They paired the housemade bacon with a sorrel pesto, farro, ricotta cheese,…

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…

Fred Bread Buns with Roast Duck and Scallions

I love making “Fred Bread”, which is my take on Japanese milk bread. I also adore making steamed buns with duck. So I figured, why not combine the two? The end result? A really light, fluffy steamed bun with a buttery crumb. It’s pretty awesome. We made these for new years, and since the recipe…

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…

It’s my life: a plated dessert concept

The name for the dessert was inspired by the Koda Kumi song of the same name. The dessert itself came from me wanting to do something unique, indigenous to almost every American’s life, and most importantly, to show that I don’t give any fucks about what others think about my cooking/baking style. I live my…