• Thai/Lao

    Red Curry Paste (Phrik Kaeng Ped)

    I love Thai food, but finding authentic flavors in restaurants is not easy. Most food found in Thai restaurants in America is too sweet, does not have enough spices, not enough chilies, and lack real Thai ingredients. Curries taste watered…

  • Braised,  Chinese,  Meat

    Braised Beef Brisket Noodles (Ngau Lam Mein)

    It was Mid Autumn Festival [中秋节] yesterday. The harvest moon was high and bright in the sky, and I was craving a homely meal and some lotus paste mooncakes. I don’t live with my parents anymore– and since they are…

  • Chinese,  Epic Recipes

    Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup (Niu Rou Mian)

    Noodle soup is the purest form of cultural expression. Noodle soup is truth. Ok, am I exaggerating a little? Maybe. Noodle soup always tells a story. It is said that during the Tang Dynasty,  Muslims brought beef noodle soup to western…

  • Epic Recipes,  Meat,  Thai/Lao

    Lao Sausages (Sai Oua)

    My standard meal at my favorite Laotian restaurant in Oakland is a grilled Lao sausage (sai oua), papaya salad (thum mak hoong), and sticky rice. The sausages there are scored and then deep fried, leaving the perfect, crispy edges, which…

  • Thai/Lao

    Southern Thai Pork Rib Curry

    If you have red curry paste on hand, then making a weeknight curry is a simple task. All you would need to do is stir fry the paste, add protein, water, and simmer! Super simple and doesn’t require much babysitting.…

  • American,  Dessert

    Classic Apple Pie with Caramel Sauce

    If summer is about berry and peach sangrias, then autumn is about pie and enjoying hot chai on the couch.  The warm days of summer were fleeting at best– (damn you San Francisco), but has brought a bounty of delicious fruits…

  • American,  Dessert

    Choosing the Best Apples for Pie-Baking

    I’ve only ever known three apples in my childhood: the Red Delicious in the school cafeteria, the Fuji as my parents’ chosen sweet snacking apple, and the Granny Smith for baking due to its overwhelming tartness. Throughout the years, Gala and…

  • American,  Dessert,  Uncategorized

    Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake

    My only experience with pound cake as a kid was from the boxed Sara Lee stuff. My grandma would secretly buy a loaf from the Chinese supermarket and sneak some to me before dinner. Boy were they a treat! Thinking…

  • Chinese,  Quick & Easy

    Sichuan Mapo Tofu

    I’ve grown up eating mapo tofu. My dad always made his own Cantonese version, which I would happily gobble up with my rice. Despite the fond memories, I was not satisfied with the mapo tofu I’ve come to know. It…

  • American,  Braised,  Meat

    Pork and Lobster Mushroom Ragu with Polenta

    With tomatoes aplenty at the market, I’ve been in this meat-sauce mood lately. It’s hearty and warming; perfect for those cold nights in the middle of summer. Ok well, regardless of whether your summers are cold or not– surely there can’t be…

  • Chinese

    Pan Fried Pork Buns (Sheng Jian Bao)

    I AM KIND OF a purist when it comes to SHENG JIAN BAO (生煎包). For a sheng jian bao to be good, the pork filling must capture all the essences of pork flavor. The bun must be fluffy, the filling must…

  • Chinese,  Quick & Easy

    Caramel Plum Spareribs

    After at least an hour of agonizing over dinner, I dragged my heels to my local supermarket and decided on pork spareribs. I debated between Vietnamese caramel ribs and my dad’s plum sauce steamed ribs. That was a no-brainer. Sticky, gooey…