June 27, 2012

My favorite snap shots of Paris...

My cute parents posing by the Louvre.

The hotel bar at Novotel Paris in the 1st Arrondissement.

A hybrid French-American breakfast buffet at Novotel Paris.

The inner streets beyond Rue Saint Honore.

Oozing yolk of Croque Madame at Relais du Louvre.

Fountain water at the Louvre looks like sprinkling gems.

The fabulous chocolate tart by Christian Constant.

Langoustine ravioli with artichoke mousseline at Les Cocottes.

The exterior of Les Cocottes by Christian Constant.

My cute, patient daddy waiting for his daughter to finish shopping.

Parsley ice cream with macerated strawberries at Le Pre Verre.

The hallways leading to the Palace at Versailles.

The details of a king's home.

The garden at Versailles.

Only a small portion of the foie gras selection at Fauchon Paris.

Beautiful red-orange smoked salmon at Fauchon Paris.

Three perfect cheeses with two perfect fruit jams at Fauchon Paris.

My favorite, smoked salmon millefeuille at Fauchon Paris.

Final glass of Cote du Rhone at a street cafe in Le Marais.

And that's a wrap.

In dedication to our time together...

here's a beverage for celebration and my Taiwanese beef noodle soup, your favorite. I've watched you slurp this dish down every time I make it and brag about how it tastes. I'm proud because I know if I've made your belly happy, that's all that matters.

A beautiful bottle of light, dry sake.

My version of Taiwanese niu rou mian.


1 ½ lbs sirloin or beef tendon cubed
Water to cover
1 stalk green onion, chopped
1 nob ginger, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped

2 T canola oil
2 T sugar
6 red chiles
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and minced
1/3 cup spicy chili bean paste
1 ½ cup soy sauce

½ lb of bok choyNoodles
Green onions
Slivered Szechuan pickled vegetable (optional)

Place cubed beef sirloin in a large pot with enough water to cover. Add green onion (well-rinsed) and ginger. Add soy sauce, onions and tomato. Cover and bring to a boil, then turn down to a strong simmer for about half an hour. Remove and discard green onion and ginger. Heat the oil for the seasoning paste in a medium-sized frying pan. Add the sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Add seasoning paste ingredients and stir. Mix seasoning paste into the broth. Simmer for about 3-4 hours. Serve with blanched bok choy, noodles, green onions and pickled vegetable.

February 14, 2012

It wasn't the perfect Valentine's Day.

In fact, everything went wrong. We opted to cook together--lobster (because he's never had good lobster), fondue and molten chocolate cake. Seemed simple. It seemed just like any other day.

This morning he handed me a sweater. Most girls may be familiar with gift giving rituals of Valentine's Day, but most boys in my life have junked this day as businesses exploiting capitalism. So, this sweater was a shock. I intended on getting him a present, but my wallet idea fell through last week.

My day began with a rush out the door to Ithaca's only interesting store, Urban Outfitters, which isn't really interesting at all. I spent an hour debating on what to buy and making the store manager run around looking for size 9 shoes. I had no idea what size fits him.

I spent the afternoon trying to book my parents a reservation for dinner and calling the restaurant to do something special for them while whipping up some molten chocolate cake batter for dinner. Then, my dad emailed and asked if I received the two dozen roses mom sent. Nothing. I tracked down the order and realized the building manager delivered the flowers to the wrong apartment and whoever received my flowers wasn't actively looking to return them to me.

But 4:30 rolled around, and I had to go food shopping with J. Wegman's was a shitshow, of course. We picked our live, 2 pound lobsters and some groceries and headed for the liquor store for some bubbly. When we finally got around to cooking, we realized the pot would not fit our little ocean buggies. He ran off to Wegman's again in search for a pot while I tried to fix our mess of a kitchen.

We had a little photoshoot with our lobsters before saying goodbye to them. Instead of stir-frying with black bean sauce like the original plan, the two of us stood by the stove--him cracking the shells and me slurping up lobster juice. After a while, we had no intention of really sitting down for dinner. And, it was the best lobster he'd ever tasted.

We laughed. We drank. We ate and cooked while listening to jazz music via Pandora.

The cheese in our fondue never melted. We ended up pouring the entire bottle of pinot grigio into our fondue. It was like a chunky cheese booze soup. His bright idea was to dip the entire baguette into the pot and take monster bites of the soaked bread. It was delicious.

We didn't have the patience to eat our molten chocolate cakes, so I burned the tips of my fingers trying to pop them out of the silicon molds as soon as they came from the oven. I successfully removed two of them, but we ended up shoveling bites of hot chocolate and spoonfuls of vanilla ice cream from the tub into our mouthes.

It wasn't classy. It wasn't perfect. But, it was the best Valentine's Day I've ever had.

November 19, 2011

To honor my new life...

as a graduate student in Ithaca and to celebrate the number of food fans in our class, we started a little supper club. It gives us any excuse to feast and drink with friends.

For our first supper club event, we featured foie gras as the central theme of the evening, definitely a ridiculously gluttonous dinner. Too many calories? Who's counting?

The last time I worked with foie gras was at Jean Georges back in 2009, so I was happy to get my hands on those buttery lobes again. Keith, Luke, and I planned a menu of five dishes and ordered our fatty partner from D'artagnan. My personal favorite of the evening--flash fried tempura foie gras with grated daikon, lime zest and togarashi pepper. Full menu follows.

Duck bacon, caramelized yams, duck fat caramel, thyme, shallots

Tempura foie gras, grated daikon, lime zest, togarashi pepper

Fresh foie gras ravioli, brandy duck jus, lovage, carrots

Pan-roasted chicken, parsley-kale puree, fried mushrooms, chicken consomme farro

Tempura Foie Gras

4 oz foie gras, 1 inch cubes
1/2 cup panko crumbs
1 T cornstarch
oil for frying
1/2 cup daikon, grated
1/2 lime, juice + zest
1/2 t togarashi pepper

Freeze cubed foie gras overnight. Mix panko crumbs with cornstarch and water slurry. Heat a small saucepan with oil to cover a cube foie gras. Dip foie gras in panko slurry and fry immediately until crispy but not brown. Strain oil from tempura on a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Combine daikon, lime juice and togarashi pepper and form a bite-sized ball. Serve tempura foie gras with daikon.

Green apple tarte tatin, seared foie gras, arugula pesto

Me + Luke

JJ, Kay, Will, Drew, Jinhan, Keiko, Ling, Luke

April 3, 2011

When my friend said...

his favorite dish is Hainan Chicken Rice (海南雞飯), Singapore’s national dish, I started craving the flavorful, ginger-poached chicken I tasted on Orchard Road back in Singapore. I began my research and found very similar recipes of cooking a whole chicken and using chicken fat for the rice. I love traditional cooking methods, but this time I wanted to experiment on my own. Instead of boiling the whole bird, I decided to use just the breast. Although chicken breast tends to be less tender, I wanted to showcase how delicate it could taste when poached carefully.

I love adding texture to my dishes, so I quickly sauteed sesame-cilantro crumbs to use as a dip along with sweet garlic chili sauce, ginger-scallion oil, and some homemade pickled cucumbers. I’m not quite sure if my recipe reminds people of a classic Hainan Chicken Rice, but it’s still tasty (hopefully).


4 chicken breasts

5 inch ginger, sliced
3 stalks scallions, 1 inch pieces
1 teaspoon sesame oil
¼ cup sesame seeds

3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch ginger, minced
2 cups rice
2 cups reserved chicken poaching broth
1 1/3 cup water
1/2 t sesame oil
1 t salt

1 T rice vinegar
2 T reserved chicken poaching broth
2 t sugar
4 T Sriracha
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 t ginger, minced
a generous pinch of salt, to taste

¼ vegetable oil
1 t ginger, minced
1 t scallions, minced
1 t salt

1 T sesame seeds
1 T cilantro, minced
¼ cup panko crumbs


3 cucumbers, julienned
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 t white peppercorn
2 T sugar
¼ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup water
1 t salt


Season generously with salt. Place the chicken in a large stockpot and fill with cold water to cover by 1 inch. Add ginger and scallion. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, then immediately turn the heat to low to keep a simmer. Cook for about 15-20 minutes more.

When the chicken is cooked through, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the burner. Immediately lift and transfer the chicken into a bath of ice water to cool. Reserve the poaching broth for your rice and chili sauce. Remove the chicken from the ice bath.

In a sauce pan, fry ginger and garlic until fragrant. Add rice and stir to coat, cook for 2 minutes. Add the sesame oil, mix well. Add 2 cups of your reserved poaching broth, add salt and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5-10 minutes more.

Blend chili sauce ingredients. Blend ginger scallion oil ingredients. Sautee panko crumbs in vegetable oil until golden. Add salt, sesame and cilantro and quickly combine. Reserve for chicken topping. Combine pickle ingredients and let sit while chicken is cooking until serving time.

Serve chicken with chicken rice, sauces, cilantro crumbs and pickled cucumber.