Archive for April, 2010

29
Apr
10

Cuisine X by Xu Yuan

Gourmet.com has a few webisodes called “Diary of a Foodie”.  One particularly hit close to what we are trying to do with our restaurant. The webisode is called Ancient Traditions:

http://www.gourmet.com/diaryofafoodie/video/2009/01/303_ancient_traditions

About a quarter of the way through the video, there is a lady named Xu Yuan who runs a private kitchen called Cuisine X just outside of Hong Kong on a plot of land where she grows some organic produce. Everything she cooks is used with traditional cooking methods and some ancient equipment like the stone grinder to make her own homemade tofu. We are trying to track her down and learn from her, she seems to have hit the nail right on the head on making great tasting food from traditional recipes and cooking methods.

If any of you Hong Kongers out there know how to contact her, please let us know! She also has a restaurant in Wanchai, Hong Kong called Yin Yang in the JSenses building.

Also, the last segment of the video features a Vietnamese family that makes their own rice paper wraps the very traditional way by letting the rice paper soak up the evening and morning dew by laying them out right above the grass overnight to give them just the right amount of moisture after cooking them to a slight crisp.

19
Apr
10

Mama Hogue

I owe my street food exposure to my beautiful mama who would bring me home to Taiwan for the summers when I was little. We unfortunately had to stop going so often once I grew up and she started working full time, but the FOOD and the FAMILY are the things that I remember the most.

She admits she never did much Chinese/Taiwanese cooking, especially after moving to the U.S. in the 70’s, and her mother and father were the ones that could cook up a storm for her and her 7 siblings. Now, her oldest sister has most of the family recipes and they’re hard at work trying to remember, recreate, and translate them to me. If there’s one thing my mom loves, it’s working hard to help out her favorite daughter. I am indeed, the most spoiled child on the planet in so many ways.

Today, after cooking an American meal for my father (also spoiled by her), she whipped up a variation of her sticky rice, scallion pancakes, and her second attempt this week at sweet pickled cucumbers- my aunt’s recipe.

Continue reading ‘Mama Hogue’

18
Apr
10

Shelby is a baker.

Shelby is a baker. I know this because I tried the same recipe 14 times, each time tweaking a little something to my methods, all trying to get to one end result: puffy-ass, light, soft, BUNS. It’s the Wonderbread of Asian breads.

Continue reading ‘Shelby is a baker.’

17
Apr
10

Man tou

Man Tou (pronounced mahn toe), is the steamed bread used for many dumplings, buns, and in dim sum. Sometimes the dough is steamed by itself and is a good winter breakfast snack to warm up. It’s slightly sweet, light, and puffy- the same dough used for pork buns.

I bought these frozen since I have yet to master the dough recipe, but since I didn’t have any more pork bun dough, and I had some left over pork belly from the presentation, I just steamed some man tou dough, cut it in half, and stuffed it with pork belly, and some pickled cucumbers that my mom made from my aunt’s recipe in Taiwan.

steamed man tou

Continue reading ‘Man tou’

17
Apr
10

Ichiza- Las Vegas

Yes, vacation for me includes a good ramen hunt… What?

There are only a few reasons why one goes to Vegas: gambling, strippers, shows, and food…or a wedding (which is why I was there). The Vegas food scene is pretty huge. You can get anything from $5 buffets to $500 white table cloth dining.  I was on a budget, so we stuck with the medium-high end buffets, and a few meals in between. One of the meals we had was at the Japanese restaurant, Ichiza, from a suggestion by VSly.

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10
Apr
10

Mrs. Sun’s Bao Zi’s

Bao Zi (pronounced bow tseh) is a traditional steamed bun with a meat or veggie filling. The totally enclosed bun originated from mainland China, and is seen in dim sum dishes, or side dishes in a lot of Chinese restaurants. These are also sold out of carts at street markets, or hole-in-the-wall shops that usually do ONLY Bao Zi, or a mixture of dumplings and bao’s.

In high school, my main circle of friends and I would often hang out after school at one of our houses.  We always loved going to the Sun’s house because not only did Mrs. Sun always talk to us in Chinese- and ONLY Chinese- even though she knew most of us didn’t know a lick of Chinese, she would whip up an impressive spread of Chinese food from scratch.  We would show up, things would be coming off the steamer or out of the frying pan, and it held me over for daily soccer practice until I had time to eat a late dinner. Man, I love Mrs. Sun.

Continue reading ‘Mrs. Sun’s Bao Zi’s’

10
Apr
10

2006-2010

I first seriously thought about opening a noodle shop in 2006 after I decided working in the architecture field was NOT for me. Everyone returns to the deli at least once after leaving. It’s true.

The previous posts are from my first “blog” that wasn’t published, and I kept it as a food journal from visiting restaurants in different cities. After early 2007, life kind of happened, and the idea was set on the back burner. Things settled down a bit at the end of 2009, I started talking, cooking, and bouncing ideas off of Ji Hye, who also works at the deli, and we realized we make a kick-ass team and have the same set of ideas, business philosophies, similar palettes, and the strong motivation to do this restaurant.

Things have taken off since, and are moving really quickly. We’re both really excited, and I thought I’d transfer my blog postings from 2006-2008 for a little background, context, and pictures of pretty food. I put them in chronological order so they precede our most recent posts.