2 Ingredient Chocolate Mousse With Citrus + Lychee

Lychee is one of my favorite southeast Asian fruits, second only to mangosteen. Its pink-white flesh is glossy, delicate and aromatic…the vibrant taste is absolutely unique. Think of a grape, but juicier, with smooth floral, rosy notes and pear undertones. Even comparing it to a grape is slightly insulting, because its freshness and flavor is on an entirely different level.

lychee fruit (1 of 2)

Clearly, lychee is my valentine this year.  Lychee is also considered a lucky fruit in Chinese culture, symbolizing family abundance and harmony, so this dessert would be a fun fusion dish for Lunar New Year gatherings this weekend. Red and golden hues make a lucky color palette. Continue reading

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Beet + Ginger Vitality Soup for Chinese New Year // A Cup of Joan Collab

The Lunar New Year (commonly known as the Chinese New Year) is tomorrow! I’m so excited to finally share this collaboration that my friend Joan La (A Cup of Joan) and I have been working on. Joan is an ethical, vegan fashion blogger. Her content exists in a genre somewhere between storytelling, activism, and art. Ultimate goals–I love this babe so much!

I love the way Joan expresses herself and stands up for what she believes in. I’m Vietnamese (with some Chinese, but culturally I’m Viet) and Joan is Korean. We have passionately discussed the need for a bigger presence of Asian American and persons of color in the vegan movement. We’ve both noted that vegan versions of traditional Asian dishes are not as widely known, and it’s especially irksome when our cultural food is either looked down on or appropriated by “trendsetters” with no cultural context (vegan fish sauce as a start up venture, for example…). I could go into it more but this post is going to be long as it is, so I must save that for another time–let’s get to the good stuff! For our CNY collaboration, we decided to each post a recipe and share interviews with our moms, to celebrate our different cultures and share the similarities. Yesss, Asian female empowerment and solidarity! I urge you to check out Joan’s post here, and follow her beautiful inspiring Instagram here–you won’t regret it. Continue reading

Lemon Lavender Candied Ginger (Mứt Gừng) for Chinese New Year (Tết) | plantcrush.co

Lemon Lavender Candied Ginger for Chinese New Year (Mứt Gừng)

Like any new year celebration, Chinese New Year is about new beginnings. Sweet treats are popular cross-culturally, as they symbolize a sweet, joyful start to the upcoming year. I think we can all agree that we definitely need more joy this year. This year, I was honored to be invited by the lovely Christine (Vermilion Roots) to participate in a Chinese New Year sweets party with several other Asian bloggers. It’s kind of like a virtual potluck—I urge you to check out the participating blogs below, to get a taste of the lunar new year from various parts of Asia! Continue reading

Lunar New Year | Sweet Celebration Bowl

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!
Happy Lunar New Year!

For today’s post, I considered making something savory, but we’ve been having some mildly warm afternoons here in Texas, so instead, I will share a refreshing fruity recipe. This recipe showcases lucky fruits with meanings for Tết (Lunar New Year): soursop (custard apple), coconut, papaya, and mango.
Sweet Celebration Bowl

In Vietnamese, the names of these fruits create a pun, “Cầu Dừa Đủ Xoài (Cầu Vừa Đủ Xài).” This phrase means “[Let’s] pray for just enough [resources/money/food, etc.] to use”–a wise wish for the new year.

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Tết + Healing Ginger Shiitake Mushroom Soup

Mai Flowers

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!
Happy Lunar New Year!

I’ve been feeling under the weather, so last night, I made a super spicy ginger soup!

My mom came to visit me and has brought plenty of traditional Vietnamese Tết food, which I will be sharing on Instagram throughout the weekend. ^.^

I wish you all a wonderful new year and hope it’s filled with blessings, positivity and happiness.
Chúc bạn sức khỏe dồi dào–I wish you a wealth of health! If you’ve been feeling sniffly like me, the following soup will do wonders for you.

Spicy Healing Ginger Soup

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Vegan Bulgogi Fusion Tacos

Happy Taco Tuesday!

For my first post of 2018, what could be better than sharing a recipe for these gorgeous fusion tacos? As always, I must apologize for my absence–life’s kept me on my toes lately. For instance, I wrote this entire post at the print shop yesterday, while waiting for my portfolio to print! And I had to squeeze in the photo shoot a few weeks ago as the sun was setting! I can’t believe my to-do list sometimes. You ever feel like your week’s been crazy, and you look at the calendar to see that it’s only…Monday? Haha.

One of my intentions this year is to let go of my perfectionism and share as many recipes and inspiration as possible, even when I’m inclined not to share them because of my intermittent bouts of Imposter Syndrome (not to mention, my unpredictable grad school schedule). I’m making an effort to share more of my meals on Instagram. In grad school, you eat a lot of random meals, and they’re not always photogenic.

Speaking of photogenic…I’m so happy about how colorful these tacos are! For Christmas, my good friend Lesley got me a marble backdrop for food photos, and it’s pretty much the best thing ever. I am IN LOVE (thank you so much, Lesley). Lesley’s one of my favorite people ever from my hometown. I don’t get to see her often but I love that we always encourage each other’s creativity! One of these days we’re going to make some vegan Disney-themed food for her Youtube channel. 🙂

Vegan Bulgogi Fusion Tacos  | plantcrush.co

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Chinese Five Spice Gingerbread Cookies

Happy Christmas Eve, y’all! 2017 is coming to a close–I can barely believe it! I’m in the mood to bake spicy cookies and drown my stress in hot chocolate, how about you?

Needless to say, grad school life has kept me quite occupied this year. I actually got sick twice this semester (currently still recovering)–which is absolutely insane to me, because I hardly ever get sick. This semester seriously took a toll on me. I have another year left–my thesis looms ahead! Cue the tears and hot chocolate…and Chinese five spice gingerbread cookies.

gingerbread scene final-B

Chinese five spice, ngũ vị hương in Vietnamese, is one of my favorite things to reach for in the kitchen. It has a complex balance of flavors: sweet, savory, sour, and bitter. Around this time last year, I shared a savory recipe featuring it–Fusion Jackfruit Bao Bites. This year, I’m showing you how I decided to throw it into some cookies…it turned out to be a success at a vegan Christmas cookie swap I went to, so I decided to refine the recipe to share with you!

Finishing Process2

Chilling the dough before and after rolling keeps cookie shapes intact–but I also like the cute mistakes that occur when I forget to chill the second time, like this little dancing cutie!

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Vegan White Hot Chocolate (Unicorn Hot Chocolate) // The Plant Philosophy Collab

Happy Galentine’s Day!

Today I am sharing a cute, fun recipe you can make with your gal pals to celebrate Galentine’s Day, in collaboration with one of my dearest female friends, Margaret (The Plant Philosophy). With Margaret and I’s shared passion for vegan food photography and blogging, it was only a matter of time for us to do a Galentine’s Day collab. If you aren’t following Margaret already, please check out her site–she is seriously the coolest.


unicorn-hot-chocolate-3When Margaret and I hang out, we go all out to relax or work on content. We are completely in our element, whether it’s chilling over a Harry Potter marathon with nachos, or hustling to perfect recipes and get the perfect food photo shots (also Harry Potter related). Every time I spend a weekend at Margaret’s place, as soon as I step inside, I feel a great sense of peace and inspiration! I am greeted by the warmth of lovely, sweet animals and Margaret’s cozy kitchen dapples with sunny promises of a truly rejuvenating weekend ahead. Last time we hung out, we made a Unicorn Bark recipe and Margaret graciously let me use her space to create my Lemon Lavender Candied Ginger. Continue reading