If you haven’t noticed already, I’m kind of obsessed with Chinese five spice. I’ve used it to spice up BBQ jackfruit buns, added it to creamy peanut sauce, and I’ve even made cookies with it! Here’s a classic dish my mom always makes with this iconic spice–a fragrant faux beef stir fry that can serve as the protein base for a variety of other dishes. Continue reading
I’ve had this one on my mind for a while–a vegan “tuna” salad infused with Vietnamese flavors, like nước mắm! This is not traditional from my experience, and I tried to find some examples but couldn’t find that much online. However, I was particularly inspired by this account and recipe from Andrew Zimmern, influenced by his experience on a Vietnamese island. It sounded legit, so I decided to give it a try, with a plant-based twist! Can you guess what I used in place of tuna? Continue reading
There’s no way around it–you can’t do Vietnamese food without nước mắm (fish sauce).
It’s the main base in nước chấm, a light dipping sauce that accompanies most Vietnamese dishes. You’d think this would be an issue for Vietnamese vegans and vegetarians, but it’s actually the easiest thing, especially for those of us who grew up around the spiritual traditions of vegetarianism. Continue reading
Guys, I’m participating in VeganMoFo again! VeganMoFo is a month-long challenge to post as much vegan food as possible, kind of like NaNoWriMo. It’s been a few years since I took part, but I decided (to be crazy) and challenge myself this month. It’s the most insane time for me to do this, because I’m in the middle of my design thesis for graduate school (more on that as the month progresses). However, I owe you guys so many blog posts and recipes that I’ve been testing over and over (I need to get over perfectionism)…and I guess I’m all about the crazy! Check out my IG post below to learn more about me and my focus. Continue reading
This past weekend, the sunlit and cozy interiors of The Creek Cafe welcomed a trickling but steadily increasing stream of curious diners, all eager to get a taste of the cafe’s new vegan Omakase menu. Nestled in the historic Lakewood neighborhood in Dallas, the spot describes itself as Americana with a Tokyo twist. On a normal day, they serve breakfast, pastries, French toast, and Japanese-style fluffy pancakes. Their special two-night vegan event saw such a popular demand that reservations sold out! My dear friend Christina and I were among the lucky attendees, and I’m excited to share our experience with you.
Omakase (お任せ): a Japanese phrase meaning “respectfully leaving another to decide what is best.” In this case, the diner is entrusting the chef to make the decision about the dishes to be served. This gives the chef creative flexibility, and also provides the diner with a unique experience.
There are some dishes that are such staples, you could make them with your eyes closed. Tofu scramble is that dish for me. I KNOW, soo basic. But soo good. Just like avocado toast, tofu scramble is a vegan breakfast classic, loved by all. I told y’all, my body is in need of the hearty basics after all the crazy indulgences at the Houston Vegandale Festival.
Tofu scramble was the first thing my mom ever taught me in the kitchen. She likes to make hers a bit on the salty side, because we would usually eat it with plain white rice. SO GOOD. It’s a staple that stands the test of time. Last year, one of my vegan friends told me that my tofu scramble back in high school actually introduced her to vegan food. High school was at least 10 years ago…I was so touched!! Omnivores have told me that this scramble even rivals the one at a certain beloved vegan diner around these parts (Spiral Diner, I still love you and your migas; don’t come for me, hahaha). My cousin Jackie is also obsessed with my tofu scramble and has always asked me exactly how I make it, so I made a Highlight about it on my Instagram to share the process; check it out here!
It’s high time I had a post on here dedicated to this beloved classic. My sister Anna and I often find ourselves making a huge batch of tofu scramble every week or so, especially when we find tofu on sale for 25 cents a box! Yes, that happened this weekend, and we bought ten boxes. My mom was so proud, but she said we should’ve gotten 20. #asianmoms
Tofu scramble is satisfying, quick, and packed with nutrients and protein. And it’s so easy to pack in veggies and customize it to your liking! You can make it so many different ways, depending on your mood. Tofu scramble is THE most versatile dish in any vegan’s repertoire. Everyone’s got their own way of making it, and here’s mine! Lately, I’ve been obsessed with lemon pepper and I put it in everything. It really brightens up a tofu scramble! Continue reading
Baking on a rainy morning…there are few things this satisfying and comforting.
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.
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
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. 🙂