Crab Fried Rice

~ This is Day 125 ~

Not to sound elitist, but what do those people do during quarantine/lockdown if they “don’t cook”? Seamless everyday? My mind is baffled. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t know how to cook.

So… Fish Cheeks opened up outdoor dining but I live uptown so it’s a trek to go down there during COVID-19. Also, I’m still skeptical about outdoor dining in NYC, there seems to be groups/crowds nearby your table… Even though I am used to the mask now, NYC is experiencing an intense heatwave and I can’t deal again. SO, if I can’t get Fish Cheeks‘ crab fried rice, I’ll make it myself!!! I mean, it’s just crab + cold jasmine rice + accoutrements. It’s not identical to their fried rice but fried rice is fried rice!

I have been ordering seafood from Pierless, a restaurant purveyor of all things seafood. Many restaurant purveyors started selling their products at wholesale price to home chefs since quarantine began. And I love that! You know you’re getting the best quality, compared to regular grocery stores! Although prices can be expensive sometimes, you just have to justify what you would want to pay versus what you can get in the regular stores.

In this picture, I have fresh Lump Crab Fried Rice with Scrambled Eggs, Sweet Corn, Scallions, and White Sesame Seeds.

Recipe: Homemade Hoisin

(One more post to end the year!)

I don’t know why I haven’t started to make homemade hoisin much earlier in my life. I made it for this past Friendsgiving and it was amazing! I used some of the leftovers the other day with steamed buns and duck breast. So good!!

So here is my recipe. It’s significantly better than the store-bought version!

  • 6 umeboshi (Japanese pickled plum)
  • 120 g brown sugar
  • 100 g soy sauce
  • 10 g rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 TBS 5 spice powder (my homemade 5 spice powder is technically 7 different spices)
  • 1 tsp ketchup
  • 50 g Chinese fermented black beans

Just blend everything in a VitaMix and then pass it!

Sample dishes:

Blue Corn Tacos with Duck Leg Confit & Red Mole

I only just realized that I forgot to post this from last year’s Friendsgiving… here it is.

Why blue? They look purple to me.

I still stand by the confit method as the best way to cook duck legs. You can never go wrong with confit. And what better way to serve succulent shredded meat than with tacos? Two years ago, I used regular colored tortillas but I wanted the pop of color from the purple blue shells! Also, last year, I kept the legs and breasts separate. I like to switch it up from time to time. Don’t want my guests to get bored with my food!

The red mole here is from one of my good friends! I love it so much!


Beet Salad with Citrus

Over the course of my professional culinary career, I’ve made many interpretations of this salad but I feel like this one has been the best photographed.

This Beet Salad is composed of Roasted Red Beets, Beet Purée, Orange Suprêmes, Arugula and Snow Pea Shoots dressed in a Citrus Vinaigrette, Candied Orange Zest, and White Sesame Seeds.

Soft Shell Crab with an Orange Emulsion

Soft shell crab season is almost over. It only tastes good fried. I haven’t found any other way to cook it. Please tell me, if you find a healthier alternative.

This deep fried Soft Shell Crab is served over sautéed Pea Leaves with an Orange Emulsion and Sesame Seeds.

*Side note: whenever I prepare soft shell crab, i.e. cutting off its face and removing its lungs/filters, I will immediately start singing “Les Poissons” from The Little Mermaid.

Duck Leg Confit with Red Mole

This was a Duck Leg Confit with Red Mole and Fresh Salad in a Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette.

I managed to get my hands on this red mole recipe. It is absolutely amazing – spicy from the ancho peppers and velvety smooth from the chocolate. We should seriously jar this mole up and sell it!

Deconstructed Bagel & Lox

I am really happy about how this dish turned out. It tastes totally awesome; I prefer this deconstructed version better than the original! But that’s just me, I might get slapped for saying that in NYC.

This is a piece of Arctic Char that has been brined, then rolled in spices, then sous vide, served cold, and with piped Cream Cheese, Pickled Red Pearl Onions, Pickled Golden Raisins, Bagel Crumbs with Black & White Sesame Seeds, Crispy Shallots, Smoked Oil, and Micro Celery.

This started on the tasting menu for a couple of weeks and was an instant hit so I moved it to the a la carte menu three weeks ago.