Dumplings on a Seder Plate: The Closing of Green Village Restaurant

Wendy Lu

“You’ll tell them, right?” Wendy asked toward the end of the evening. She motioned toward the outside world, as if to remind us that there were still other people out there. We were the only guests in the tiny Chinese restaurant tonight. She looked out the window at another customer pulling at the locked door. “I don’t have the heart.” We nodded, reassuringly; we’d tell the world—the Internet—that Green Village was no more. Let people read what Wendy wouldn’t or couldn’t say to their face, what she shared with us tonight inside the restaurant: Green Village, the restaurant that had been her … [Read more...]

Love at First Sight: Yummy Mammy

Spinach Noodles

Yummy Mammy is the Zooey Deschanel of Chinese restaurants. It's got her quirky looks and takes hints from the way she hides behind big glasses to fool people into thinking she's not so  hot. Digging in deeper, ignoring the garbage bag full of dried red peppers sitting on the hostess stand, I found my manic pixie dream girl restaurant. Yummy Mammy's name alone gives it points in the "most adorkable" competition: awkward to get off the tongue and giving no hint of the stellar Chinese food hidden within. Emulating Zooey's Jess, from New Girl, it's just different enough, without crossing … [Read more...]

Xinjiang-Style Lamb Skewers

Lamb Skewers Cooked Xinjiang Style

This post is for a contest being put on by the folks at the American Lamb Board. The prize is cool (cooking with a chef at an event) and I'd like to win, so please vote for me! Also, that means the lamb used here was given to me by the lamb folks. Thanks, lamb folks! Xinjiang lamb skewers are the best bar snack you've never had. Unless you've been to Beijing, in which case, they might just be the best bar snack you have had. It's been almost three years since I came back from Beijing, but the many tasty skewers I had have stuck with me. It was high time to recreate them at … [Read more...]

How to Make Noodles in a Meat Grinder

NoodlesComingOut

 Chinese noodles with perfect bite, chew, texture, with half the work? Sign me up. After creating the hand-cut noodle recipe, I realized that: wait, I'm way too lazy to use the peeler to make the noodles for more than just Brett and I. But until recently, I didn't know what to do about it, so when I made dan dan noodles for a group, they had to be satisfied with my favorite store noodles. It isn't right. No, my friends deserve the bounce of a fabulous fresh noodle. Fast forward to last week, as I flipped around the internets, that wild world of wacky ideas, eventually landing on a Mario … [Read more...]

My Year in Food, 2011

Swimming Fire Fish

Normal is not what I do best. Thus my end-of-year top-ten list will be anything but. For starters, it's not ten items. Instead, this is a peek inside my brain, where cooking and reading and small creatures in the night all crawl about, mingling and mixing into a delightful stew of tasty tidbits. It's December, and while I'm more likely to look forward to the next year than backwards on the last, here's a few things that stuck in my maw, reminding me why the life of good eating is so wonderful. Best non-cookbook: Grant Achatz's Life, on the Line This is not the best written book ever, … [Read more...]

Little Nibbles: Challah, Chocolate Wine, New Dim Sum

ChallahWine

Warm up a chilly fall Monday morning with the scent of bread baking, the sound of wine pouring and the taste of dim sum on your tongue. A quick round up of all things delicious, in my kitchen, in my city and around the world... First and foremost: It's all about ME! I have a new column on the Seattle Weekly's Voracious Blog: On Monday mornings, you'll now find my recommendations for where to eat on Monday nights (when everything else is closed). Check out my first column, up today, on the Leary Traveler. Fresh Baked Challah The recent Jewish Holidays got me into a baking mode and … [Read more...]

Dan Dan Mien: Hand-shaved noodles and a Favorite at Home

Handmade Hand-shaved noodles

Dan dan noodles, or dan dan mien, is one of my favorite dishes in the whole world. In the five years since I first sampled it, I've tried it everywhere I could find it, in my own city, in Flushing Chinatown in New York, in Beijing, as close to the source as I could get, and even in Korea, just for good measure. The first time I ate dan dan mien with hand-shaved noodles at Seattle's Seven Star Pepper, I remember thinking it just might be the best thing ever invented. Thick ropes of uneven noodle dough swam about in a sea of peanut sludge, spiked with islands of pork. Later, I would learn … [Read more...]

Wordless Wednesday: DimSumCouver #7

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[Contest] Where to Eat at Pike Place Market: A Local’s Perspective

Like Eloise in the Plaza, I ran about the Pike Place Market as a child; ducking into stands and around tourists. If I were lucky, there was a post-swim-lesson lunch courtesy of my parents, maybe at the Turkish deli. Other times, my friends and I would slunk about, mixing in amongst older, more experienced vagrants. We'd laugh at the tourists, posing outside the wrong (not the first) Starbucks. Today, I'm no different, no less a kid in a candy store. I sneak through the market at 8am, on my way to work, when only the useful stalls--the fish, the vegetables, are open. Pike Place Market in … [Read more...]

(Stir-Fried) Water Boiled Fish

FinishedWaterBoiledFish

"You'll like it." These were the words that I was told the first time I tasted the Sichuanese dish known as water-boiled fish. That phrase may just be the most epic understatement in the history of my life, up there with descriptions of me such as 'a little competitive' and the usual elementary school report card 'can be bossy.' For once, I had found a Chinese restaurant that 'got' me. That didn't dumb dishes down when they saw my skin color, that didn't come running with a fork and a glass of ice water at my pronunciation of Chinese words. No, Chiang's Gourmet had made a dish suggestion … [Read more...]