We’re deep into barbecue season, and with Independence Day on Monday, my birthday gift to America (and you, dear readers) will be this ethnic take on grilled meat. It also happens to be my pops’s birthday, and the man does love his beef, so I thought I’d honor him, too, by choosing a beef recipe (just like how I’d done a burger recipe when it was the hubs’s birthday). My pops moved back to Vietnam after retirement, and whenever he’s asked what he misses most about America (and Texas in

I recently wrote about Rodney’s Oyster House and Pearl Diver—both seafood restaurants in Toronto—so to close out my Canada series, I’ve got a crab roll recipe for you today. But it’s not your traditional crab roll. It’s crab rolls with a Japanese twist. I have an affinity for wasabi mayo because it’s creamy, clears your sinuses, and goes so well with seafood. I made these crab rolls for a corporate event I did in New York, and they were a hit. I chose crab over lobster because, frankly, I tend

Even after Rodney’s Oyster House, I couldn’t get enough seafood in Toronto. On another evening, I met up Jenna, friend and co-blogger at NMO Diaries, for some ocean eats at Pearl Diver. Pearl Diver was sort of a newcomer on the restaurant scene at the time, and I’d heard good things about their seafood circus tower, which is a multi-level platter available for half off during happy hour. We ordered the seafood circus tower as soon as we arrived since it’s a popular item, and we didn’t want to risk

When I tell Canadians some of my favorite raw oysters to consume are the Kumamoto oyster—hailing from the West coast but originally from Japan, mildly briny, moderately sweet, medium in size—they gasp and say, “Oh no…Prince Edward Island oysters are the best!” I believe in equal opportunity. I love all oysters, even those fat, briny Gulf Coast oysters poo-pooed by so many. (Hey, don’t knock my third coast!) Anywhere I go, if the region is known for oysters, I’ll most likely be slurping down a few. (Okay, maybe more than

Last April, I was invited to teach a cooking workshop at the W Ross MacDonald School in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. A little background on WRMS: founded in 1872, the school teaches blind and blind-deaf students from grades K through 12. There are currently around 200 enrolled students. With a grant received from the Ministry of Education in Ontario, WRMS created a Healthier Eating Program with the purpose of teaching students the importance of health and nutrition. As part of the program, I was asked to lead a one-day workshop and

Recently, it was announced that my cooking show, Four Senses, would be entering its fourth season of production on AMI! To celebrate the milestone, I’m taking the next few weeks to reminisce on our friendly northern neighbor, Canada. Back in 2014, we were shooting our second season. One of the first meals I had on my return to Canada was tonkotsu ramen at Sansotei Ramen in downtown Toronto. Being from Houston where there are not a lot of Japanese, I tend to seek this cuisine when traveling to places with

When the hubs first told me he bought the Amazon Echo during pre-sale, I rolled my eyes and thought it would just be another gimmicky gadget that would eventually collect a layer of dust in the corner of our home. Then Alexa (the name Echo came with) was delivered on our doorstep, and as soon as the hubs plugged her in, she became an irreplaceable part of our family. Okay, I can practically feel the breeze of your eyes rolling, but I have to say, Echo is a life changer.

My papa-in-law loves crab, so for an early Father’s Day, the hubs and I made white pepper crab for my in-laws. It was perfect timing because I needed to create a Singaporean-style recipe anyway for the blog, following my recent posts on Singapore. While white pepper crab falls behind chile crab and black pepper crab in terms of popularity, I found its flavor to be quite nice—not too overbearing in the heat department, a little sweet and salty, a bit of umami. And living near the Gulf of Mexico, I

While filming MasterChef Vietnam season 3, I met some folks from the Singapore Tourism Board; their job was to help the producers obtain permits for on-site shoots and make sure things ran smoothly during filming. As we were wrapping our first day’s shoot, Glenn and Junnie invited me to dinner to try some traditional Singaporean dishes. Of course, I said yes. How could I resist? On my travels, I love discovering new foods through the tastebuds of locals. Everyone talks about chile crab or chicken with rice when they talk

This Monday is Memorial Day, the official day we commemorate soldiers who have given their lives for our country. It’s a national holiday and also signifies the kick-off of summer. All across America, and especially in the South, thousands of grills (and barbecue-goers) will get lit! Because meat is generally the main focus of the grill, the sides often get glossed over. But as we all know the sides are what make the Thanksgiving meal, I’m not going to give you yet another meat recipe today. Instead, I’m going to

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