Basic Pie Crust (for 4, 9 inch pies):
-550g all purpose flour
-350g butter
-1 ½ tsp salt
-2 tbs sugar
-150g ice water (approximate)

**Mix together salt, sugar, and flour. Cut butter into flour and add water a tablespoon at a time until moist and crumbly. Divide into 4 portions, roll and line pie pans.


Apple and Pear Pie (for 2, 9 inch pies)

-250g sugar (approximate, depending on sweetness of fruits)
-500g: Barlet Pears
-500g: mixture of Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Jonagold apples
-4 tbs flour
-2 tbs ground cinnamon

**Peal, seed and slice fruit into thin pieces. Mix everything together and fill pies. Bake at 450’F for 15 mins, reduce heat to 350’F and bake for another 40 mins or until juices from the center of the pie bubbles.
***Note: If making apple pies, use 1kg apples. If making pear pies use 1kg pears and omit cinnamon.

Pumpkin Pie: (for 2, 9 inch pies)

-800g pumpkin puree (from 800g pumpkin, steamed and mashed)
-350g sugar
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tbs ginger juice
-1 tbs ground cinnamon
-1 tsp each: ground cloves, nutmeg
-4 eggs
-500g evaporated milk
-2 tsp vanilla

*Mix everything together and ladle into crusts. Bake at 400’F for 15 mins, reduce temperature to 350’F and bake for another 35 mins or until set. Decorate cooled pies with fresh whipped cream.

-100g each: white sugar, brown sugar
-200g shortening (use half lard and half shortening for better flavor)
-400g all purpose flour
-2 tbs almond extract
-1 tsp vanilla
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/3 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-sliced almonds
-egg wash
What to Do:
Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Cream shortening with sugars and egg until fluffy add vanilla and almond extract. Add flour mixture and mix to form a smooth dough. Rest dough for ½ hour and divide into golf size balls. Flatten the balls into “cookies”, brush with egg wash and sprinkle some sliced almonds on top. Bake at 350’F until golden, about 15 mins.

Located in an alley, about a block away from Chùa Việt Nam (a Vietnamese Buddhist temple I volunteer at) is Northwest Tofu. This is where the temple goes for its weekly tofu needs, reason not being because they’re close, but because the tofu here is the best in the market. Many different brands of tofu are sold in Seattle markets, and a handful (about 10) of those brands are made in Seattle. Needless to say, if you’re in Seattle getting your hands on a piece of tofu is easy as pie. But what makes Northwest Tofu’s tofu better than the rest? It’s their taste, texture and quality. Their taste is unbeatable; rich and creamy. The texture is smooth and silky. Quality wise, the tofu is made daily, always fresh and warm if you buy them at the factory.

Armed with a camera, notepad and a pen I decided to spend my Friday morning on a short field trip at the tofu factory. The people there are extremely nice and were more than happy gave me a tour. Their family run operation uses an average of 300lbs of soy beans a day. Most of their costumers are restaurants but their products are only sold fresh at the factory and at 3 grocery stores in Seattle. They produce all types of tofu and also offer soy milk, yu chao kway, sesame pancakes, onion pancakes, and rice milk.

Making of tofu is hard work! I requires time, and lots of manpower…..yeah and soybeans too.

The process begins; Soybeans are soaked overnight:

The beans are then grounded up and the “milk” is extracted:

The milk is then coagulated in large wooden barrows, once the mixture sets, it is stirred to break up and separate the curds and whey:

Meanwhile, the wooden moulds are prepared by lining them with cheesecloth:

The mixture is now then poured into the moulds:

The moulds are capped before being pressed (to remove excess water) and you are rewarded with tofu!

Soybean pulp at the end of the day is then sold to farms which trun it into animal feed:

I mentioned they also make yu chao kway right? Here’s some fresh out of the fryer:

Warm thank you to
Northwest Tofu for opening your doors and giving me such a wonderful and detailed tour. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

-100g dried mung beans (peeled and split)
-300g taro
-100g shortening
-125g wheat starch
-80g boiling water
-1 shy tsp baking ammonia

*Rinse and soak mung beans in water for a few hours to “rehydrate”. Peel taro and chop taro. Steam taro and mung beans until tender mash into a smooth paste. Stir boiling water into wheat starch, and let rest until cool enough to handle. Finally, knead everything together to create a smooth dough.

-1 Chinese sausage
-1/4 cups each: shrimp, ground pork, bamboo shoots, cha siu (Chinese bbq pork)
-3-4 shitake mushrooms
-1/3 tsp 5 spice powder
-1/2 tsp ground pepper
-1/2 sesame oil
-dash of soy sauce
-pinch of salt

*Soak mushrooms in warm water until tender. Chop mushrooms, shrimp, bamboo shoots, sausage, cha siu into small pieces. Stir fry all the ingredients for about 5 mins over high heat.

Wrapping and Frying:
Divide dough into 20 pieces. Wrap a tsp of filling in a portion of dough. Repeat same process for the rest of the dough and filling. Deep fry the puffs in oil temp. of 200’C or 390’F. Remove when golden and puffy. Serve hot.


The most important factor when making these puff is the oil temp. in which you fry the puffs. If the temp. is too low the puffs will “dissolve” in the oil.

-8 large ripe bananas
-2 tbs all purpose flour
-1 ½ loafs old bread (preferably wheat)
-4 tbs rum
-2 eggs
-1 ¼ cups sugar
-2 cups milk
-2 cups coconut milk
-4 tbs melted butter
-1 tbs vanilla
-1/4 cup raisins (optional)
-1/4 cup walnuts (optional)
-1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

*Slice bananas and mix with flour, 2 tbs rum, ¼ cup sugar, 2 tbs butter, raisins, nuts and cinnamon. Beat eggs with the remaining cup of sugar, add coconut milk, milk, vanilla, remaining butter, and rum. Slice bread into ½ inch thick slices. Grease an 8 inch cake ban pan. Quickly dip the bread slices in egg mixture and lay the slices into the bottom of pan to create the first “layer”. Add half of the bananas to a second layer, followed by another layer of bread, before finally topping it off with a layer of bananas. Bake at 350’F until golden, about 45 mins.

ninhthuan from

-1lbs beef brisket + 1lb beef tendons (or 2lbs beef brisket)
-4 carrots
-3 star anise
-1 stick of cinnamon about 4 inches long
-1 stalk of lemongrass
-2 bay leaves
-1/2 can (6oz) tomato paste
-1 large onion
-1 thumb size piece of ginger
-3 cloves of garlic
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tbs dark soy sauce
-1 tbs oyster sauce
-2 tsp sugar
-“liquid” (water, coconut juice or broth)

*Dice onion, ginger, and garlic. Boil beef for about 5 mins, the remove from water and cut into bite size pieces. Boil tendons for about 1 hour and cut the same size as beef brisket. Marinate beef brisket and tendons with onion, ginger, garlic, salt, pepper, and sugar for at least ½ hour (overnight if you have the time). Crush the lemongrass. Heat oil in pot, roast anise and cinnamon until fragrant, add the marinated meat and lemongrass; stir fry the about 5 mins. Add the tomato paste and enough liquid to cover the beef. Simmer until almost tender, add in carrots and continue to simmer until carrots are fork tender, give the stew a taste test before serving to make sure the flavors are balanced. 

Serve with bread or over noodles and blanched beans sprouts.