What’s better than crispy all around?

Trying to perfect a dough the way you want is tough but I think it only gets better from here. Sheng Jian Bao translate to pan frying the baos from a raw state. Growing up eating dim sum is something I am so grateful for. But my first time traveling to Beijing back in 2014 with my mom this was one of the first things we ordered there. Exhausted from jet lag & of course always hungry, we needed comfort food in our lives. The 4 star hotel we stayed at had pork filled baos that were fluffy, crisp on the bottom; best way to start off the trip. From then on I can’t stop thinking about them.

I’ve been testing numerous dough recipes and finally one to call my own. Here’s my version and so much more to come.¬†



Roasted duck. Serrano white bean. Maitake Mushrooms. Vincotto. 


The kind of duck you see hanging from the window of a Chinese BBQ place in China.

That on top of ginger & maitake rice.. Green Thai Chiles + Scallions. Yes, I could totally make and eat this all day.


Gochujang Honey Duck. Michigan Morels. Asparagus. Carrots. Crispy Duck Skin. Cilantro Oil. 

Every morel season I either find a good amount or very few. This year happened to be very few but made the best out of it. 


Grew some really good things this year. Planted more plants then I should have and got more then I anticipated. You don’t see a lot of pineapple tomatillos or Chinese purple amaranth vegetables. I’m a huge fan of fire on my food so I had to get the Thai Chiles going. My mom grows almost the same thing every year and purple amaranth is always a top priority.

It was a few years back when I had worked at a private country club here in Michigan, Oakland Hills Country Club. They took us on a work field trip to The Chef’s Garden in Ohio. It was inspirational meeting Farmer Lee Jones because he is so committed to¬†sustainable agricultural practices. There they were growing these little pineapple tomatillos they had us all try. You peel back the husk on these tomatillos and you’ll get a burst of sweet fruity flavor. So now it’s nice to have some growing in my own garden.


Last month I got another opportunity to do an outdoor dinner at Fisheye Farms! Located in the West Village area in Detroit comes a large lot with produce ranging from heirloom tomatoes to eggplant to a variety of fresh herbs.

The food I made was based around Spanish wines and ingredients from Fisheye Farms.

Photos by Scott Smith.