This has to be one of my favorite appetizers to get at a Thai restaurant. It’s a pain to make at home cause hand mixing the fish paste is a major pain but I think it comes out tasting better than mixing it with a Kitchen-Aid Mixer.


Thai Fish Cakes

Source: Lo Huynh (4 servings)


Fish Cakes:
11 ounces prepared fish paste
1 large egg whites
1 teaspoon red curry paste
½ cup Chinese long beans, thinly sliced crosswise
2 each fresh kaffir lime leaves, chiffonade
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Cucumber Relish Sauce:
2 each Persian cucumber, peeled and cut into crescents
1 each shallot, thinly sliced
½ cup Thai sweet chili sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, rough choppd
2 tablespoons roasted peanuts, chopped


Fish Cakes:
1. In a mixing bowl, add the fish paste, egg white, and red curry paste and stir with a wooden spoon for about 30 minutes, or until the mixture is thoroughly blended.
2. Add the kaffir lime leaves and Chinese green beans.
3. Let the fish paste mixture rest for 30 minutes before frying.
4. Over medium high heat, heat a saute pan with the vegetable oil. Form the fish paste into 1/4 inch-thick rounds about 4 inches in diameter using your hand and slide the fish paste patties into the hot oil. It helps to form these patties when your hands are wet so the fish paste doesn’t stick to your hands.
5. Once one side of the fish patty is golden {this should take about a minute or two}, flip the patty and cook the other side. The fish cakes are fully cooked when you can feel a bouncy resistance from them.
6. Transfer the fish cake patties to a paper towel-lined plate.
7. Serve the fish cake patties with the cucumber relish sauce.

Cucumber Relish Sauce:
1. In a bowl, mix the Thai sweet chili sauce, shallots, fish sauce, and cilantro together.
2. Add the cucumbers.
3. Garnish with the roasted peanuts.


This is a great side dish or an amazing appetizer that you can serve with a nice baguette!


Roasted Garlic Mushrooms

Source: Lo Huynh (2 servings)

3 tablespoons salted sweet cream butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
8 ounces cremini mushrooms
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and rough chopped

1 tablespoon scallions, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. In a baking dish, toss mushrooms with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, capers, and garlic.
3. Top with butter and roast for about 30 minutes.
4. Garnish with the scallions.


This is seriously one of the easiest side dishes you can make. It’s also great as an appetizer too!


Balsamic and Brown Sugar Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Source: Lo Huynh (4 servings)

1 lb. brussels sprouts, cut off the ends and cut in half
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
tt kosher salt
tt freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. In a bowl, whisk the brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, kosher salt, black pepper, and extra virgin olive oil until blended.
3. Add the brussels sprouts to this mixture.
4. Pour the brussels sprouts onto a foil lined sheet pan and roast for about 30 minutes, or until the brussels sprouts are crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Make sure to turn the brussels sprouts halfway through cooking time so they cook evenly.
5. Serve immediately.


There is nothing I LOVE more than handmade dumplings. This dumpling consists of all of my favorite things…pork, ginger, shrimp, and Shitake mushrooms. Feel free to use either fresh Shitake mushrooms or the dehydrated kind. Either one will work just fine.

Boiled Pork, Shitake Mushrooms, and Shrimp Dumplings with a Ginger Scallion Chili Sauce

Source: Lo Huynh (2 servings | 12 dumplings)


¾ cup all purpose white flour or bread flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup cold water

Dumpling Filling:
4 ounces ground pork
2 ounces shrimp, chopped
2 each shitake mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon scallions, minced
1 teaspoon Chinese rice cooking wine
1 tablespoon corn starch
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
⅛ teaspoon ground white pepper

Ginger Scallion Chili Dumpling Sauce:
2 tablespoons Chinese sweet black vinegar
1 tablespoon Mama’s chili sauce {preferable} or Sriracha chili garlic sauce
2 tablespoons Kikoman soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons scallions, chopped

1. Make the dough by mixing the flour and the 1/2 teaspoon salt together.
2. Make a well with the flour and add the cold water.

3. Using a fork, mix the flour and water together until it is combined.
4. Using your hand, knead the mixture together until a dough forms.
5. Knead into a ball shape, wrap with plastic wrap, and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.

Dumpling Filling:
Mix the pork, shrimp, mushrooms, scallions, ginger, Chinese cooking wine, cornstarch, sugar, salt, and white pepper in a bowl.

Ginger Scallion Chili Dumpling Sauce:
1. In a bowl, whisk together the Chinese black vinegar, Mama’s chili sauce, soy sauce, cilantro, scallions, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. Set aside.

Making Dumplings:
1. Roll the rested dough into a log about 12-inches long.
2. Cut the log into 12 pieces.
3. Roll each piece into a ball.
4. Using a rolling pin, dust the pieces with some flour.

5. Roll out each piece into 3-inch round wrappers.
6. Fill the wrappers with about 1 tablespoon of filling.

7. Fold the wrapper filled with the dumpling filling in half and seal with water. You can either just fold them in half and call it a day or make pleats by pinching the edges together to form pleats.

Cooking the Dumplings:
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
2. Add the dumplings to the boiling water.
3. Bring the dumplings to a boil.
4. Add in a cup of water once the dumplings boil.
5. Once the dumplings boil again, add in another cup of water.
6. Once the dumplings have basically boiled three times and have floated to the top, scoop the dumplings out and add it to the ginger scallion chili dumpling sauce.
7. Toss the dumplings with the dumpling sauce until well combined. Serve hot.


Sometimes when I want something quick and easy, this will be the meal I’ll make. It’s light and refreshing and yummy. Just remember to make the pickled carrots and daikon at least two days before you make these spring rolls. If you want to make this for a party, you can make it earlier in the day but just remember to wrap each individual roll in plastic wrap and then keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve them. This would also make a great packed lunch!

I like to prep all the ingredients first before I start wrapping up these spring rolls.

I like to lay out my shrimp first so it shows through in the wrapper when I’m done wrapping these rolls.

I’ll then put in the rest of my spring roll ingredients on top of the shrimp pieces.

I like to wrap the spring rolls by folding the bottom piece up first.

I’ll then fold the sides next and then roll up that spring roll.

To make the dipping sauce, it just consists of equal parts hoisin sauce to peanut butter. Heat it up in a saucepan with some water and it makes for a fantastic sauce for your spring rolls!

Goi Cuon {Vietnamese Spring Rolls}

Source: Lo Huynh (2 servings)

½ pound large shrimp, boiled and sliced in half lengthwise
½ pound pork tenderloin, pork shoulder, or pork cushion, boiled and sliced in thin slices
4 ounces thin rice vermicelli noodles, cooked according to package
8 leaves red or green leaf lettuce, washed and dried
½ bunch fresh mint, leaves plucked
½ bunch fresh cilantro, washed and dried
1 each persian cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced on the diagonal
8 each rice paper, banh trang
¼ cup pickled carrots and daikon

Peanut Sauce:
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
6 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon unsalted peanuts, roasted and crushed

Pickled Carrots and Daikon:
½ cup water
½ cup distilled white vinegar
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 each carrot, julienned
½ each daikon, julienned

1. Bring a pot of water to boil with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Add the shrimp and cook for a couple minutes, or until the shrimp is bright orange. Slice the shrimp in half lengthwise and set aside.
2. Add the pork to the water and cook for about 20 minutes or until the pork is fully cooked. Cut into thin slices. Set aside.
3. Prep the noodles, lettuce, mint, cilantro, and cucumber and set aside.
4. Quickly run the rice paper under hot water on both sides and lay it on a cutting board. Place a couple pieces of shrimp down first, then the noodles, pork, and then the rest of your prepped ingredients.
5. Roll the rice paper like a burrito.
6. Serve with the peanut sauce.

Peanut Sauce:
1. In a small sauce pan, heat up the peanut butter, hoisin sauce, and water. Whisk all the ingredients together.
2. Once the sauce is hot, pour in a serving bowl and top with the crush roasted peanuts and serve with the spring rolls.

Pickled Carrots and Daikon:
Mix carrots, daikon, water, sugar, vinegar, and salt together and let this sit for 2 days in the refrigerator before serving.


Sometimes when I’m seriously craving chicken wings but not in the mood to fry them cause it’ll cause a mess and I’ll have oil splattered everywhere, I’ll bake them and surprisingly, they’ll come out pretty crazy good! This is how I like to bake my chicken wings and when I make them this way, it makes me feel like they’re actually healthy for me and then I’ll eat double the amount that I probably should.

Oven-Roasted Chicken Wings

Source: Lo Huynh (2 servings)

12 each chicken wings/drummettes, wash and dry
2 tablespoons all purpose white flour
pinch paprika
pinch sea salt

Buffalo Sauce:
1 tablespoon sweet cream butter
1 tablespoon Frank’s Red Hot sauce
sprinkle garlic powder
sprinkle freshly ground black pepper

Other Sauces:
2 tablespoons bottled Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce
2 tablespoons Mae Ploy Sweet Chilli Sauce

1. Wash and dry your chicken wings/drummettes.
2. Mix the all purpose flour with the sea salt and paprika in a bowl and coat your chicken pieces in this flour mixture.
3. After dredging the chicken with the flour mixture, dust off the excess flour and lay the chicken pieces on a sheet pan lined with foil that has been brushed with some canola oil so the chicken wings do not stick to the foil.
4. Bake your your chicken wings at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes. Remember to turn the chicken pieces halfway through cooking time so it bakes evenly.
5. Once the chicken pieces have a nice golden color, it’s done!
6. Toss the chicken wings/drummettes with the sauces of your choice. I personally like to coat 4 pieces with the buffalo sauce, 4 pieces with the teriyaki sauce, and 4 pieces with the sweet chili sauce.
7. Serve with blue cheese dressing or ranch dressing, cut up carrots and celery, and coleslaw.

Buffalo Sauce:
In a small sauce pan, heat up the butter over medium low heat until it’s melted. Add the garlic powder, black pepper, and Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. Heat until sauce is hot and turn off heat. Coat your wings with this glorious sauce!


I LOVE Vietnamese eggrolls.  Why?  Cause they are seriously crazy good.  They’re a piece of cake to make…and after making it on your own, I highly doubt you’ll wanna order them at a restaurant again…unless you’re not a huge fan of frying stuff in your house…then I guess, you can order them out.

These were the wrappers I used. Feel free to use any brand egg roll wrappers you prefer.

Throw all the egg roll filling ingredients into a bowl.

Mix it up.

My set-up.

The first thing I do is lay the filling 2/3 down where the top of the wrapper is versus just placing the filling right in the center of the wrapper. I find this makes for a better looking egg roll and I have more control when rolling it up.

Wrap the egg roll by laying the bottom edge piece first on top of the filling, then the sides, and then roll it up and brush with the egg wash.

Make sure to roll the egg rolls as tight as you can.

Set all the rolls on a plate.

Fry up the egg rolls until they are a nice golden light brown color.

Cha Gio
Source: Lo Huynh
(4 servings)

10 ounces ground pork
¼ pound shrimp, chopped up
1 each bean thread vermilli, small section, soaked in warm water, drained, and cut into 2-inch sections
1 cup wood ear fungus, soaked in warm water, drained, and julienned
½ each yellow onion, minced
1 each carrot, grated
1 each egg, beaten
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon fish sauce

1 package spring roll wrappers
egg wash {1 egg, beaten}

1. Mix all the ingredients together.
2. Put about 1 tablespoon of the filling in a spring roll wrapper and brush the end of the wrapper with an egg wash to seal the ends.
3. In a pot of canola oil, fry the egg rolls in medium low heat until it turns a nice golden brown.
4. Lay the egg rolls on some brown paper bags to remove excess oil.
5. Serve with some red leaf lettuce and nuoc cham.


The only raw fish I’ll eat is ahi tuna. It’s cause my tastebuds aren’t refined to appreciate all those other fishes. Please try out this recipe cause it’s really that good. If not, more for me…although that didn’t really make sense. Sorry. Anyway, I’ll usually make this for a catering gig cause my clients always go crazy for it.

* 12 servings

Tuna Tartare:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 ½ teaspoons wasabi paste
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons green onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro , finely chopped
1 tablespoon shallot, finely chopped
1 each avocado, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 cup English hothouse cucumber, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
8 ounces sushi-grade tuna, cut into 1/4-inch dice

Wonton Chips
20 each wonton wrappers
½ cup vegetable oil
1. Mix first 15 ingredients together to blend.
2. Gently toss in cucumber, tuna, and avocado to combine.
3. Re-season with sea salt if necessary.
4. For the wonton chips, cut each wrapper diagonally to form two triangles.
5. Heat the oil until hot and fry each chip until it turns into a light golden color. Drain on paper towels and serve with the tuna tartare.


My girlfriend, Karrie from Park Place Dental Care, wanted to make bacon wrapped dates for her holiday party cause it happens to be her current favorite thing to eat. So on a Friday night, instead of going out, we spent our evening prepping a bunch of these!


Pitted Dates
A Slab of Bacon
A Chunk of Parmesan Cheese

1. Cut the bacon into thirds.
2. Make a slit onto the pitted dates.
3. Cut the parmesan cheese into matchstick pieces.
4. Stuff the cheese into the pitted dates.
5. Wrap the stuffed dates with 1/3 piece of your bacon.
6. Par cook the bacon stuffed dates on a saute pan until halfway cooked.
7. Lay the par cooked bacon stuffed dates on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 to 20 minutes, or basically until your bacon is cooked and crispy. Enjoy!