Welcome to Jen’s Food Lab!
Food is a huge part of my culture, from spinning a lazy susan during dim sum to grab another piece of shu mai or radish cake to stopping at a Chinese bakery to grab some pineapple buns or egg tarts to learning how to make a sweet taro tapioca dessert from my mom; those are just some of my favorite food memories. Even though I loved pizza as much as any other kid in my mostly Italian town, I always thought it was awesome to bring something like a lychee or pandan agar agar jelly to lunch to shock and awe my friends, who had never tried those flavors before. Luckily, the kids in my school were supportive and thought it was cool to try these different things, which made me realize that once someone is introduced to an unfamiliar flavor by a familiar face, it’s a lot easier to keep them curious and open-minded.
Fast-forward to now, I still love introducing people who are less familiar with these different flavors, fruits, dim sum and bakery traditions. For example, every year for my Microsoft work anniversary and my birthday, I bring in a huge cake that is always made up of different Asian-inspired flavors, such as my latest one, which was black sesame and persimmon marbled cake with salted egg yolk buttercream frosting. I figured that I’d introduce these new unfamiliar Asian flavors (persimmon, black sesame, salted egg yolk) in a familiar way (cake!), kind of a reverse fusion. The awesome reactions that colleagues had to my cakes, many who have never even heard of these flavors before, inspired me to work on self-publishing a cookbook as a side project! While I’m still working on this cookbook that will be full of Asian-inspired recipes and unique flavors, I recently started sharing some of these original recipes of mine here on my food blog, Jen’s Food Lab.
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