Dad’s Lemongrass Spare Ribs

My dad makes the best doggone ribs in the land. My brother and I always ask for them—unfortunately, he only makes them on special occasions. Lucky for us since the birth of my nephew Evan, my dad has been making them pretty regularly.

What’s interesting about these is that while packed with mega flavor, there aren’t many ingredients that goes in here. But somehow they are perfectly flavored, perfectly salty and perfectly greasy. My ultimate comfort food… taking me back to my childhood! The funny story about these ribs is that I’ve been asking my dad the recipe for years… and for years his response is the same: “Salt and pepper.” He refused to share his secret… until now.

I finally cracked the code about a month ago, so you can thank my daddy for this one! There’s an ingredient in here that I left out bc it’s my dad’s top secret ingredient. All I can say is that it gives off a very umami flavor, but it’s still uber tasty without it nonetheless!

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Citrusy Mango Cheesecake

It’s finally getting warm out here in Philadelphia. It’s been a brutal winter, and we just about had enough—at least I have. Now that we’re in spring, we’re getting better mangoes in the supermarket, which is one of the best parts about the spring and summer to me.

A love for mangoes has been engrained in my blood—we ate it religiously growing up. Forget your typical banana or apple in the house; we were always stocked up with mangoes no matter what time of the year it was. (We’re Asians; what do you expect!) That tradition carried on into my adulthood, and now, we always have mangoes here at the apartment!

The other day, I made a mango cheesecake, and it was glorious! The cheesecake base is the same as my lemon cheesecake recipe… minus the lemon. Mangoes are naturally really sweet, so it added an extra level of yasness to the cheesecake, but I also added some citrus and thyme for some earthiness.

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Gluten-Free Tahini Brownies

Gluten-free typically isn’t my thing. Mainly because I’m a glutton for gluten, but lawd have mercy there’s a love connection between me and flourless brownies. They really speak to my soul like… “You just get me. Luv ya lots, Flourless Brownie.”

Like anyone else, I really love fudgey, slightly undercooked brownies that pretty much glue your mouth shut—those are the best. And like anyone else, I know that tahini and chocolate go together like peanut butter and jelly—they just belong together! The tahini adds a slight nuttiness to cut through all that rich chocolate, and it does it in the most perfect way.

Have a cold glass of milk ready, because this recipe calls for a shit ton of chocolate, and for good reason.

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Short Rib Ragù

Ragù has always been a tradition in my house. Growing up my dad prepared it weekly, mainly because it was an easy dinner. And in those days, ragù sauce came in the form of a jar and pasta came in the form of a box from the supermarket—not exactly authentic, but I didn’t know any better (my taste buds were still developing). As I grew older and my creativity with food began to blossom—Saturdays watching Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” with my dad helped—I experimented with a lot of different ragù and bolognese recipes. I’ve always loved pasta, but have never been a huge fan of white sauce (bleh).

I’ve always been a red sauce kind of girl.

Here’s a fun fact about me: I studied abroad in Italy for a month when I was in college—and it was one of the best experiences of my life. One that I am still to this day quite fond of.

During that trip I ate so much pasta and gelato that I gained NEARLY 20 LBS in one month—that’s not an exaggeration. After that trip, my cravings for pasta were less frequent that before; but now and then, I get a big craving for it, and it’s always for a thick-cut pasta and a hearty meat sauce.

This is my favorite red sauce recipe—filled with vegetables, ground beef and (the best part) short ribs! The best part about this recipe is that it’s super adaptable. I usually use whatever root vegetables and meat I have on hand, and it always turns out delicious.

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Chipotle Chicken Tacos

I was in a mood last week—a taco mood! Not sure what triggered it, but I wanted tacos every day of the week. It seems there’s always a theme. This week: buns! But we’re here to talk about tacos.

On the last #tacotuesday, I shared with you my weeknight steak tacos. This week, I want to share with you my chipotle chicken tacos. These bad boys have a few ingredients, and they take under an hour to cook. What I love about these is that they are chock full of flavor and spice. I like to use chicken thighs with the bone and the skin—both are important to preserve because it adds so much flavor to the dish.

Like my steak tacos, I like to enjoy these on a corn tortilla with all the trimmings. This time around I used guac, sour cream, hot sauce, limes, tomatoes, radishes and a heavy dose of cojita cheese.

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