Lunch and Dinner

The Chinese Takeout Cookbook: Beef Chow Fun

beef chow fun the chinese takeout cookbook

Despite being born and raised in Hong Kong, I never really learned to make Chinese food, aside from simple fried rice and stir-fried eggs with tomatoes. And much as I love Chinese food, I don’t know all too much about it, not even my beloved Cantonese cuisine. I was even more confused when I moved to the US and didn’t recognize items on American Chinese takeout menus like General Tso’s Chicken and Crab Rangoon, though they soon became my favorite guilty pleasures. I’ve been really into cooking for over a year now and am proud of what I’ve accomplished in the kitchen, yet something has always been nagging me at the back of my mind. I need to learn how to make Chinese food. I need to get back in touch with my roots. Looks like I’ve found a little motivation!


I’m excited. One of my favorite bloggers, Diana Kuan of Appetite for China, recently got her book The Chinese Takeout Cookbook published (my Amazon Associates link). She posts awesome recipes on her blog and I even had the opportunity to take one of her dumpling-making classes here in New York City (she’s just as lovely in person). So of course I had to get a copy when the book came out. It’s filled with all kinds of great stuff I can’t wait to try, both “authentic Chinese” and “American Chinese”. I used to be a bit of a snob about that distinction but she makes a really great point in her book–all food has evolved from somewhere or something else; food changes, travels, adapts.

I chose to make Beef Chow Fun first, as it’s one of my favorite dishes, and I had a huge bloody steak leftover from my Valentine’s Dinner, waiting to be stir-fried. I only have one small Chinese market in my neighborhood and unfortunately they didn’t know what fermented black beans were, so I had to forego those for my recipe. Otherwise, it came out pretty good! I still need much practice with the art of stir-frying and I don’t think I fried the noodles for long enough. Regardless, I enjoyed my homemade Beef Chow Fun and appreciated that it didn’t come out super greasy as it sometimes can when you order takeout.

I’m actually moving back to Hong Kong soon, where I won’t need to trek to a Chinatown to gather ingredients, so this cookbook is coming with me. I have a feeling that I will be turning to this book again and again. It will feed me comforting, nourishing food in the years to come.

beef chow fun


Eating Out in the Dirty City

Eating Out in the Dirty City: Takashi Restaurant Review

I don’t plan on writing too much about eating out because part of my clean eating philosophy is that we should prepare most of our food and buy high quality ingredients. I don’t sweat it too much when I eat out because I only do it about once or twice a week, but at the back of my mind, I know I’m not giving my body the best fuel I can.

However, once in a while I come across a restaurant worth writing about, like Takashi. Located in the West Village, Takashi is dedicated to clean carnivore food that tastes amazing. It’s run by a chef of the same name–a third-generation Korean from Japan whose food reflects his cultural background. Here’s the thing about Takashi: aside from a few appetizer or sides, everything on the menu is beef. All beef. And all different bizarre and glorious parts of the cow. Most is meat you grill yourself at the table, but there’s also a raw section of the menu. Before you protest that this hardly sounds like clean eating, Takashi is actually listed in Clean Plates, a restaurant guide dedicated to healthy, sustainable, and tasty food. Takashi hand-picks where each cut of beef comes from, using only sustainably-raised cattle with no antibiotics or hormones from New York state, Kansas, and Oregon farms.

We started with complimentary cabbage salad, bean sprouts, and kimchi. Mmmmm love kimchi.

We ordered the Yooke from the raw section. This is a raw thinly-sliced chuck eye tartare in sauce and a quail egg on top.

This is what the Yooke looked like after the waitress mixed it up for us. This was definitely the best thing we ate all night. Man, it was sooo good.

Another item from the raw menu: Mino-Yubiki, flash-boiled first stomach with ponzu sauce. We debated which stomach to get (first, second, third…), not knowing the difference. Then the film The Human Centipede popped into my mind. I insisted on first stomach. (If you haven’t already heard of that movie, DO NOT LOOK IT UP. SAVE YOURSELF!)

We also got some ribeye, beef belly, and liver to grill. The ribeye and liver was good, but beef belly was definitely our favorite of the three. There was an item on the menu called “The Tongue Experience” that got me all curious. Maybe next time!

Quick Notes

  • Takashi doesn’t take reservations for parties of less than four people.
  • If you don’t have a reservation, be prepared to go early, put your name down, and hang out at a bar nearby for an hour or two (I recommend Little Branch). They’ll call you if a table opens up earlier than they estimated, which is awesome.
  • Two raw items + three grilled meats was enough to satiate two people with medium appetites, though they suggest more.
  • The service is great and our waitress was happy to explain everything and make good recommendations.
  • You will leave with happy stomachs and happy hearts that you got in touch with your primal nature. Meeeeeeeat.

456 Hudson St
(between Morton St & Barrow St)
New York, NY 10014
(212) 414-2929