Show 558, December 30, 2023: Chili Crisp – 50+ Recipes to Satisfy Your Spicy, Crunchy, Garlick Cravings with Food Writer James Park

Cookbook Author James Park

For the uninitiated “Chili Crisp (a Chinese condiment) is a magical sauce that tingles with heat, crunches with fried garlic and onions, and pleasantly coats any food with oily goodness. Stir it into soup, toss it with noodles, drizzle it on warm, buttery biscuits. It’s both a foodie obsession and a surprise secret weapon for adding spice and depth to any meal.”

James Park, food writer and chili crisp devotee, has created Chili Crisp, the cookbook, – 50+ Recipes to Satisfy Your Spicy, Crunchy, Garlicky Cravings. Between the covers are 50 approachable and adaptable recipes to fill your whole day with chili crisp. Packed with Chili Crisp inspiration to take your love of this spicy ingredient to the next level, Park provides dozens of no-recipe recipes (potato chips + chili crisp, a match made in snack heaven) and a handy formula to inspire the reader to create your very own house version of Chili Crisp.”

“James Park, the author of Chili Crisp, the cookbook, is a recipe developer and food writer based in Brooklyn. Trained at the International Culinary Center in New York City, he has worked with various food media brands, such as Eater, Food52, BuzzFeed, and Chowhound. He shares his love for Korean cuisine and culture, fried chicken, chili crisp, and more @jamesyworld on social media.”

James Park takes a pause from enjoying a bowl of his Spicy Tomato and Egg Soup to join us.

James graciously shares with us the Chili Crisp recipes that he enthusiastically demonstrated for the Melissa’s food media group.

Spicy Tomato and Egg Soup

Spicy Tomato and Egg Soup

Recipe excerpt from:
Chili Crisp: 50+ Recipes to Satisfy Your Spicy, Crunchy, Garlicky Cravings

by James Park

I love having soup for breakfast. It offers the same comfort as sipping a hot cup of coffee to start a day, but with more flavors! I crave this spicy tomato and egg soup, especially as my hangover cure the morning after a night of too much drinking. When I first tasted this easy homey Chinese soup, I immediately thought of gyeran-guk, Korean egg drop soup. I tried a lot of Chinese comfort food after I moved to the United States, and it was so special to experience familiar yet different flavors each time. Regardless of my Korean identity, the comfort I felt from enjoying this soup was universal.

Taking the time to cook tomatoes in green onion and garlic–infused oil releases their sweet and tangy natural juices, creating an incredible broth with minimal seasonings. Using chili crisp early in the cooking process, rather than as a finishing touch, adds pleasant heat and umami and allows the flavors to deepen.

You can enjoy the soup on its own, but I love eating it gukbap style, which means rice served with the soup in Korean cuisine. Add a scoop of warm rice to the soup bowl and pour the soup directly on top of the rice. Or use this soup as a base for your favorite noodle soup. Starting a day with this warm, flavorful soup will make a big difference in your energy throughout the day, especially if you have a hangover. It works like magic for me every single time!

Serves 2 or 3

  • 1 Tbsp neutral oil, such as vegetable or canola
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
  • 3 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped into 2 to
  • 3 in [5 to 7.5 cm] chunks
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • ¼ cup [60 g] chili crisp
  • ½ medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 cups [480 ml] chicken broth or water
  • 1 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 large eggs
  • Warm rice or cooked noodles, for serving
  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat the neutral oil. Set aside 1 Tbsp of the green parts of the chopped green onions and add the rest of the green onions and the minced garlic to the pot. Sauté for 30 to 60 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the tomato chunks and salt, and cook for 2 to 4 minutes, or until the tomatoes are softened. Add the chili crisp and sliced onion to the pot. Cook for 1 minute while stirring.
  2. Add the 2 cups [480 ml] broth and bring it to a boil, then turn the heat to low, season the soup with soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil, and let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. While the soup is simmering, prepare a slurry by mixing the cornstarch with 1 Tbsp of water in a small bowl. Set it aside.
  4. Crack the eggs into a bowl, and beat them until the whites and yolks are fully mixed, preferably using chopsticks.
  5. Bring the heat to medium-high, then slowly pour the beaten eggs in a circular motion into the simmering broth. Don’t touch the eggs for 2 minutes, or until the curdled eggs come up to the surface. Then gently break the eggs apart with a spoon.
  6. Stir in the prepared cornstarch slurry and let it simmer for few minutes more, or until the broth gets slightly shiny and thicker. Season with more salt if necessary.
  7. Serve immediately with the reserved chopped green onions for garnish. Serve with a side of warm rice or cooked noodles for noodle soup. The leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Photographer: Heami Lee
Food styling: Pearl Jones
Prop styling: Gözde Eker

Pav Bjaji

Recipe excerpt from:
The Vegetarian Reset: 75 Low-Carb, Plant-Forward Recipes from Around the World
by Vasudha Viswanath

Serves: 3

Originally from the streets of Mumbai, pav bhaji is a crowd-pleaser that consists of a one-pot spicy vegetable mash (bhaji) served with soft dinner rolls (pav), garnished with a squeeze of lemon, chopped onions, cilantro, and often, dollops of butter! In my version, yellow moong dal works wonderfully as a substitute for starchy potato, lending the bhaji a nutty but creamy flavor. Served with toasted zucchini bread, this makes a hearty and delicious meal with no compromises! I often serve the bhaji over bread like a sloppy joe, so you get it all in one dreamy bite.

To Veganize: Sub any neutral-flavored oil for the butter and use Vegan Zucchini Bread


  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup / 150g diced red onion
  • 1 medium plum or Roma tomato (4 oz/110g), diced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1⁄4 tsp cayenne
  • 2 cups / 200g roughly chopped cauliflower
  • 3⁄4 cup / 120g frozen green peas
  • 1 small red bell pepper / capsicum (4 oz/110g), diced
  • 1⁄4 cup / 30g yellow moong dal (or split red lentils), soaked for 30 minutes and rinsed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2⁄3 cup / 160ml water, plus more as needed
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 6 slices Zucchini Bread (approximately 2 oz/55g each; page 14)
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro / fresh coriander, for garnish
  • 4 lemon wedges, for garnish

Step 1: Heat the butter in a large saucepan (for which you have a lid) over medium-high heat. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the diced onion for garnish and add the rest to the pan. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, coriander, paprika, cumin, and cayenne. Mix well and cook until well incorporated and the tomatoes break down and start oozing, 3–4 minutes. Add a tablespoon of water to deglaze the pan if necessary.

Step 2: Add the cauliflower, peas, bell pepper, moong dal, salt, and water, and mix. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, covered, adding more water if needed, until the lentils are done, 20–30 minutes.

Step 3: Mash the vegetables and lentils together using a potato masher or pulse a few times with an immersion blender (the bhaji should still have some texture). Add the lemon juice and mix.

Step 4: Toast the bread in a skillet at medium heat using 1/2 teaspoon butter per slice. Serve the bread with bhaji. Garnish with cilantro and serve with the reserved chopped onion and lemon wedges.

Show 102, December 20, 2014: Houweling’s Tomatoes

David BellHouweling’s Tomatoes (Mastery Under Glass,) is a family-owned, world-renowned greenhouse tomato grower with facilities in Camarillo, and Delta, BC. A new facility in Mona, Utah is on the threshold of production. Founded by Cornelius Houweling as a grower of fresh flowers, it’s now led by his son, Casey.

Houweling’s is dedicated to delivering a full complement of scrumptious tomatoes year-round, while constantly innovating to reduce its environmental footprint. They are also pioneers in branding their premium tomatoes and cucumbers.

Unlike many greenhouse growers who contract product under their name from other growers in Mexico, Canada and the USA, the Houweling’s brand appears only on products they grow. At any given time you can find several fresh varieties of Houweling’s Tomatoes in the produce department at Costco or at your favorite supermarket. Houweling’s tomatoes are grown from 3rd party verified 100 per cent Non-GMO seeds.

Houweling’s Tomatoes grows year-round, sustainable greenhouse tomatoes on 175 acres in Camarillo, CA, and Delta, BC. In January of 2015, Houweling’s will begin harvesting from their new 28 acre farm in Mona, UT.

David Bell, the Chief Marketing Officer for Houwelings, joins us with the fascinating story.


Show 60, February 8, 2013: Paul Gstrein, Executive Chef, Bayside Restaurant

The Winter Olympics in Sochi is underway. Russia is on peoples’ minds.

Paul Gstrein of Bayside RestaurantPaul Gstrein, the long-time (Austria-born) executive chef at Bayside Restaurant in Newport Beach has been inspired by Russia, too. For the duration of the Games Paul will be featuring Russian dishes as appetizers, entrees, and even desserts. How about Beef Short Rib Borscht and Berkshire Pork Tenderloin Stroganoff?

Thus far the most ordered appetizer is the Russian Oyster Shooter with vodka, tomato, and horseradish. On the entrée side the big winner is Beef Short Rib Borscht with Russian fingerling potatoes, beets, bacon and Brussels sprouts.

Please note that not every appetizer or entrée on the special Russian menu will be available each night.