December Pop-Up Showcase: Lejen Chen
As part of founding several food businesses and an organic farm around Beijing, Lejen Chen has traveled extensively across China researching heritage seeds, livestock and traditional Chinese foodways. As our feature chef for December, she will be offering a selection of traditional Chinese comfort foods, including a selection of vegetarian dimsum, all made with organic, locally-sourced ingredients.
Starter: Dimsum 點心
Each week will feature a different Chinese dumpling: wonton (Dec 4), jiaozi (dumpling) (Dec 11), or shaomai (Dec 18), with a choice of pork w/ napa or vegetarian tofu filling wrapped in hand-rolled skins, with a vinegar dipping sauce.
You can learn how to make these dumplings at Lejen’s The Art of Dimsum Workshop at The Depanneur on Jan.19th.
Main: Hongshao Niurou 红烧牛肉 (Red Cooked Beef)
Braised Beef and Rainbow Carrots
Organic beef brisket from Glenrock Farm, and colorful heirloom carrots slowly braised with soy sauce, ginger, green onions, sugar, wine and Chinese spices. “5-Spice” is the best-known Chinese spice blend, a mix of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, szechuan pepper and fennel seed, but many cooks have their own, more elaborate recipes. Lejen’s personal mix contains 13 spices, including cardamom, black pepper, ginger, hot pepper, and more. Served on a bed of millet rice with a seasonal stir fry of cabbage with wilted kale in olive oil and a cup of jasmine tea. Greengate Farm’s marrow bones and tendons may also be an option.
Add a traditional salted duck egg or organic soft boiled “lava egg” from Marvellous Edibles is an option on the side +$3
Side: Pickled Vegetables
Raw seasonal pickles: napa, beautiful heart radish, cherry radish, daikon radish from Vicki’s Veggies.
Creamy Maple Millet porridge with a gingery cookie spoon -or walnut maple praline with buckwheat cookie
Pot of Tea
Choose from the popular “yumcha” teas to go with your dimsum:
Jasmine, Pu-er, or Chrysanthemum.
Prix Fixe Menu
Dimsum + Main + Pickle -or- Dessert
A Chinese-American native of Brooklyn, NY, Lejen Chen returned to China to open Mrs. Shanen’s, Beijing’s first bagel bakery! Dismayed by the difficulty of sourcing local organic produce and dairy, she went on to found Green Cow Farms, an organic farm and CSA that supplies her two popular Beijing cafés.
Each month The Depanneur features a different a new chef from T.O.’s indie food scene in our Thursday-night Pop-Up Showcase.