Myers+Chang at Home: Recipes from the Beloved Boston Eatery, written by Joanne Chang and Karen Akunowicz, features favorite recipes from Boston’s Myers+Chang restaurant. With a focus on Asian fusion, the book is filled with fun and unique twists on Asian flavors including Soy Sauce Deviled Eggs with Five-Spice, Lemony Shrimp Dumplings with Kimchi-Yogurt Dipping Sauce, Surf and Turf Black Pepper Shanghai Noodles, Ginger-Scallion Bok Choy, Vanilla Bean Parfait with Orange Granita, and more. I will also be sharing their recipe for Grilled Corn with Sriracha Butter following the review.
Disclosure: I received this book from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in exchange for my honest review. All comments and opinions are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Joanne Chang graduated from Harvard with a degree in Applied Mathematics and Economics and spent two years as a management consultant before leaving to work as a line cook at Biba. She opened Flour in 2000- a bakery and café which now has seven locations in Boston and Cambridge (I tried her recipe for Chocolate Chunk Cookies while reviewing the American The Great Cookbook). In 2007, she opened Myers+Chang with her husband, Christopher Myers, in Boston’s South End. She is also the author of Flour, Flour Too, and Baking with Less Sugar and was the James Beard Award winner in 2016 for Outstanding Baker in America.
Karen Akunowicz is the executive chef and parter of Myers+Chang in Boston, Massachusetts. She is a three-time James Beard nominee for Best Chef: Northeast, competed on Bravo’s Top Chef and Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay, writes lifestyle articles and recipes for Prowdr.com, and is a No Kid Hungry chef with the Share Our Strength organization. Prior to Myers+Chang, she started her career at Ten Tables in Jamaica Plain followed by Via Matta in Boston’s Back Bay; a year as the chef at L’Avion Blu in Modena, Italy; and as the sous chef at Oleana Restaurant in Cambridge.
Chapters are divided by course: Introduction; Dim Sum; Salads; And Then Some; Dumplings; Wok; Noodles; Rice and Grains; Sides; Family Meal; Desserts; and Sauces, Condiments, and Basics.
The authors begin with the history of Myers+Chang and its development into a favorite neighborhood restaurant. The recipes are inspired by flavors from throughout Asia, but with personal twists and adaptations added to make them unique. To help you along the way, a shopping guide for ingredients such as Asian pears, black Chinkiang vinegar, Chinese sausage, fish sauce, Gochugaru (Korean chili powder), panko, and more is included with descriptions, proper storage information, and tips. There is also a section on kitchen equipment to make the job easier along with guides for using a wok, cooking rice, forming dumplings, and even how to use chopsticks and eat Chinese food.
The beautiful photography is provided by Kristin Teig. In the acknowledgments, Joanne states: “Kristin, your gorgeous pictures will be the reason readers will have drool stains on these recipes; you brought our food and our team to life and captured the vibrancy of M+C.” And how right she was. I had such a hard time deciding on what to make first. Every single thing looked so incredible (I definitely want to tackle the dumplings next). Along with photos of the restaurant and family, many of the recipes are accompanied by a quarter to full page photo of the finished dish. There are also step by step photos on how to form the Braised Short Rib Dumplings with Sichuan Chili Oil. Measurements are listed in US Customary and the titles of the recipes are written in English.
This book is a great pick for those who have already discovered Myers+Chang or are looking for new and inspiring ideas to make at home. Recipes range from easy sides to more complicated dishes with multiple components. You won’t find any beverages, but there are plenty of vegetables, dumplings, noodles, dim sum, salads, seafood, meat, and a handful of sweets. Many of the ingredients can be readily found in the average American grocery store, but a few may require further searching. Some difficult to locate items include soba, tofu, nori, lemongrass, Sichuan bean paste, hoisin sauce, napa cabbage, Chinese sausage, Sichuan peppercorns, black sesame seeds, Sriracha, fish sauce, kimchi, dumpling wrappers, udon noodles, red miso paste, rice vinegar, and more. Substitutions are provided when available.
Grilled Corn with Sriracha Butter
Myers+Chang originally served this Grilled Corn with Sriracha Butter as an accompaniment to their dish: Wok-Charred Octopus with Sriracha Grilled Corn. It is so simple, but such a delicious addition to the summer grilling season. Ears of corn are grilled with the husks off until charred, slathered with a sriracha butter, and sprinkled with chopped scallions (I also added some cilantro as shown in the photo of the corn in the book for an extra pop of color). The sriracha butter comes together easily enough by just beating together softened butter with sriracha and a bit of salt until whipped.
Sriracha is a hot sauce made from a combination of red chili paste, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt. It is named after the Thai coastal city of Si Racha (ศรีราชา) in the Chonburi Province. The sauce can now be found in many grocery stores and markets featuring Southeast Asian ingredients. It is also available on Amazon: Huy Fong Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce.
I also made the Taiwanese Sesame Cucumbers, Wok-Charred Udon Noodles with Chicken and Bok Choy, Red Miso-Glazed Carrots, and Sweet Soy Bacon and Egg Banh Mi.
The Taiwanese Sesame Cucumbers were a surprise hit with Claire. She hasn’t really much cared for cucumbers in the past, but continues to ask for these. Chilled cucumber spears are tossed in a sesame dressing and sprinkled with sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, and scallions. They come together so easily as a delicious and healthy snack.
I couldn’t resist making the Wok-Charred Udon Noodles with Chicken and Bok Choy after seeing the enticing photo on the cover. My photo may have not turned out as beautiful as theirs, but the flavors were all there. Chewy udon noodles are cooked in a hot wok until charred, coated with a thick sauce, and tossed with bok choy and velveted chicken. This dish was one of my favorites.
The Red Miso-Glazed Carrots were another simple side. Carrots are blanched until cooked, but still crisp, and tossed with a miso brown sugar paste in a hot wok until coated in the browned and buttery mixture. They were quite addictive and a great way to use up any extra carrots you may have on hand with the short ingredient list.
The Sweet Soy Bacon and Egg Banh Mi was named the ultimate Sunday morning hangover cure by Boston Magazine and with good reason. Baguettes are topped with strips of sweet soy sauce-brushed bacon, fried eggs, a sriracha aioli, cilantro, and pickled carrots, daikon, and jalapeños.
Grilled Corn with Sriracha Butter Recipe
Excerpt from Myers+Chang at Home
Grilled Corn with Sriracha Butter
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter cubed, at room temperature
- 5 tablespoons sriracha
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt divided
- 6 ears corn (Chang likes bicolor or Silver Queen)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 scallions white and green parts finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
In a medium bowl using a wooden spoon or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with the sriracha and 2 teaspoons of the salt until the butter is orange and has a whipped texture. Set aside.
If you have a grill, preheat the grill.
Shuck the ears of corn and place them on a plate or baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper, rolling the corn around until evenly covered. Place the corn directly on the grill over medium-high heat. If you don't have a grill, cook the corn in a large flat-bottomed skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Turn the corn every minute or so until it picks up some color and char and the ears are grilled evenly, 12 to 15 minutes.
Remove the corn from the grill, cut the ears in half, and roll them around in the butter. Place them on a serving platter, sprinkle the scallions evenly over the corn, and dig in.