• Austin Food & Wine Festival Recipes


Recipes from My Weekend in Austin

I love the Austin Food & Wine Festival. First of all, Rock Your Taco is unlike any taco event at other big festivals. The level of creativity and expression of “taco” blew my mind. It’s superb. Then there’s the incredible line up of musical talent attached to all of the events. The intimacy, the immediacy, the meat always roasting in the center of the tented site… I could go on forever about reasons to love this festival. This year I’m doing a few demonstrations, including Big Balls, where I’ll be making duck tsukune (Japanese-style meatballs) and pearl rice balls. Here are the recipes:

From my “BIG BALLS!” demonstration:

Duck TsukuneDuck Tsukune

Tsukune are Japanese chicken meatballs that are cooked on a griddle, teppanyaki-style. The moment I tried making them with duck, I was hooked. Since my favorite thing about duck is often the crispy skin, I found a way to use the duck cracklings as a garnish to provide roasted flavor and needed textural contrast.






Pearl Rice BallsPearl Rice Balls

I started making these rice ball dumplings about 18 years ago after returning from my first trip to China. I visited a dumpling house in Xian and became fascinated with presentation styles of standard Chinese pork farces. I came across this style in an old book and started playing around with it. It works every time without fail. The cooked rice soaks up any dipping sauce you put in front of your guests. This is the type of recipe you always see in restaurants and don’t think you can do yourself, but it will become one of your go-to showstoppers.


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