Are you familiar with Chefsteps.com? It's a fun, brainy cooking website based in Seattle. I'd met with the founder and staff a couple years ago at their offices, and we had a ton of fun chatting about what goes into the fluffy, light bread that's suitable for banh mi. This spring, they asked if I would partner with them to produce how-to videos for some of my favorite foods. Chefsteps is expert at many amazing things, including a sous vide machine that they designed, but Asian food and techniques is not a strong point.
I began thinking of recipes that may offer home cooks lots of "a-ha" moments –- genius foods that have endured over time, that continue to feed imaginations. We settled on starting with Shanghai soup dumplings (xiao long bao, XLB), soy milk, and fresh tofu. These are foods that I've extensively researched and written recipes for in my books, Asian Dumplings and Asian Tofu.