The Dish: Chef Erik Bruner-Yang

The Dish: Chef Erik Bruner-Yang

Chef Erik Bruner-Yang was born in Taiwan, but soon his family moved to California, then, Japan, and eventually Virginia.

As a young adult there, he played in a successful local band, until a transition to the restaurant business.

In 2011, he opened Washington D.C.'s Toki Underground and the lines for its rich ramen were out the door. Next came Honeycomb, an Asian grocery. Soon he added Maketto a larger Asian marketplace named one of Eater's 21 best new restaurants in America.

Here are some of Bruner-Yang's signature recipes: 

Taiwanese Fried Chicken


Serves 6 - 8 

1 whole chicken, broken down to its parts

1 egg

¼ cup soy sauce

¼ cup sake

¼ cup minced garlic

¼ cup minced ginger

1 cup togarashi seasoning

1 cup potato starch


1. Mix all the ingredients except for the chicken parts and combine in a mixing bowl or container. 

2. Then add the chicken. Fry in a sauce pot with about 2 inches of vegetable oil at 375 degrees or medium high heat for 4 minutes or until golden brown. You can also use a deep fryer if you have one until golden brown, about 4 minutes. 

3.  Drizzle fried chicken with the fish sauce caramel and serve with a side of bread (optional) and enjoy.

Fish sauce caramel ingredients

3 quarts sugar

1 bottle fish sauce

1 quart rice vinegar

3 cups garlic cloves, sliced

2 cups, shallots, minced

2 cups, thai chilis

2 cups, cilantro stems, chopped


1. Simmer sugar at low heat and once it reaches golden brown, roughly 5 minutes. 

2. Add fish sauce and all other ingredients, stir and turn it off the heat. 

One pot ramen 


1 cup diced Red Delicious apple 

3 heads of garlic 

1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion 

1/2 rack pork baby back ribs (about 1 3/4 pounds) 

8 ounces good quality soy sauce 

96 ounces water

Ramen noodles


1. Place diced apples, garlic, ginger and onions in heavy-bottom stockpot (at least 6 quarts) and bring to boil over high heat. Turn down heat to medium low and simmer until liquid is reduced by half, about 2.5 hours. You will have about 6 cups.

2. Remove pork ribs and separate into portions, strain solids from broth and discard. Return broth to clean pot and keep warm to serve.

3.  Portion and cook noodles according to package directions. Place cooked noodles in bottom of deep bowls, cover with broth (reserving extra), top with pork ribs and free styling toppings. 

Prahok K'tiss

Yellow kroeung ingredients

1 kilogram lemongrass

150 grams Galangal

40 grams kaffir lime leaf

50 grams turmeric (fresh)

75 grams garlic

900 grams shallots 


1. Blend all ingredients in small batches in blender until smooth.


20 pounds pork shoulder (ground)

2 quart water

2 quart yellow kroeung

1 1/2  jar prahok

1 can coconut milk


1. Sweat curry paste. Add ground pork and water.  Simmer until all water has evaporated.  

2. Add prahok and coconut milk and bring to a boil.  Thicken with slurry until nappe. Add fish sauce if additional seasoning is needed. 

3. Serve with seasonal crudité (vegetables) and steamed rice. 

Chocolate chip cookies with red miso buttercream 


2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons hot water

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups chopped bittersweet chocolate


1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 3 baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter until creamy, one minute. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

3. In a bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the hot water and stir into the batter. At low speed, beat in the flour and salt until incorporated. Add the chocolate and beat just to distribute evenly.

4. Scoop 1 1/2-inch balls of dough onto the lined baking sheets, spacing them 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake in the center of the oven, one baking sheet at a time, for 16 minutes, until golden; shift the baking sheet from front to back halfway through. Let the cookies cool.

5. Serve with red miso buttercream.