Photo above by Eric Futran


Back Seasame, Brown Sugar Syrup

Taro is a starchy root vegetable that, when steamed, has a beautiful pink-purple color. It is commonly used in Taiwanese cuisine, usually in savory dishes, but it is not as familiar to the Western palate so I wanted to include it in the last course. I served the taro with a brown sugar syrup spiked with chili flakes after being inspired by the combination of spice and sweetness in Mexican chocolate.

– Jeng


1 lb taro root

1 cup sugar

½ cup heavy cream

2 Tbl roasted black sesame seeds


Peel taro and cut into 3-inch cubes.

Steam the taro cubes until easily pierced with a chopstick.

Process taro through a potato ricer. Mix in the sugar and cream.

Portion taro onto plates and shape the purée into a square, decorate with sesame seeds, and plate with the brown sugar-chili syrup.

Brown Sugar-Chili Syrup


½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup water

2 Tbl honey

2 Tbl dry chili flakes


In a saucepan, bring brown sugar and water to a boil.

Take off from heat. Add honey and chili flakes, stirring to combine. Let chill.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

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