Joanne Chang
Joanne Chang

Joanne Chang

F&W Star Chef » See All F&W Chef Superstars Joanne Chang of Boston’s Myers + Chang restaurant and Flour Bakery + Café tells Food & Wine about the best songs to play at a party, her famous sticky buns and how to crack two eggs at one time. Can you share one great entertaining tip? Be sure to have a great playlist that shuffles the entire time, and is long enough that you don't have any quiet gaps in the festivities. The right music can make your party memorable and fun. My husband Christopher does most of our playlists, but we tend to pick songs that are fun, poppy and bright. What dish do you get the most requests for? By far the sticky buns! I think they’re so popular because we start out with a brioche dough, then we sprinkle the inside with a little brown and white sugar, a touch of cinnamon and toasted chopped pecans. Then we bake the whole thing in goo, which is water, honey, heavy cream, brown sugar and butter, until the whole thing becomes really sticky and thick. The other nice thing is, they are definitely sweet, but they’re not crazily, sickeningly sweet. The pecans help cut through the sugar, and the brioche is unsweetened. What’s your favorite cookbook of all time?Baking with Julia by Julia Child. I had my first pastry job at Rialto when she was writing the book and filming the TV series. Through various Boston and Cambridge restaurant connections I got to witness part of the book being tested in Julia’s kitchen. It was a great opportunity to see Julia, who’s obviously an icon, and to watch behind the scenes. About three years later I decided to open my own bakery. The whole process of opening any restaurant is very long and very hard. I didn’t realize when I first started out how discouraging it could be. You have to deal with so many things that have nothing to do with baking, like attorneys, leases, equipment, regulations, just a bunch of crazy stuff. But that book never failed to re-inspire me. Seriously, I’d pick it up and within about 3 minutes I’d be like, “OK, no, this I what I want to do! And this is why I want to do it.” There are a lot more modern, fancier books out there, but in terms of a book that I go to that brings me a lot of happiness, that book definitely does it. What’s one technique everyone should know? How to crack two eggs at a time. It’s super easy: You just hold one egg in each hand, crack them both simultaneously on the countertop or the edge of the bowl, and then you open it with your thumb and fingers. It’s fun!
Nutmeg Anglaise
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Silky smooth and rich, this crème anglaise is perfumed and flavored with freshly grated nutmeg. With a flavor reminiscent of eggnog, it provides the delicious base for sweet-tart cranberry meringues.
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Maple-Meringue Donuts
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The secret to donuts at home is in the dough: retarding the shaped donuts allows a more complex, yeasty flavor to develop. The meringue filling is marshmallowy in texture; use an intense, robust, high-quality maple syrup to ensure lots of maple flavor.
Apple-Rum Compote
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The apple compote is deeply flavored, smooth, and rich. Use it in this decadent apple-rum spice cake, and serve leftovers with waffles or latkes. A Braeburn or Fuji apple would make a good substitute for McIntosh apples here.
Apple-Rum Spice Cake
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A tender chiffon cake pairs well with the light and billowy frosting, seasoned with spicy-fresh ginger juice. Warm spices and a shot of rum add a kick to the apple compote that makes this a centerpiece dessert for the adult table.
Classic butterscotch pudding is enhanced with tangy whipped crème fraîche and warm, spicy gingersnap crumble to make a beautiful parfait.
Pecan-Pumpkin Cream Pie
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This pie slices beautifully to reveal not one but two fillings: both pumpkin custard and gooey, syrupy pecan. Chef Joanne Chang’s technique ensures the bottom of the pie shell is perfectly cooked and avoids sogginess. Cooling the blind-baked pie shell with weights keeps it hotter, and flatter, longer.
All-Butter Pie Shell
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Joanne Chang uses two techniques to ensure a flaky and tender texture in this dough: starting in a stand mixer and finishing by hand. This two-step method allows the flour to hydrate in the mixer and then form buttery layers by hand. Use this pie shell for Chang's festive Pecan-Pumpkin Cream Pie.
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Chef Joanne Chang and Karen Akunowicz based this recipe on the traditional dumplings Chang grew up making and eating at home. She says, “Making dumplings with my mom is one of the earliest childhood food memories I have. I remember Mom setting up the kitchen table with a huge bowl of filling, dumpling wrappers covering the whole table, and the two of us going to town folding as fast as we could before the wrappers dried out. Well, she folded as fast as she could; the folded dumplings looked like little couches to me and I would play house with them and my dozens of LEGO people.” When you’re making these dumplings, consider doubling the recipe- they’re delicious and freeze very well.MAMA CHANG’S PORK AND CHIVE DUMPLINGS WITH BLACK PEPPER–SCALLION SAUCE excerpted from MYERS+CHANG AT HOME © 2017 by Joanne Chang with Karen Akunowicz. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. Slideshow: More Dumpling Recipes 
Plum Upside-Down Cake
Rating: Unrated
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This pretty cake from pastry chef Joanne Chang is moist and buttery, with plenty of sweet and tangy caramelized plums on top. Slideshow: More Plum Recipes 
All-Butter Pie Shell
Rating: Unrated
1
Joanne Chang uses two techniques to ensure a flaky and tender texture in this dough: starting in a stand mixer and finishing by hand. This two-step method allows the flour to hydrate in the mixer and then form buttery layers by hand. Use this pie shell for Chang's festive Pecan-Pumpkin Cream Pie.
Chef Joanne Chang and Karen Akunowicz based this recipe on the traditional dumplings Chang grew up making and eating at home. She says, “Making dumplings with my mom is one of the earliest childhood food memories I have. I remember Mom setting up the kitchen table with a huge bowl of filling, dumpling wrappers covering the whole table, and the two of us going to town folding as fast as we could before the wrappers dried out. Well, she folded as fast as she could; the folded dumplings looked like little couches to me and I would play house with them and my dozens of LEGO people.” When you’re making these dumplings, consider doubling the recipe- they’re delicious and freeze very well.MAMA CHANG’S PORK AND CHIVE DUMPLINGS WITH BLACK PEPPER–SCALLION SAUCE excerpted from MYERS+CHANG AT HOME © 2017 by Joanne Chang with Karen Akunowicz. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. Slideshow: More Dumpling Recipes 
Plum Upside-Down Cake
Rating: Unrated
2
This pretty cake from pastry chef Joanne Chang is moist and buttery, with plenty of sweet and tangy caramelized plums on top. Slideshow: More Plum Recipes 
Strawberry Slab Pie
Rating: Unrated
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With a perfectly buttery crust and a sweet, jammy filling, this slab pie from Joanne Chang is one of the most delicious desserts you’ll eat all summer. Slideshow: More Pies and Tarts 
Honey-Nut-Oat Crumble Topping
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Joanne Chang sweetens her crunchy crumble with honey instead of sugar. Slideshow:  More Healthy Snacks 
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Joanne Chang makes her moist, lemony, fresh-tasting cupcakes with honey instead of refined sugar, which keeps the sweetness in check. This is the perfect grown-up cupcake. Slideshow:  Cupcake Recipes 
Joanne Chang prepares her own marshmallows for these sweet potatoes, doctored with five-spice powder, but store-bought marshmallows work very well, too. Slideshow:  More Amazing Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Recipes 
Is this an American take on a Vietnamese classic or a Vietnamese take on an American classic? Either way, these spicy burgers topped with Tabasco-spiked mayonnaise, slivers of crunchy pickled carrots and sprigs of cilantro are wonderful. More Burger Recipes
The Vietnamese love drinking superstrong iced coffee combined with copious amounts of sweetened condensed milk. Joanne Chang created this simple ice cream sundae as a way to enjoy the same flavors. Shards of peanut brittle made with a generous pinch of cinnamon add great flavor and crunch. More Coffee Recipes
Thai Red-Curry Squash Soup
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Joanne Chang switches up the flavors of Thanksgiving's classic squash soup with a host of Asian ingredients, including curry paste, ginger and coconut milk.Plus: F&W's Ultimate Thanksgiving Guide
Taiwanese Sesame Cucumbers
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This quick pickle was inspired by Japanese cucumbers dressed in sesame oil, salt and sesame seeds. Joanne Chang and her mother created the recipe together, and it's now a customer favorite at Myers + ChangMore Pickled Vegetables
A gentle heat makes these seasoned walnuts ideal with cocktailsMore Tasty Snacks
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Sticky-Rice Dressing
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Joanne Chang says, "A Chinese meal isn't complete without rice; Thanksgiving isn't complete without stuffing. This sticky-rice dressing combines the best of both worlds." Chinese sausage makes the rice deliciously sweet and savory. Chang likes using the Kam Yen Jan brand, which has no MSG; look for it at Asian markets.Plus: F&W's Ultimate Thanksgiving Guide More Holiday Stuffings and Dressings
Joanne Chang's mother used to make hard-boiled eggs for dinner: She would add them to the beef or chicken she was braising in soy. This is Joanne's riff on those eggs, made spicy with hot sauce and wasabi. Slideshow: Recipe Ideas for Hard-Boiled Eggs 
The staff at Myers + Chang restaurant call these sprouts "green candy" because they get so sweet as they brown in the skillet. Plus:  F&W's Ultimate Thanksgiving Guide 
Spicy Peanut Noodles
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"My mother used to make this," says Joanne Chang. "I learned to re-create it in college, far away from any Chinese markets." Pantry staples like spaghetti and peanut butter are perfect stand-ins for the traditional ingredients. To give spaghetti the soft texture of Chinese noodles, cook it a few minutes longer than the box advises. More Chinese Recipes
"We never had turkey on Thanksgiving," says Joanne Chang, "only duck. I love turkey with sage and butter, but I crave the flavors I grew up with." Here, she marinates and bastes the bird with soy, sesame, honey and ginger, giving it superb flavor and a beautiful mahogany color.Plus: F&W's Ultimate Thanksgiving Guide More Thanksgiving Turkeys
Pizza dough is ideal for replicating this popular Chinese snack. The pancakes cook in only three minutes, until the edges are crispy and the centers are chewy. Eat them hot, right out of the skillet. More Chinese Recipes
Red-Miso-Glazed Carrots
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Red miso is made from soybeans fermented with barley or other grains. It adds a deep, savory flavor to these buttery carrots. More Vegetable Side Dishes