I love hearing from Blue Ginger diners, viewers of "Simply Ming" and my other television shows and readers of my cookbooks! Below are some questions that are frequently asked.
Where is Blue Ginger?
Blue Ginger is located in Wellesley, Massachusetts at 583 Washington Street, just west of Wellesley Center. The phone number is 781-283-5790.
Visit the Blue Ginger section to learn more.
What is East meets West cuisine?
I answered this question in the introduction to my first book, Blue Ginger: “My food is based on the ingredients and cooking techniques of both the East and West. Too often, however, so-called fusion cooking (con-fusion cooking, some of us call it) produces chaos on the plate and in the mouth. To avoid this, I have an enormous sense of respect for each culture’s ingredients and traditional techniques. Successful East-West cooking harmoniously combines two distinct culinary approaches. Take my Savory Braised Oxtail with Preserved Lemon Polenta recipe: When a dish is not just new but better - when I can find a superior way to celebrate oxtail’s earthiness, say, or the deep sour tang of pickled lemons, and then join the two - that’s real East-West cooking.”
Where do I get some of the harder to find ingredients in the recipes?
To make all of my recipes as accessible as possible, I created Ming's Pantry, a special Asian ingredient section of the Ming.com store. The pantry includes many of the hard-to-find ingredients that are found in my more authentic dishes. I have taken the labor out of traveling to Asian markets and ethnic grocery stores in order to source some of the specialty ingredients. My aim is to enable the at home cook to create their own East-West dishes in the comfort of their own kitchens.
Where do I buy the ceramic knife you always use on your show?
The ceramic (not plastic) knives that I use on my show, in my restaurant and at home, are made by Kyocera. Please check out the Ming.com Store section of my website to purchase one or even the entire set. I endorse these knives very simply because they work like a dream and heighten any chef’s level of slicing and food preparation. Tomatoes are transformed into paper-thin slices with one pass of the blade.
Guaranteed for five years, one may send them back to Kyocera in Costa Mesa and they will sharpen them for free. (They use a specialized diamond sharpening wheel because diamonds are the only other material harder than ceramic). However, don't throw away your boning and filleting knives. My knives are not recommended for breaking down lamb chops, filleting fish nor smashing garlic and bones.
How do I make traditional Chinese dishes?
If any of you are also interested in delicious, traditional Chinese dishes, I suggest you peruse your bookstores for books by three of my favorite Chinese Chefs: Ken Hom, Eileen Fei-Lo, and Pei Mei. As you may know, my parents owned a Chinese restaurant, the Mandarin Kitchen in Dayton, Ohio. As a result, I grew up surrounded by the delicious aromas of red roast pork, sizzling pot stickers and the sweet smell of cooking garlic and ginger. Sunday afternoon Dim Sum in Chinatown is still one of my favorite ways to start/spend the day.
What is your favorite food to eat on your day off?
Being Chinese I lean towards even the simplest Chinese cuisine. However, any kind of Asian food fits the bill. I drink soy milk all the time and my wife and I go out for Dim Sum once a week, usually on our day off. In my family, I am also known as the ‘Sandwich King’ because I’ve been known to put practically anything between two slices of bread. My wife and I enjoy making soups at home in the winter, especially noodle soups like Vietnamese Pho and Chinese Wonton Noodle Soup. We tend to eat at Blue Ginger once a week. Although we are extremely lucky to own Blue Ginger, we still dine on take-out all the time. Our favorite spots are in Needham: Sweet Basil (Italian), Joy Luck (Chinese) and Bai Thong (Thai).
What are your favorite restaurants across the country?
I think Nobu Matsuhisa (LAX, NYC), Jean Georges Vongrichten (Jean Georges, NYC), Mario Batali (Babbo, NYC), Sam Choy (Sam Choy’s, Hawaii), Alan Wong (Alan Wong’s, HI), and Ken Oringer (Clio, Boston), are some of the best chefs in the country. The food is simply spectacular, and it is always so exciting and inspiring for me to watch other chefs shine. For a more down-home meal in NYC, check out Wu Liang Ye in midtown Manhattan as well as Joe’s Shanghai down in Chinatown. Of course when I’m on the run, there’s nothing better than a good old Sabrett hot dog from a street vendor…they’re always the best hot dogs in the world! In Boston, we go to Ming’s Garden and China Pearl for Dim Sum and East Ocean City and CK Shanghai for dinner.
What advice do you have for people with food allergies?
I know firsthand, as a father and a restaurateur, how difficult living with a food allergy can be. Educate yourself and advocate for yourself. Don't ever be embarrassed to remove yourself from a situation that feels unsafe to you. At Blue Ginger, we do our best to make every guest feel comfortable and safe. For more information, visit the Food Allergy section.
Where can I find your TV show?
My cooking show, "Simply Ming" has been on public television since 2003. You can find it on public television stations across the US, as well as digital public television channel Create. Check your local listings. "Simply Ming" also airs in Australia, Singapore, the Philippines & parts of Europe.
What about your other shows?
East Meets West and Ming's Quest originally aired on the Food Network and information on them can now be found on the Fine Living Network's website. You can find recipes, video and airing schedules for both "East Meets West" and "Ming's Quest."
If you have a question, contact us. We do our best to answer every question, but we do receive an extremely high volume of requests.