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Smoked Maple Ginger Vinaigrette

Spy that dressing in the top corner? It's made from Mei Mei Smoked Maple Ginger Sauce!

Spy that dressing in the top corner? It's made from Mei Mei Smoked Maple Ginger Sauce!

Hi everyone! It's getting to be the time of year that we welcome fall flavors. Whether you want pumpkin spice EVERYTHING or if you prefer your pumpkin spices to stay within the confines of a pie crust, consider another unexpected autumn flavor: Mei Mei sauces! Made with local maple syrup (Smoked Maple Ginger Sauce), cranberries (Cranberry Sweet & Sour Sauce), and apples (Apple Hoisin), these ingredients make us think of brisk weather, falling leaves, Thanksgiving dinners, apple picking, and all the fun stuff that comes with fall in New England. 

At home, I've been using our Smoked Maple Ginger Sauce for a lot of Asian-influenced dishes like Stir-Fried Greens   or Smoked Maple Ginger Noodles with Tofu.  But the flavors are versatile enough, especially when mixed with other ingredients, that they work well with all sorts of meals. Since we started using our sauces as the base for salad dressings in our food truck market bowls, I've been making delicious vinaigrettes in an instant at home. They're good on just about every kind of salad. Above, we've tossed roasted sweet potatoes with pickled cranberries, wheatberries and goat cheese over greens (if you want the recipe, you'll have to wait for our cookbook, coming early 2019!), but feel free to play around with your own combinations. 

I make the salad dressing using the following basic formula:  1 part Mei Mei sauce to 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil. That's it! Which might looks something like this:

1/4 cup Smoked Maple Ginger sauce

1/4 cup rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar, or vinegar of your choice)

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (or oil of your choice)

Stir or shake, and BOOM. You've got a delicious salad dressing in about 3 minutes. Taste to see if it needs a pinch of salt, or a bit more vinegar, or whatever else you want to add. Toss it over anything you like and enjoy. 

Come grab a bottle of Mei Mei sauce at any of our locations, or online here

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BOOZY PROMOTIONS

We're excited to introduce two exciting promotions: Boozy Brunch Bundles & Fritter Freebie!

BOOZY BRUNCH BUNDLES

Every Saturday & Sunday, 11am - 2pm

fritter freebie

See you at the restaurant!

- The Mei Mei team

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Food Network's Guy's Grocery Games Viewing Party!

The sibling owners of Mei Mei will be appearing on Food Network's Guy's Grocery Games, airing Sunday, May 7th at 8PM! We're celebrating with a viewing party at the restaurant, so RSVP below to secure your spot!

Details:
Sunday May 7th: 506 Park Drive, Boston MA. Free appetizers will be served with a cash bar for beer, wine and non-alcoholic drinks, and of course, Double Awesomes. We'll open the doors at 7pm to hang out until the episode starts at 8pm. To make sure we fit in as many people as possible into our small restaurant, we will start opening up spots on the wait list if you haven't arrived by 7:45pm. Thanks and we look forward to seeing you there! 

CLICK HERE to come join the fun!
 

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All Local Dinner with the Sustainable Business Network!

Last week we hosted a great event at the restaurant - the All Local Dinner! Organized by the Sustainable Business Network, the group that certified us as a sustainable restaurant, these dinners are meant to spark conversations about the local food system over delicious eats. As they say:

The hugely popular ALLocal Dinners bring together local food leaders and eaters for collaborative conversations about our food system over a delicious 3-4 course meal prepared by a locally owned and independent Greater Boston-area restaurant.

At the ALLocal Dinners, 100% of the ingredients served must be locally sourced and produced down to the flour and salt! Each event varies in menu, atmosphere, size and location, but all are great adventures for the restaurant hosts and guests. Restaurant chefs have fun developing creative all local menus, discovering available foods and new suppliers and interacting with enthusiastic eaters. Guests devour delicious local food and drinks, and learn more about their part in strengthening the local food system to expand their connection to new local finds.

Here are just a few of the AllLocal dishes we served...

Spring curry with Heiwa tofu, and potatoes, carrots and daikon from our local farmers...

Chicken wings from our friends at Stillman Quality Meats.....

Whole steamed scup from our friends at Red's Best...

And Cumin Lamb dumplings featuring traditionally raised lamb from our friends at North Star Sheep Farm! 

Thanks everyone for coming to the #AllLocalDinner and we can't wait to see you at the next one!

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Big News: Open Book Management, Profit Sharing, and Monday Closings

Hi Mei Mei friends!

We're very excited for some big company updates and wanted to share them with you. Here's an open letter we've written to let everyone know about some new programs we are implementing at Mei Mei. Thanks for reading!

We are proud to announce that we are instituting an open book management and profit sharing program at Mei Mei. Led by Rethink Restaurants, we will be opening our financial books to our staff and running classes to educate and empower our team to help make organizational decisions and positively affect our bottom line. We're excited to get everyone, from dishwashers to line cooks to servers and managers, working together to benefit the Mei Mei team as well as you, our supportive guests.

After much consideration, we have decided that the restaurant will now be closed for lunch as well as dinner on Mondays. Effective Marathon Monday, 4/17, this will allow us to focus on the new program and other projects. We will still be available on Mondays for caterings as well as private parties, dumpling classes and other events.

Thank you for your understanding and please come chat with us if you'd like to learn more!

Best, the Mei Mei team

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Irene makes the James Beard Rising Star semifinals again!

We are absolutely thrilled that Irene, the littlest Mei Mei, has made the James Beard list of semi-finalists for the third year in a row! As one of the Rising Stars on the list, Irene is one of a boatload of other ass-kicking chefs under 30 years old who are predicted to have an impact on the industry. It's exciting to have her up there with another Boston friend (we see you Juan!) and some incredibly talented folks from around the whole country (we see you Maya and Shuai!).

It has actually been only a few weeks since we saw Shuai even though he and his wife Corrie, who run Short Grain food truck together, live in Charleston, South Carolina. We were lucky enough to work with them and some of our other favorite people at, coincidentally, a James Beard Foundation dinner at the Beard House in New York. We wanted to share some of our favorite moments from the night in celebration of today's semi finalist announcement. 

The event was called F is for Fusion and I think this instagram post, by Irene,  explains it all best. 

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Took this snapshot of the Beard House program and menu for the today while standing right next to James Beard's kitchen! 

Our 'Mouthwatering Salad ' with Poached Chicken, Sichuan Peppercorns, Shiitakes, Celeriac and Scallions 

Our 'Mouthwatering Salad ' with Poached Chicken, Sichuan Peppercorns, Shiitakes, Celeriac and Scallions 

cafe sushi appetizer

One of our favorite bites from one of our favorite chefs - from Seizi of Cafe Sushi in Cambridge MA

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The menu, in very dim and intimate lighting... 

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Seizi's Kobujime Fluke with Red-Shiso Pickled Cranberry, paired with Ran's Coat of Arms with Aperol, Grapefruit, Absinthe and Passionfruit

Shuai's excellent Salmon Tataki with Black Garlic Vinaigrette, Preserved Lemon and Puffed Rice

Shuai's excellent Salmon Tataki with Black Garlic Vinaigrette, Preserved Lemon and Puffed Rice

James's phenomenal Whole Black Bass with Kabocha Squash, Ginger and Scallion Sauce and Preserved Green Strawberries. 

James's phenomenal Whole Black Bass with Kabocha Squash, Ginger and Scallion Sauce and Preserved Green Strawberries. 

The above dish, by James Mark of North, might just have been my favorite. He took a classic Chinese dish and both elevated it and changed it up with punchy preserved green strawberries. 

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#SQUADGOALS

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The aftermath. 

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Cranberry Sweet & Sour Chicken Wings

I'm kind of obsessed with these chicken wings. This recipe takes my favorite flavors from the Salt & Sichuan Peppercorn Wings that we did at the restaurant, but makes it easy to do at home...cause I don't have a restaurant-level deep fryer at home. Do you? (Please tell me if you do so I can come over and eat all the time, thanks).  Instead, you can do a simple and healthier baked version using a wire rack and a sheet pan in the oven. Then you'll just toss away in our Cranberry Sweet & Sour Sauce and chow down. Easy peasy. We use black peppercorns, Sichuan peppercorns and white pepper here, but you can always substitute additional black pepper here if you don't have one of the other kinds. Try it out and let us know what you think!

Serves 3-4 people, with side dishes. 

Ingredients

2 lbs chicken wings

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/3 cup Mei Mei Cranberry Sweet & Sour Sauce

Scallions for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Mix the salt and pepper, using a spice grinder where necessary.

  3. Toss the chicken wings in about 3/4 of the salt & pepper mixture, then lay out on a wire rack on a foil-wrapped sheet pan. Set aside the remainder of the spice mix for additional seasoning later.

  4. Bake the wings for 40-50 minutes or until fully cooked and crispy.  Try a chicken wing to see if it needs more salt & pepper. 

  5. Once slightly cooled, place in a large bowl and add the Cranberry Sweet & Sour. Mix thoroughly so every wing is coated in the sauce and enjoy immediately!  

 

 

 

 

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Apple Hoisin Glazed Beets & Carrots

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It always seems so sad when you get a beautiful leafy bunch of beets and their greens, and then a recipe only asks for the beets themselves. Why waste so much delicious vegetable!? This recipe, a riff off the Balsamic Glazed Beets from Genius Recipes by Food52 (we highly recommend) uses the Apple Hoisin instead of balsamic vinegar and herbs to add sweetness and depth. All you need is veggies and a bottle of our sauce...assuming, of course, that you have salt and pepper, butter or oil, and water in your kitchen:) Hope you like it!

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Ingredients

1 bunch beets with leaves

6 small carrots, cut in half lengthwise

½ medium onion

¼ cup Mei Mei Apple Hoisin

2 tbsp butter or olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions

  1. Remove beet leaves, chop, and set aside. Cut the roots into 4-6 wedges.

  2. Place the beets, carrots and onion into a wide shallow pot in one layer. Cut carrots to fit if necessary.

  3. Add 2 cups water and add the Apple Hoisin, butter and pinch of salt.

  4. Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

  5. Raise heat to high and boil uncovered until sauce is reduced to syrup and the beets and carrots are tender, about 10 minutes.

  6. Add beet leaves back, cover, and simmer on low to steam the leaves for 5 minutes.

  7. Mix thoroughly, add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!  

 

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Buy Mei Mei Sauces for the Holidays!

Guys. Don't panic. It may be a frighteningly short time until the holidays if you haven't done your Christmas or Hanukkah shopping yet, but we got you covered. A 3-pack of our sauces are the perfect present for the chef, local food lover, home cook, eco-friendly eater or farm supporter in your life. Or really, anyone who's into food! And hopefully that's everyone you know. 

There are lots of ways to get these sauces quickly and easily. For those of you outside of Eastern New England, your best bet is our website - we'll be mailing via USPS Priority Mail and you should be good up until about the 20th of December. But the earlier the better! 

For people in New England, you've got a couple of good spots around Boston and Rhode Island to shop. Other than our restaurant, shipping container and food truck, the following stores are carrying sauces and they're all worth a visit for other reasons too!

The fabulous new Eataly Boston just opened at the Prudential Center and they are carrying our sauces alongside the best Italian food! We can't wait to check it out. 

The fabulous new Eataly Boston just opened at the Prudential Center and they are carrying our sauces alongside the best Italian food! We can't wait to check it out. 

Our adorable hometown shop Brookline Grown has a great collection of items by community makers and growers. Go check them out less than a mile from the restaurant!

Our adorable hometown shop Brookline Grown has a great collection of items by community makers and growers. Go check them out less than a mile from the restaurant!

Stock in Providence, RI has a beautiful collection of useful kitchen tools and beautiful home goods....

Our friends at Allandale Farm hhave tons of local products, plus seasonal items like pumpkins and Christmas trees!

The Cheese Shop of Salem has a fantastic product selection and look at their gorgeous catering platters!

And then all the way in Ithaca, New York, our friends Brad and Heather at the Piggery not only raise amazing pigs but they also sell our sauces! Thanks guys! Their delicious pasture-raised pork is in practically every item on our menu. SO GOOD. 

And then all the way in Ithaca, New York, our friends Brad and Heather at the Piggery not only raise amazing pigs but they also sell our sauces! Thanks guys! Their delicious pasture-raised pork is in practically every item on our menu. SO GOOD. 

Lastly, our friends at Farm and Coast Market in South Dartmouth MA have all kind of wonderful local stuff along with great lunches and snacks. Go check 'em out!

Lastly, our friends at Farm and Coast Market in South Dartmouth MA have all kind of wonderful local stuff along with great lunches and snacks. Go check 'em out!

Go forth and get yourself some sauces - as a gift or just for yourself - and we promise you won't regret it. Happy holidays everyone!

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Stir Fried Greens with Smoked Maple Ginger Sauce!

Stir Fried Local Greens with our Smoked Maple Ginger sauce!

Stir Fried Local Greens with our Smoked Maple Ginger sauce!

Our Stir Fried Greens are one of the most popular snacks at the restaurant - tasty, healthy, local, crunchy, savory - all the good stuff. Lucky for those of you who can't make it into the restaurant, it's also super easy to make at home! Snag a bottle of our sauce at the restaurant, shipping container, or food truck or via AmazonFresh and go for it!

Ingredients

½ Tbsp neutral oil

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

2 cups greens (we love kale, collards, mustard greens, etc)

Pinch of salt

2 tsp Mei Mei Smoked Maple Ginger Sauce

2 tsp toasted breadcrumbs

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a wok or saute pan until shimmering. Add the garlic clove and stir until fragrant, about one minute.

  2. Add greens and toss or stir with spoon until wilted and lightly charred.

  3. Place on plate and drizzle with Smoked Maple Ginger Sauce

  4. Top with toasted breadcrumbs and enjoy!  

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Double Awesome named to Boston's Best Snacks by Food & Wine!

Thanks Food & Wine for naming the Double Awesome to your list of Boston's Best Snacks! It's an honor to be named to the list alongside some of our own favorites here in our city, like the Cutty's Roast Beef 1000 and the Bucket o' Biscuits at Sweet Cheeks. Thanks also for giving us an excuse to take all these #yolkporn glamour shots. Check out the article here! How many of these delicious dishes have you tried?

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Taste of The Nation - Fighting to End Childhood Hunger with No Kid Hungry

We had a great time last night serving food at Taste of The Nation, the huge event we do every year to help raise money for No Kid Hungry. We're proud to help support this very important cause and were psyched to hear this morning that last night's event raised $40k more than last year for a total of over $175,000 to help feed children in need! Considering $1 can help provide 10 meals for kids, that money can go a very, very long way.  Irene's Chilled Thai Curry Borscht was a huge hit as usual....keep an eye out and we might have it as a special soon! Thanks for all your support everyone. See you back at the Cruiseport next year!

We had a great time last night serving food at Taste of The Nation, the huge event we do every year to help raise money for No Kid Hungry. We're proud to help support this very important cause and were psyched to hear this morning that last night's event raised $40k more than last year for a total of over $175,000 to help feed children in need! Considering $1 can help provide 10 meals for kids, that money can go a very, very long way. 

Irene's Chilled Thai Curry Borscht was a huge hit as usual....keep an eye out and we might have it as a special soon!

Thanks for all your support everyone. See you back at the Cruiseport next year!

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Our Mother's Day Dumpling Class!

We had a hugely successful Mother's Day Dumpling Class a few weeks ago  - thank you to all the people who filled the restaurant in support of our charity! We were super excited to be putting on this dumpling making & folding class for a couple of reasons, namely the awesome partner companies and organizations involved. I mean, learning how to make and fold dumplings is excellent no matter what. And yes, getting to eat all the dumplings you can fit in your belly while wearing your brand new custom Hedley & Bennett apron is a dream come true. But we are extra psyched to have been able to raise so much money for our charity partner, the non-profit Baraka Wellness.

Irene and I first met the dynamic and energetic Raheem Baraka when our friends at Lovin' Spoonfuls (another amazing nonprofit!) asked us to run a cooking workshop showcasing seasonal vegetables for participants in the Baraka Wellness Healthy Moms, Healthy Kids program, which focuses on fitness, nutrition, coaching and social support for at-risk young mothers and children.

What better organization to support for a Mother's Day event?

Armed with local zucchini and eggplant, cheese graters and vegetable peelers, we headed to the Curtis Hall Community Center in Jamaica Plain to demonstrate some recipes and techniques.

We snacked on zucchini bread, demonstrated a shaved zucchini salad, showed some eggplant cooking methods, chatted about American and Dominican kitchen techniques, poked some cute baby cheeks, and had a great time.

It was so fun and so rewarding to show some new skills to an interested and engaged group of women and we hope that this workshop helped contribute to some of the positive outcomes seen through the program.

 

Here's what we're up against: (statistics from Baraka Wellness)

FACTS:
 

  • 3 out of 4 families headed by a single mother live in poverty.

  • More than one third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese.

  • Obese adolescents are more likely to become obese adults.

  • Nearly 50% of all African American women have diabetes.

  • At least one out of every five U.S. teenagers has abnormal cholesterol levels.

  • Overweight and obesity are associated with a 52 percent increased risk of a diagnosis of asthma.

  • Children born to obese mothers are twice as likely to be obese and to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.

But thankfully, the people of Baraka Wellness and so many other partners and organizations are working hard to combat these stark realities. Some measurable improvements reported by Baraka include 400% increase in nutrition knowledge, 300% increase in daily physical activity and 3-43 pounds lost while enrolled in Healthy Moms, Healthy Kids. They combine fitness classes with nutrition classes, dietary coaching, social work and more to approach a complex issue from multiple angles. It's so great to see such a targeted, specific, measurable program really make a difference in people's lives. 

We're so happy to support the important work being done at Baraka Wellness through this event. Through the dumpling class, we raised $800 which will go directly to Healthy Mom, Healthy Kids (a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization)! Learn more about them by checking out the video below.

And a huge thanks also to Claudia and Leah from Fresh Magazine by Hannaford for the adorable little recipe cards! You guys are the best. 

Stay tuned for our next class and more opportunities to get dumplings in your belly, an awesome custom apron around your waist, and support a great cause!

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Pancakes for Public Radio!

We love public radio and we particularly love our friends over at WBUR 90.9 FM, just around the corner from the restaurant. We cater lots of events for them and even did a dinner with Mark Bittman for their donors once, so we were excited when they invited us to cook up some pancakes to feed the volunteers for today's marathon fundraiser.  

Chocolate chip and blueberry pancakes and squeeze bottles and electric griddles go go go! 

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The awesome and indomitable Jess Coughlin was my sous chef for the morning. Thanks for all the fun Jess! Happy to be part of #teamWBUR.

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I love Here and Now, so it was great to meet host Robin Young and some of the producers! 

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Hopefully our carb-loading will help WBUR reach their target of raising a million dollars in 26.2 hours! Good luck guys!  

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Dim Sum PopUp at Shepard!

We love dim sum. We love brunch cocktails. And we love our buddies over at Shepard in Cambridge!  It's an honor to be working with them on this fun pop-up featuring inventive versions of dim sum favorites.

Think dry aged lamb buns, chicken mousse stuffed chicken wings, corned beef and xo dumplings and more. And booze. Definitely booze. 

UPDATE: this event is currently fully booked! Check out Shepard on OpenTable or call their restaurant to see if any spots open up. For everyone who reserved a table, see you there!

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Pop Up Do Good Recap!

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It was a crowded, festive, warm and wonderful night last Monday when a crew of amazing cooks, servers, and guests descended on Mei Mei for Pop Up Do Good! As we mentioned in this blog post last week, this event was a benefit for Syrian refugees organized by the tireless Mary Kastman of Sarma restaurant. 

Here she is, giving a prep-meal talk to the lovely crew of servers who volunteered to help out at the event. 

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Tables were outfitted with some lovely bouquets from our mom Elaine (aka mama Mei Mei) and you can see some tasty pink pickles from our buddies at Commonwealth Restaurant. I ate about a gallon of these the next day....

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Commonwealth was just one of the many generous donors who helped support the event, including Savenor's Market, AP Wines, Jack's Abby, Reserve, Oleana, Sarma, Sevan Bakery, Sofra, Townsman and so many people who lent their time and hands.

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The food, inspired by Syrian cuisine, was plentiful, colorful and fantastic. Above you can see just a fraction of the vibrant dishes, including a cucumber caçik, hummus with crunchy fried chickpeas, muhammara with red peppers and house baked bread.

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Irene and Mary came around with spectacular Lamb Kofte Shish! I was definitely too busy eating to take any more photos, but thankfully Lindsay Barcebal from Oleana snapped some great pictures...I'm hungry just looking at them.

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You can see the crowd listening to Mary's speech about the event and thanking all the sponsors.  

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The night ended a parade of delicious snacks from the pastry teams at Townsman and Sofra, including Turkish delight truffles, buttery flaky baklava, a milk pudding and more, plus candy snacks to go!

It was an amazing night and we raised almost $3000 for the American Refugee Committee! Thank you to everyone who supported in any way and we can't wait to do it again! 

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Roasted Cauliflower with Cranberry Sweet & Sour Sauce.

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Despite our truck and restaurant focus on the best locally sourced small farm ingredients, we still love the gloppy, greasy, thoroughly inauthentic (although authentically Americanized Chinese, but we digress) Chinese takeout experience every once in a while. Like over the weekend, when it was about 20 degrees and all we wanted to do was eat crab rangoons and General Gao's chicken and sit on the couch and watch back to back Harry Potter movies.

Yes that happened, and it was awesome, and the best guilty pleasure meal. But we try not to do it too much - because it's not super healthy, because we try to cook often, because we want to avoid processed foods and industrial meat for the most part. And that's part of how our sauce line came about. We wanted to be able to eat Chinese flavors that we know and love at home in an easy and accessible format, but also to be able to feel good about the ingredients. We like knowing where the ingredients came from and that the sauce wasn't made with an abundance of sugar or salt or oil or all the tricks that often make fast food taste so good.

So we're really proud of this Cranberry Sweet & Sour sauce. It's made with organic cranberries from Fresh Meadows Farm in Carver, MA. And while it's got a sweet side as well as a vinegary kick, it's not loaded with preservatives or chemicals or anything else you can't pronounce. All natural, gluten free, vegan, all the good stuff. 

And we wanted to make it super easy. So I made roasted cauliflower and just poured the sauce on and mixed. So good. It's barely a recipe, but details below. Let us know if you tried some and what you did with it, we'd love to hear!

1. Take one head of cauliflower and cut into pieces. Don't forget the stalk! I sliced it into thin pieces, cutting off any hard or woody bits and added it to the pile of florets. You can also use the leaves if they're in good condition (not wilted or browned).

2. Put the cauliflower on a lightly oiled sheet pan in the oven at 400 degrees. I left it in for about 20ish minutes, I think. To be honest, I'm not sure. Just check after about 15-20 minutes and pull the tray out when you get nice browned bits and crunchy edges. 

3. Put into a bowl and toss with a drizzle of cranberry sweet & sour sauce! Add chopped scallions or fried shallots if you like. Eat with some steamed rice if you want. Enjoy! 

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Pop Up, Do Good!

We here at Mei Mei are very honored to be part of a great event coming up - Pop Up Do Good, a benefit dinner for Syrian refugees featuring Syrian-inspired cuisine. Many of us had been thinking about how we could do something to help this humanitarian crisis and it was perfect timing that the amazing Mary Kastman of Sarma restaurant contacted us about doing this pop-up. Mary has been working tirelessly to plan and execute this event with a bunch of volunteers from our favorite restaurants around town: Sarma, Sofra, Oleana, Townsman, Commonwealth and more.  Getting to eat food prepared by these cooks in one night is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 

Clockwise from upper left: organizer Mary Kastman of Sarma,  Maura Kilpatrick of Sofra, Meg Thompson of Townsman, Liz Barwick of Sarma, Emily Klug of Sarma, Lindsey Barcebal of Oleana.

Clockwise from upper left: organizer Mary Kastman of Sarma,  Maura Kilpatrick of Sofra, Meg Thompson of Townsman, Liz Barwick of Sarma, Emily Klug of Sarma, Lindsey Barcebal of Oleana.

In the hospitality industry, we sometimes see huge amounts of money being spent on nights out in restaurants. While we value and cherish these opportunities to enjoy great food and drink out with loved ones, it's also important to step back and see how we can use our money for pressing causes like the Syrian refugee crisis.  According to the donation recipient, the American Refugee Committee, 'we know that more than 6 million people inside Syria need emergency food assistance right now.' If you can help support these needy people while also getting to taste a delicious meal from some of the best cooks in Boston, how can you say no?

We know that $70 for a ticket is not an insignificant amount of money for many people. The ticket price was set at this amount to reflect the value of the donated food and drinks from the generous sponsors listed below, and we also want to make sure we can give as much money as possible to the American Refugee Committee.  So maybe if you're planning to go out twice this weekend and next weekend and will maybe spend $20 or $25 a meal, consider staying in those nights and putting that restaurant  budget towards one incredible night of food, drinks, and a very worthy cause. We may also be able to offer some pay-what-you-can tickets  later this week, so stay tuned. 

Enough from us. Here are some words from the organizer and brain behind this event, Mary Kastman. She answered some questions for us to give a bit more information on the pop-up. 

1. How did you get the idea to do this pop-up? 

I was driving to work one day, listening to NPR as I normally do and I heard a story about many of our public figures wanting to close our borders to Syrian refugees due to fears of terrorism. I was incensed and started thinking of what I could do to help the refugees. I'm sure many of my cook friends would agree that we try to understand/process a lot of the world through the lens of food so I thought: Why not do a pop up?  

Muhammara with Spicy Walnut and Pomegranate Molasses

Muhammara with Spicy Walnut and Pomegranate Molasses

2. What inspired the dishes that will be served? 

I'm super lucky to be involved with Middle Eastern food and ingredients every day so I am bringing a lot of that knowledge to the table. There is a ton of crossover in flavors and textures in the regions surrounding Syria (i.e Lebanon and Turkey) but also some differences that I have learned about through extensive research and the guidance of my Syrian friend and coworker, Elliot. The food is not meant to be an exact replica of Syrian cuisine, but rather a taste of the incredible flavors that are just the tip of the iceberg. 

Lamb Kofte Shish, Freekeh Tabbouleh and Tahini Yogurt.

Lamb Kofte Shish, Freekeh Tabbouleh and Tahini Yogurt.

3. How did you choose everyone who is involved? 

My wonderful friend and chef Brian Young encouraged me to seek out the folks at Mei Mei as a possible space and partner for the event. Being a huge fan of the food truck, I reached out to Irene and BOOM! Here we are! From there everything was pretty organic; Mei Mei has an existing relationship with Reserve and they are stoked to be involved. I wanted to give the event a special feel while utilizing Reserve's app so that people can sign up right on their phone. It literally takes less than 5 minutes to sign up --- that was huge!

Sofra was also a natural partner in that the uber fabulous Maura Kilpatrick does phenomenal work with these flavor profiles. She also shares my feelings about the refugee crisis and was more than happy to help out. I cannot wait to try her treats! 

Potato Kibbeh with Spinach and Armenian String Cheese filling.

Potato Kibbeh with Spinach and Armenian String Cheese filling.

4. Why did you pick the American Refugee Committee and how will they use the money?

Through extensive research and months of communication, the ARC was the clear choice. They have an A+ rating on Charity Watch and a low percentage of overhead. They have refugee relief programs all over the world that focus on providing food, clothing, domestic violence programs, shelter and education. The money we raise for this event will go towards basic necessities such as food staples, blankets for the winter, hygiene kits and clothing. For more information, check out the website: www.arcrelief.org

Hummus and Tahini

Hummus and Tahini

5. Tell us more about the talented team in the back of house!


Liz Barwick, a fellow Wisconsin native, also spends her time at Sarma. You can find her most nights rocking pans on the sauté station.

Lindsey Barcebal hails from Maine and is part of the dream team over at Oleana. She brings her grill, sauté and garde manger expertise to us for this event.

Emily Klug of Sarma will be providing our Pop Up with her delicious bread---z'attar dusted flatbread and anise seed bread with figs!

Maura Kilpatrick of Sofra bakery has some killer dessert plans for Pop Up, Do Good! Think buttery, flaky baklava and Turkish delight truffles!

Meg Thompson of Townsman will be collaborating with Maura on some special cookie swag that our guests will receive as an extra special thank you for supporting the cause.

6. Anything else you want people to know?

I'm just so grateful to everyone involved and I hope the event will be a smashing success. Special thanks to all of our supporters! Their generous donations are allowing us to maximize our gift to the ARC.

AP Wine

Jack's Abby

Mei Mei

Oleana

Reserve

Sarma

Savenor's

Sevan Bakery

Sofra

Townsman

Commonwealth

Thanks everyone for reading...now go to Pop Up Do Good and book your tickets!

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Our Online Store is Live!

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WAHOO! We are super excited to announce that our three inaugural products for the Pantry at Mei Mei line are now available in the restaurant, the container later this week and our new online shop! 

Click on over to our Pantry page to buy 3-packs of sauces. E-commerce is new to us, so it took us a little while to get the whole store set up and all the shipping and packaging logistics in place. Turns out these bottles are kinda heavy (chock full of local ingredients!) and so we had to look for a while to find an affordable shipping option. We're not okay with $35 to send you a $28 box of sauces, and we assume you feel the same.

For now, USPS Priority Mail is looking like the best option because their medium flat rate boxes can fit 3 bottles (in fact, they can fit 6 if you want to double up!) but we're going to keep looking around to try and get those prices down. 

So, order away and let us know what you think! If you make something and snap a photo, tag us on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook and we'll share our favorite posts. Thanks for supporting everyone....especially you, Lisa, Adam and Chelsea:) We <3 you guys!

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