Win Son | Cookbook Club


I have been delighted to see the growing number of Taiwanese cookbooks published in recent years. Although I was happy to support the authors by simply buying the cookbooks and having them decorate my kitchen shelf, I wanted to actually enjoy the cookbooks as not just books but as the dishes contained within! And so, I started my Taiwanese American Cookbook Club this year.

A cookbook club is a potluck, where all attendees make and bring a dish from the featured cookbook. For our second cookbook club, I chose Win Son Presents: A Taiwanese American Cookbook, by Josh Ku and Trigg Brown, with Cathy Erway.

Win Son is a Taiwanese American restaurant and a bakery in Brooklyn, New York. I have made several outings to East Williamsburg specifically to dine there (and more recently to also visit neighboring Taiwanese shop Yun Hai) and have enjoyed all of my visits to both the restaurant and the bakery. I was excited to explore some of their creative takes on Taiwanese food in their cookbook.

I chose to make Lisa’s Tea Eggs, although I did not see the ‘steep overnight’ instruction until it was too late, so we got about 4 hours of steeping instead.

My eggs came out surprisingly jammy, perhaps even too jammy. I would probably add a minute to the boil time if I tried it again.

Alex made Grilled Pork Collar with Shio Koji and Chili Oil. This is where we started running into recipe quantity issues, as the book’s description of a pork collar steak was less than half the weight of an actual pork collar steak cut to their specifications. So we ended up with double or even quadruple the meat expected. We froze half of the pork collar steaks and still had a lot left over. But it was all delicious! Here’s little Leo watching Alex’s smoker at work in the back yard.

Checking out our Felicia Liang Taiwanese Breakfast artwork, and Cassie reheating the soy milk that she made in her soy milk machine at home.

This was our most on-time cookbook club ever! What a spread! We changed the format from the first dinner to have a buffet-style setup instead of passing around dishes at the table. And I even had time to make labels for each of the dishes too.

Cassie made Lu Rou Fan

Leona made Grilled Shrimp with Chili Butter and Cilantro and Sauteed Pea Shoots. Alex made Grilled Pork Collar with Shio Koji and Chili Oil.

Candace and Derek made Green Soybean, Tofu Skin, and Pea Shoot Salad. They also ran into a quantity issue, where the recipe called for about 30x the amount of actual seaweed needed. I made Lisa’s Tea Eggs as well as Auntie Leah’s Corn Soup, which I modified by not including the chicken. Just a personal preference, and I made it my mom’s Corningware from my childhood too.

A sampling of all of the delicious dishes! Many of us went off-script from the book, because unfortunately it does not seem like they did a good job of testing the recipes before printing them. But everything still turned out great.

Last but not least, a Banana Tart made by Candace. It didn’t set fully, but it tasted delicious too!

Thank you to this wonderful crew for a delicious meal.

Of course we followed it up by teaching our newcomers some mahjong.

Cheers! Interested in joining a future Taiwanese American Cookbook Club dinner? Message me directly for more information.

Anna Wu is a wedding and portrait photographer based in San Francisco. She compulsively documents and blogs all of her daily adventures. Follow her on instagram and view more of her professional work at