Fridge Files: Danny Bowien

At home with the chef of Mission Chinese Food
Tasting Table: Mission Chinese Food Slide Show

Danny Bowien cooks with a cacophony of flavors at the Lower East Side's new Mission Chinese Food.

There, fresh tofu cannibalizes itself in a soymilk bath ($5.50). Chicken wings and fried tripe cower under a thatch of dried red chiles ($10).

At home, though, Bowien hits the brakes. We looked into his fridge to discover what home cooking means for the chef who's running New York's white-hot restaurant of the moment.

Click through our slideshow for a tour of the chef's essential ingredients and tools, from Three Crabs fish sauce and Keens steak sauce to a red Craftsman rolling workbench.

We even snagged the recipe for one of Bowien's favorite day-off dishes: saemgyetang, aka poached chicken stuffed with ginseng, quinoa, jujube dates and chestnuts. The recipe comes from Bowien's wife, Youngmi Mayer, who cooks the soothing chicken regularly (see the recipe here).

A couple of bites of the demure bird had us understanding why Bowien says he can easily consume the entire chicken over the course of single day.

Mission Chinese Food, 154 Orchard St. (at Rivington St.); missionchinesefood.com

  • Mission Chinese Food

    Danny Bowien examines the contents of his refigerator. Always in the fridge: green tea, Odwalla Superfood juice, mozzarella balls, ricotta and prosciutto butt from neighbor Alleva Dairy, Siggi's drinkable yogurt, wheatgrass for the cats and a whole chicken to make Youngmi's soothing samgyetang (see the recipe here).

  • Mission Chinese Food

    Russ & Daughters' curried herring is one of Danny's favorite snacks.

  • Mission Chinese Food

    Key ingredients for maximum flavor: Three Crabs fish sauce, umeboshi plums, ume plum vinegar, Korean soybean paste, Jamaican Pickapeppa Sauce and Keens steak sauce.

  • Mission Chinese Food

    Stainless steel shelves are filled with experimental sauces for Mission Chinese Food. The kitchen team did much of the training and development for the restaurant in Danny's home kitchen.

  • Mission Chinese Food

    Danny looks through one of his favorite cookbooks: the highly-collectible Les Diners de Gala (The Dali Cookbook), which he found at Kitchen Arts & Letters.

  • Mission Chinese Food

    Where the magic happens.

  • Mission Chinese Food

    Danny and Youngmi's apartment is all about cool efficiency--this red Craftsman tool bench serves as a bar (the wheels make it mobile) and when friends come over sawhorses and wood create an impromptu table. Danny's summer drink of choice is a white wine spritzer.

  • Mission Chinese Food

    A Microplane, a good knife, kitchen shears and a Boos Block are essentials.

  • Mission Chinese Food

    At work, Danny's food is full of bombastic flavors (calling kung pao pastrami). At home, he turns to his wife's restorative samgyetang chicken and the accompanying broth (see the recipe here).

  • Mission Chinese Food

    Danny, Youngmi and one of their cats.

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Mission Chinese Food 154 Orchard St. New York NY 10002 212-529-8800

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