Mei Liu had always been a home cook, but a few years ago, she made her first foray into a professional kitchen, starting a small Chinese restaurant with a group of friends in Austin, Texas.
Not long after, Mei, along with her daughter Grace, and son, Gary, drew up plans to start a food truck -- but before putting it into action, they decided they had to leave the Lone Star State.
"The market there is pretty saturated," explains Grace. "We wanted to go somewhere where the scene was still growing, and the Rocky Mountain area is perfect."
So they packed up and came to the Mile High City, where they built out the Sesame Seed, a fire engine-red food truck that rolled onto the pavement late last year, hawking recipes from Mei's home kitchen. "Most of the food is stuff she's been making as we grew up -- our childhood favorites," Grace says. "It's a core of sandwiches." Those sandwiches, which are named for kung fu stars like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, are made on freshly baked sao bing, or Chinese flat bread, which Mei learned to make in Taipei. Combinations include Asian stewed pork with pickled cabbage, carrots, cilantro and barbecue sauce and Asian marinated fish with green leaf lettuce, sautéed onions, carrots and garlic chile sauce.
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Grace says that the family has also been playing with new menu items. "We tested some rice bowls and noodles, and during a Super Bowl party at Copper Kettle Brewing, we tried out ribs and chicken wings, done with our family recipe for the marinades."
And the Sesame Seed may eventually spawn a restaurant. "Mom is really interested in opening up a restaurant, but that's a while down the road," says Grace.
The Sesame Seed can most often be found serving lunch in Broomfield, though Grace says the truck also makes regular appearances at Copper Kettle Brewing as well as occasional charity events, partnering with groups like the Denver Rescue Mission. To locate the truck, check the Sesame Seed's Facebook page.