Chef Fu-Mao Sun started his pop-up restaurant, Mighty Hans, in 2021 with the intention of bringing his take on Taiwanese cuisine to Atlanta.
He grew up eating his mother’s Taiwanese food, but didn’t realize the power of the cuisine’s rich history until traveling to Taipei as a child where he tried many unfamiliar and familiar foods, such as Oyster noodles, Dan Bing (Taiwanese egg crepes) and fan tuan (sticky rice rolls).
Fu-Mao’s young, impressionable mind was blown away, and regular summer trips to Taipei continued to spark his food curiosity.
Later in life, Chef Sun attended culinary school to gain the proper chef credibility. However, he always intended to carve out a section of the food scene for Taiwanese cuisine. “My intention is not to elevate Taiwanese food, but to simply share my version,” says Chef Sun. He uses his experience, technique and nostalgia to shine a light on the many dishes and ingredients that Taiwan has to offer.
Mighty Hans’ featured dish is the Mantou Sando, combining Taiwanese and New Jersey cuisine. Fu-Mao’s family didn’t have access to Asian ingredients in rural Massachusetts, but Chef Sun says that his mother always prepared fresh, fluffy Mantou: a steamed white flour bun native to Taiwanese and Northern Chinese cuisines. Fu-Mao’s mother also liked to make a large batch of pork floss to accompany the Mantou, a dish made from braised, shredded, dried and then fried pork loin. The process is laborious, but it also stores wells and sits perfectly as a sandwich or porridge topping.
Fu-Mao remembers breakfast sandwiches with a Mantou bun, scrambled eggs and pork floss. While at school in New Jersey, he realized the similarities of this nostalgic breakfast with the New Jersey staple Taylor ham sandwich with egg, cheese, salt, pepper and ketchup. Chef Sun created his own version by swapping the Taylor ham for pork floss and using Mantou as the bun.
The Mantou Sando provides that familiar comfort of a recognizable breakfast sandwich for those from different cultural backgrounds. It also perfectly represents Chef Sun’s approachable yet fun cooking style. You can try the Mantou Sando as part of Mighty Hans’ brunch offerings at Full Commision on Sunday mornings.
Punk Foodie offers this weekly column about Punk Food, a moniker for a cuisine without defining or distinctive ingredients, techniques and dishes which is being born out of the increasing infusion of the diverse cultures and experiences that live in our city. Find out where Mighty Hans is popping up next and go deeper via Punk Foodie’s weekly guides and pop-up calendar.