A modern twist on holiday flavors with Blue Bamboo

Blue Bamboo is the latest chapter in a family saga that began many years ago on the Northside of Jacksonville. There, Chef Dennis Chan’s family operated a restaurant on Main Street called Little Dragon.

Growing up in the family business − and seeing guests delight in delicious food and warm hospitality − sparked a lifelong love of cooking for Chef Dennis. And the Chans’ legacy grew over time as they brought a traditional Chinese twist to Jacksonville’s culinary scene through a total of 13 family restaurants.

Today, Chef Dennis and his team serve Cantonese comfort food in a polished and welcoming atmosphere that brings together the best of old and new. Some recipes haven’t changed since their creation years ago, and others are modern interpretations of the foods we like best.

Regardless of origin, each dish at Blue Bamboo is prepared with love and served in the hope of providing you with an experience you’ll want to repeat.

Struffoli recipe:

2 cups flour, plus extra for rolling out dough

½ orange, zested

3 Tbsp sugar

1 pinch salt

¼ tsp baking powder

½ stick butter, unsalted

3 eggs

1 tbsp dry sherry

1 tsp vanilla extract

Neutral oil, for frying

1 cup honey, plus ½ cup sugar

1 Tbsp lemon juice

Sugar sprinkles, multi-colored

Candied cherries

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together 2 cups of flour, orange zest, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add the butter in chunks and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add eggs, sherry, and vanilla. Pulse until the mixture forms into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until dough is easy to handle.

Cut the dough into 6 equal-sized pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece of dough until 1/4-inch thick. Cut each piece of dough into 1/2-inch wide strips, then 1/2-inch pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a small ball. Lightly dredge the dough balls in flour, shaking off any excess. In batches, fry the dough at 375 degree oil until lightly golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

In a large saucepan, combine the honey, sugar, and lemon juice over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off heat. Add the fried dough and stir until well coated. Allow the mixture to cool in the pan for 2 minutes. Mound Struffoli on platter or pedestal and drizzle any remaining honey mixture over mound. Decorate with sprinkles and candied cherries and serve.