Lessons from my mom:
Food is an expression of love, so it must be healthful, healing, and shared. Food brings us together. It unites us across time and distance. Love. Ambition. Family. Food. It's all the same, really!

  • Favorite foods: Honestly? GOOD salads make me incredibly happy. Also, whatever-I-had-as-a-kid-that-can-never-be-replicated-except-by-my-mom.

Latest Comments

Great food/travel writers or books?

Also, the very fact that you assume I'm not an American citizen because of my "ethnic" experience? HA! Cultural hegemony at its best. Point proven.

Great food/travel writers or books?

Thank you for ASSuming erroneous conclusions. Now, allow me to make my own assumptions based on your naive notion of America as a bucolic "melting pot": You obviously have never felt castigated, segregated, or humiliated by feeling like you do not belong in a Westernized culture. You obviously have never felt the embarrassment of having parents incapable of speaking English and desperately wishing that you could be "like everyone else". You were never that child bringing "stinky ethnic food" to elementary school and wishing desperately that your mom would just give you some dang Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup instead. You were never internally shameful of your own inherited culture. You do not know what it is like to grow up with the identity of your parents while trying to assimilate into the "American melting pot". You want to know what the "American" melting pot is? Try living in a rural area, as I am now even though I grew up in a woefully segregated metropolitan city, and open your eyes. There is rampant cultural segregation (ever wonder why all the ethnic families congregate with one another?), rampant hegemonic practices (gee, I wonder which culture is dominant here?), and rampant insidious unconscious isolation of people who are not quintessentially American (I dare you to walk around rural America with a hijab and not feel isolated or uncomfortable).

Pairings Pictured: Wines to Drink With Chinese Food

What about hot pot? When it comes to wintry celebrations, the hot pot is usually the preferred celebration meal of choice here. Wonder what would be best for such a meal full of variety (but, still, all boiled)? Also, truly curious. What's the meaning behind your name?

Snapshots from Hong Kong: My 14 Favorite Sweets

In my heart, I just jumped around like a little girl and squealed like a pig.

Silky smooth velvet-y "ji ma wu" (the sesame paste) is the stuff of my dreams. I've tried to make it before, but you need some kind of industrial grinder to get the rice and sesame into that fine of a powder. Or, maybe, people just start with powder... Also, I'm so anti-shortbread for egg custard tarts. I was always taught that a perfect flaky/phyllo-type base is the only appropriate base, so I guess that makes me a bit of a traditionalist. Anyways, major nostalgia here.

Great food/travel writers or books?

My personal pet peeve: don't call anything "authentic", and please please please write with a bit of cultural sensitivity. We are human beings. In my opinion, it's not about being PC; it's about having a profound respect for the humanity that lies in people unlike yourself. That ethnic market in which you love to feel unique was my only childhood understanding of where food comes from. Conventional supermarkets were as foreign to me as 'ethnic markets' are to you. The smell of fresh seafood may horrify some Westerners, but, you know what? The smell of aged cheese made my mother want to vomit. It's all relative. We're all human beings, and there's only so much to which we were all socialized. So, please consider what you're writing about and please do it respectfully. With that said, Anthony Bourdain is a great writer precisely because he is so frank, honest, and respectful about different people/cuisines of different backgrounds. He does it well.

Start with a graham cracker pie crust....

Banana cream pie! + bourbon, if necessary. How is that even a question?!

The Food Lab: The Science of the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

So, by this article's definition, are shortbread cookies considered ultra "tender"? That's odd. I've never heard of that term used for something like shortbread, but that's what Cookie Fact #1 suggests. Or am I interpreting this incorrectly?

Secrets? Tips? Your best Garlic Bread

When it comes to good bread, good olive oil is the best accompaniment.
I mince some garlic, heat it up in a bit of medium quality oil, and then smother it all in some high quality fruity + peppery extra virgin olive oil. A little bit of salt and pepper helps, too. Supply lots of bread for dipping.

Food habits

A big pile of Chinese vegetables (choy) at dinner. I feel incredibly guilty if I skip it. It's my mom's doing.

Four Hours for Barbecue: the Psychology of Waiting in Line for Food

You forgot the confirmation bias that is likely happening here!! Along with all the other cognitive biases other folks have already brought up. So glad to be around such a great group of skeptics (no, seriously!).

Dominique Ansel is Now Making Breakfast Cereal

This is a decadent dessert, not breakfast. But, still, it sounds amazing.

Would You Try Breathing a Cocktail?

@Cycorider, where on earth did you get your basic biology, anatomy, physiology training? Wherever it was, I think you should ask for a refund.
"You're sending alcohol directly into the bloodstream and brain, with no pitstop in the liver. That's why it's so potent, but it's also going to make it very easy to get alcohol poisoning. And you won't be able to throw it up either, which is how your body normally handles too much alcohol to metabolize, since it's not in your stomach."
The liver receives most of its blood from the gastrointestinal system through venous return and a small portion of it from hepatic arteries. If the alcohol molecules enter through the nasal passage and into the blood, it will probably return back to the heart first before being returned back to the body, at which point it will necessarily encounter the liver. Your liver is there to metabolize things no matter what, no matter what entry, as long as it is blood-borne. If this were not true, we could not prescribe IM/IV/nasal drip drugs. Also, there is a difference between reaction rates and reaction intensity. I think your insinuation that the effects will be more potent is wrong. The effects may occur FASTER, but that is not the same as a more intense effect.

Your gross assumptions about "any irritation" eventually causing cancer is highly misleading. There are an incredible number of cellular changes that must occur to subvert the cell's normal signaling, transduction, gene expression, etc. pathways. It is not as easy or simple as "irritant = metaplasia = dysplasia", the latter claim of which is really just dubious. Where did you get your medical training, Dr. Wikipedia?

Something similar to Sriracha, but hotter?

Huy Fong makes a "Chili garlic" sauce that is spicier and a bit more pungent than Sriracha. It's chunkier, too.

New Recommendations in San Fran

Don't call it San Fran. That sounds like nails on chalkboards. Just FYI so people can't pick you out and pick you apart (because they will... or they should).

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

Those cookies have a brownie crust! What's the technical name for that weird meringue layer?

Where can I find Hokkaido Squash?

I had to Google what Hokkaido squash was, and I still have no idea what it is or what it tastes like. BUT it looks shockingly similar and sounds eerily close to Kabocha. Kabocha has nutty flavors with a creamy, low-moisture texture. Would that work? You must have Kabocha pumpkins floating around somewhere in NYC. Any larger supermarket should have it. I even get them in upstate NY!

Moose Roast

It's arguable that wild game, when killed swiftly and as painlessly as possible, are more humane sources of meat than ANYTHING we raise.

Wild Side: From Head to Foot at Ba Le in Uptown

Also, I don't know if this counts as "dessert", but I prefer to end all of my Vietnamese themed meals with "che ba mau" or 3 color drink. But no substituting the red water chestnuts with red beans! That's my pet peeve.

Wild Side: From Head to Foot at Ba Le in Uptown

Wait what? I've always gotten my pickled chicken feet from vendors in Chinatown (albeit, in California). It's an especially popular dim sum dish and is often served with jellyfish and pickled daikon/carrots. I've never seen them sold at Vietnamese vendors. Weird.

Favorite eats in Hong Kong

Egg puffs/Eggette. When done right (or even half-right), they taste like HEAVEN.

If you aren't vegetarian, ask for the best roast goose restaurant in Hong Kong. Roast duck = "siew ngoh" in Cantonese. It is roasted by a very famous and well-known restaurant in HK, but I can't recall the name of it right now. I think it's somewhere near Kowloon.. maybe. Maybe not. Someone will know. Just ask.

Dimsum is totally a Cantonese affair. Go and find the best dimsum places. Eat until your heart wants to give out.

If you're into herby stuff, try the Guilingao. It's herby jelly. I personally love it.

Eat all the tropical fruit you can possible get your hands on. Thank me later.


Whoops, sorry. Read the article too fast. The 50ng/kg recommendation is from the European Food Safety Authority and the US EPA.


BPA is definitely a real issue, and the amount found in can linings can range from almost nil to a SCARY amount. Current recommendations are to minimize contact between food and BPA products as much as possible. A quick search of the literature reveals numerous studies that quantify how much BPA is actually present within the food itself - and it's enough to garner concern and precautionary action. For example, the FDA recommends

Differnt take with Breadcrumbs

Dutch Crunch is sort of like this. (And Dutch Crunch is the bread of gods)