Wan Yan Ling

Fresh out of grad school, I shuttle between the Bay Area, NY, and the Asian-Pacific region seeking out stories, interesting people, and good eats. I am a proud mom of a constantly hungry sourdough starter called "Nessie" and an ailing bonsai.

  • Website
  • Location: Mountain View, CA
  • Favorite foods: All manner of tropical fruit... from the ultra stinky and luxuriously creamy durian, to juicy, ruby red lychees, honeyed jackfruit, and fresh water chestnuts.
  • Last bite on earth: The sweet nectar of an old coconut, and the tender, slippery, creamy flesh of a young one. Plus an entire bowl of chilled fresh water chestnuts (peeled by someone else).

Latest Comments

Cook the Book: 'Jerusalem: A Cookbook'

Tiss’ye--Chickpeas with Yogurt and Pita Crisps =)

Wine Protips Video: How To Talk To A Sommelier

I love this video series--keep up the good work =)

The Nasty Bits: Nose-to-Tail Fish Eating

I adore shishamo--though I tend to grill them instead of deep-fry. They're still plenty tasty =) I also like to eat entire shrimp when they're deep fried. It's a bonus when the deep fried shrimp head you receive when ordering amaebi is full of sweet, coral roe.

Pão de Queijo: Brazilian Cheezy-Poofs

They have these in Japanese bakeries too, where they are called "mochi puffs". I've seen black sesame, red bean, and cheese varieties. Fairly easy to make with a Kitchenaid =p

The Nasty Bits: Crab Innards

excellent article! i adore kani miso but i don't think i have the guts to harvest it myself =p

Gift Guide: The Ten Best Cookbooks of 2010

Not a single Asian food cookbook on this list?

Spice Hunting: Asafoetida (Hing)

Thank you for writing this. In my first encounter with hing in the kitchen (as opposed to in a cooked dish), I took a pinch, sniffed at it, and let it sit on my tongue. I've avoided hing like the plague after. Now I know =)

Seriously Asian: Snow Pea Tips

Besides sautéing them with chicken eggs, I like to throw in slivers of century eggs and salted duck eggs too. Whole cloves of roasted garlic take the dish to different level.

Have You Ever Seen a Double Banana?

They're pretty common in Singapore. "Old people" say that you have to eat both halves of the double. If you share the double, the superstition is that there will be "discord" with the person who ate the other half.

Serious Beer Pairings for Chinese Food

Wow. An admirable line up! And to think I had been sticking to Asahi for my asian food-beer pairings =p

Gift Guide: For the Coffee Lover

Plain ceramic drippers that work just as well as the Blue Bottle Coffee ones are available from Daiso at $1.50 a pop.

The Nasty Bits: Frankenstein's Frog, Stir-Fried

I'm now craving claypot frogs, with a side of frog congee!

Serious Green: Rent-a-Ruminant to Get a Tough Job Done

Brilliant. When I was in Calcutta, we saw goats eating everything, including plastic bottles and the disposable terra cotta cups everyone used for chai (in place of paper/plastic/foam cups). If you weren't paying attention, they would nibble holes in your clothes too.

The Food Lab: Perfect Boiled Eggs

Your visuals—especially the eggs sitting in a carton, cooked for increasing time periods—are fantastic! Thank you for this article. I look forward to reading more =)

Grocery Ninja: Korean Roasted Seaweed, Kim

philadooklyn: did they come in mini packs that look like this

I think your mom fed you ajitsuke nori—the soy-sauce basted, Japanese version. My mom did too =)

Grocery Ninja: Korean Roasted Seaweed, Kim

winkyj: Thank you! I have plenty of fun hunting and gathering (and taste testing) for this column...

Grocery Ninja: Korean Roasted Seaweed, Kim

Cassaendra: I think kim makes most cooked sushi rolls better. They make even plain rice taste good =p

nomnom: Thank you for the pronunciation guide—I was wondering about that when I saw some sources spell it "gim."

I found a recipe for converting the regular plain seaweed sheets (nori) to kim here:
Exactly as you describe =)

Grocery Ninja: Korean Roasted Seaweed, Kim

bionicgrrrl: I've actually seen both versions used for kimbap in Korea. Maybe it's a commercial VS housemade difference? The seasoned and roasted kim doesn't hold up well if left sitting, so maybe that's why the plain ones tend to be used in stores?

Grocery Ninja: Korean Roasted Seaweed, Kim

missmanders: I'm not Korean, but I believe someone once told me that "Kim" (the family name) means "gold" and derives from the Chinese character for "gold."

Bay Area Eats: Café Rehoboth, Ethiopian Food with Heart

Adam: How about take-out Ethiopian? Then you can get as messy as you want in the comforts of your own home =)

HeartofGlass & cycorider: Thank you! I love the restraint with which spices are used in Ethiopian food—no one spice ever dominates or overwhelms, everything just sings together =p

Grocery Ninja: Kumquats Are Grown-Up 'Mega Warheads'

VerySmallAnna: I made all my friends try them—no one expects the rind to be sweet. Fun!

Grocery Ninja: Kumquats Are Grown-Up 'Mega Warheads'

effingfoodie: I love the preserved, candied kumquats that you can get individually-wrapped in Asian groceries. Perfect for stashing in the purse and taking out when the munchies strike (I now sound like my grandmother!).