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).

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

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Charles Chocolate

baking bites' amazing espresso chocolate cake!

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.

The Nasty Bits: Cod Milt

I love your columns =)

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 =)

How to Make a Portable Picnic-in-a-Briefcase

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!).

Wan Yan Ling hasn't written a post yet.

The Physiology of Foie: Why Foie Gras is Not Unethical

Video or photographic footage of one badly managed farm or even a thousand badly managed farms does not prove that the production of foie gras, as a practice, is necessarily harmful to the health or mental well-being of a duck. Foie gras production should be judged not by the worst farms, but by the best, because those are the ones that I'm going to choose to buy my foie from if at all. More

Serious Beer Pairings for Chinese Food

Just because a certain beer is often sold in Chinese restaurants doesn't mean it's actually the right pairing for Chinese food. Our goal was to find beers that truly complemented the flavors of each dish and were complemented by those dishes in return. We tried a number of excellent beers in search of the perfect matches for our favorite spicy dishes, as well as a few classics of the Americanized Chinese variety. More

Market Scene: Divisadero Farmers' Market, San Francisco

Note: On Mondays, one of our various Market Scene correspondents checks in with what's fresh at farmstands, what's coming up, and what you better get while the gettin's good. Take us to market, Jen! [Okra soldiers from Short Night Farm; Jen Maiser] I am addicted to attending farmers' markets. The most recent proof was over the weekend: I had no intention of shopping for food yet I found myself wandering through the Divisadero Farmers' Market in San Francisco after breakfast. Though I am going out of town and didn't need anything in my fridge, I found myself buying just a bit of okra, just one nectarine, and just a couple tomatoes like an addict who needs a fix. I mentioned... More

Serious Green: 6 Rules of a Good Farmers' Market

[Flickr: NatalieMaynor] There was a time when I cultivated tomatoes over acres, not in small pots on windowsills. I now make my home in Brooklyn and have no backyard, front yard, or rooftop to speak of. But in college I spent my summers riding in the back of pickup trucks; weeding fields; and selling tomatoes and peppers, blueberries and yellow squash at farmers markets' throughout the D.C. area. Back at school, friends and I yearned for food that didn't originate in the dining hall so we founded a highly successful biweekly farmers' market. I don't claim to have the wisdom of full-time farmers, but as a former farm worker and market manager, and as an active market go-er and... More

How to Make a Portable Picnic-in-a-Briefcase

For all those times you want to bring a little piece of vegetation and scenery around, designer Paige Russel at Design*Sponge has the thing for you: The Green Space Travel Case, made of an old briefcase fitted with turf, a wildlife scene, an ice pack, and your lunch.... More

Serious Grape: Women and Wine

On Fridays, Deb Harkness of Good Wine Under $20 drops by with Serious Grape. Photograph from rolands.lakis on Flickr An international study of more than 4,300 wine-drinking women has revealed the following: Women buy wine because they like how it tastes and it goes well with food. Shocking, isn't it? Apparently the wine pundits thought we bought wine because it was fashionable and good for our health. Instead, they discovered that in the United Kingdom women buy eight out of ten bottles of wine purchased—and what they care about is taste and price. Robert Beynat, a spokesman for the world's largest wine exhibition and one of the partners involved in the research, VinExpo, commented as following on the study's results:... More