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Long before I wrote cookbooks I wrote a children’s book called Trip to Freedom about how my family escaped Vietnam. It was an illustrated short story book for a bilingual education series aimed to teach kids about America’s diversity. Me...
Long before I wrote cookbooks I wrote a children’s book called Trip to Freedom about how my family escaped Vietnam. It was an illustrated short story book for a bilingual education series aimed to teach kids about America’s diversity. Meg, a childhood friend who is now a school administrator, suggested me for the series and the publisher commissioned a Vietnamese American artist Winson Trang to do the illustrations. Trip to Freedom (Nuestro Viaje Hacia La Libertad) was published in 1997. Now and then I’d get a random email from someone about the book but last month, I received a wonderful surprise. Alisa, a fifth-grade teacher in Des Moines, Iowa, had her class read the book and they had follow-up questions. The students wanted to know...
about 2 hours ago
I am so happy that my contributor CP Choong is back with more sinfully delicious baking recipes. In this post, she is sharing an utterly gorgeous, rich, buttery, and decadent Brownie Butter Cake recipe, adapted from Kevin Chai’s &#...
I am so happy that my contributor CP Choong is back with more sinfully delicious baking recipes. In this post, she is sharing an utterly gorgeous, rich, buttery, and decadent Brownie Butter Cake recipe, adapted from Kevin Chai’s “I love Butter Cake Too 2″ cookbook. CP Choong and I went to high school together, but we didn’t know each other when we were in high school. Our high school is the most famous Chinese girls school in Penang, attended by hundreds of students in each grade. Fast forward to present time, CP and I finally met, through a mutual good friend, when I was back in Penang earlier this year. I am just so happy that she is now my contributor and I can share her wonderful baking recipes with you. She is an excellent baker and also a very talented photographer. I absolutely love her food photography and her baked goods are truly top-notch. If you read...
1 day ago
I am partnering with my friends at Michaels to give away a Cake Boss™ Deluxe Bakeware with Red Silicone Grips Set. There will be one (1) winner whom will receive one (1) Cake Boss Deluxe Bakeware with Red Silicone Grips Set containg a Ca...
I am partnering with my friends at Michaels to give away a Cake Boss™ Deluxe Bakeware with Red Silicone Grips Set. There will be one (1) winner whom will receive one (1) Cake Boss Deluxe Bakeware with Red Silicone Grips Set containg a Cake Boss Deluxe Nonstick Bakeware 9-Inch by 13-Inch Covered Cake Pan (US$24.99), a Cake Boss Deluxe Nonstick Bakeware 14-Inch by 16-Inch Insulated Cookie Pan (US$21.99), and a Cake Boss Decorating Tools 24-Piece Advanced Decorating Tip Set (US$24.99). The total retail price of the Cake Boss Deluxe Bakeware with Red Silicone Grips Set is US$71.97. Cake Boss Deluxe Nonstick Bakeware 9-Inch by 13-Inch Covered Cake Pan, Gray with Red Silicone Grips Take home-baked treats on the road with the Cake Boss Deluxe Nonstick Bakeware 9-Inch by 13-Inch Covered Cake Pan. Cake Boss Deluxe Bakeware makes baking and eating treats more enjoyable, and this cake pan includes...
3 days ago
Yasmin Newman's book launch for "7000 Islands -- A Food Portrait of the Philippines" is on Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 4pm at National Book Store at Glorietta 1, Makati, and I really wanted to attend, but I am leaving for Bangkok a few ...
Yasmin Newman's book launch for "7000 Islands -- A Food Portrait of the Philippines" is on Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 4pm at National Book Store at Glorietta 1, Makati, and I really wanted to attend, but I am leaving for Bangkok a few hours before that.
4 days ago
as much as i love this little lady, sometimes i really really really need alone time. so every time she goes down for a nap or bedtime (or if i’m super frustrated, i would hand off her to hiroki) i would sneak away to my dad’...
as much as i love this little lady, sometimes i really really really need alone time. so every time she goes down for a nap or bedtime (or if i’m super frustrated, i would hand off her to hiroki) i would sneak away to my dad’s wood shop and chip away with a carving knife and sand all the bumps away and polish it with some olive oil AND NOW I HAVE A SPOON! i have designated this her first-wooden-spoon because it’s too big to be her first spoon (believe me. i tried.) carving spoons, it’s pretty therapeutic. need to blow off some steam? go get a carving knife and a piece of scrap wood and chip away!
4 days ago
My college years in Kuala Lumpur (commonly known as “KL”), right after my high school and A-levels in Penang were one of the best times of my life. It was during those years in KL that I met Mr. Rasa Malaysia, and formed prec...
My college years in Kuala Lumpur (commonly known as “KL”), right after my high school and A-levels in Penang were one of the best times of my life. It was during those years in KL that I met Mr. Rasa Malaysia, and formed precious and lasting friendships with some of my best friends. Lots of beautiful memories, laughter, admirers (yep, I had lots of admirers in the college back then), and scrumptious foods. At least once a week, after the tedious and boring lectures at the college, Mr. Rasa Malaysia and our best friends would descend to the Malay warung (Malay food stall) right outside of our college. We would always order our favorite ayam paprik—a mouthwatering spicy chicken stir-fry, tom yum, and telur dadar (omelet), to go with the warm and fluffy steamed rice. It was then that I fell in love with Malay cooking, or in this case, Thai-style Malay food. There are many Malay...
4 days ago
Over the weekend, I used Pok Pok chef/owner Andy Ricker’s recipe for Thai beef and potato yellow curry in the October issue of Saveur magazine. I’d spent quite some time making his Thai yellow curry paste so I wanted to use the curry and...
Over the weekend, I used Pok Pok chef/owner Andy Ricker’s recipe for Thai beef and potato yellow curry in the October issue of Saveur magazine. I’d spent quite some time making his Thai yellow curry paste so I wanted to use the curry and see what else I could glean from his recipes. First off, I’d somehow assumed that yellow curry was only for chicken (Viet folks make similar kinds of yellow curry with chicken and potato) but Ricker prescribed beef and a long simmering in unseasoned coconut milk. I was curious about the pairing of beef in a Southeast Asian curry. Perhaps it would lend depth to the mellow yellow curry paste? Cooking the beef in coconut milk reminded me of how Italian bolognese...
5 days ago
When I don’t understand a particular dish, I make it. How else would Ifigure out the flavors of something like Thai yellow curry? Like many cooks, I have mostly relied on tubs or cans of Thai curry paste. The yellow curry is one that I’v...
When I don’t understand a particular dish, I make it. How else would Ifigure out the flavors of something like Thai yellow curry? Like many cooks, I have mostly relied on tubs or cans of Thai curry paste. The yellow curry is one that I’ve avoided after trying it just once years ago. It was bland and insignificant seeming. Last week, after reading an October 2013 Saveur magazine story on Thai curry by chef/restaurateur Andy Ricker, I decided to give Thai yellow curry another chance. I’d purchased a tub of fudgy Thai shrimp paste months earlier and the other ingredients were within reach. It wasn’t the Trachang brand that Ricker called for but I wasn’t about to drive to an Asian market for one ingredient....
7 days ago
There is something decadent and luxurious about breakfast buffets at good hotels.
There is something decadent and luxurious about breakfast buffets at good hotels.
7 days ago
I have to confess again. I suck in the flour department, meaning when it comes to baking, or in this case, steaming, with ingredient that involves flour, I surrender. I am just not good. Period. So if you think that I am a super home coo...
I have to confess again. I suck in the flour department, meaning when it comes to baking, or in this case, steaming, with ingredient that involves flour, I surrender. I am just not good. Period. So if you think that I am a super home cook or “chef” who can just whip up anything, let me just say it again, I am weak in that area, but I am learning. Sweet potato mantou (???) is one of my favorite bao (?) or Chinese steamed buns. Whenever I go back to Malaysia, I would always buy these warm, fluffy, sweet, and soft mantou from the various steamed bun vendors dotting the kopitiam (local coffee shops), markets, roadsides, gas stations, night markets, etc. They are absolutely delightful. My son loves it as a snack, too. Unfortunately, in the US, the only similar steamed buns that I can find here are the frozen and plain mantou in the Chinese grocery stores. There are no sweet...
106 14 days ago