The Trouble with Tofu

The Kitchn’s Cooking School Lesson 8: Tofu and Tempeh I almost skipped the tofu and tempeh lesson. I’ve never had tempeh, but I was still curious about cooking tofu, despite it not being my favorite ingredient. I’ve had tofu plenty of times in my life. I even tried to cook tofu once in France because…

Beer, Wine, and My Father

My father used to be a big beer drinker until one day—on his birthday, or maybe mine, or one of those days you get to make your wishes outloud—I asked him to stop drinking beer. And he did. He granted me my wish. Just like that, he quit beer. I was very young then, maybe…

From My Library: Vol. 7

I recently did something I hadn’t done in a long time: I bought a magazine to read on a long trip. This happened in a bookshop at the Karlsruhe train station before I had to catch a train to the Frankfurt airport, where I would take a flight back to Bangkok via Abu Dhabi. I…

Follow Your Nose

The Kitchn’s Cooking School Lesson 7 I didn’t grow up liking shrimp. I thought it stank. I hated the texture and the flavor. I was even allergic to it at one point. If I remember correctly, I used to get rashes from eating it. As an adult, however, it became difficult to resist shrimp when…

Another Kind of Cook

I haven’t cooked anything complicated in my kitchen or for this blog. But I’ve definitely made recipes that required me to use a pot, a pan, and sometimes maybe the oven tray—recipes that take an hour or more to prep and execute. Sure, they are simple recipes, but not all of them are quick to…

From My Library: Vol. 6

As promised, I want to share with you a few passages from William Zinsser’s book On Writing Well about writing family history and memoir this week. The book’s subtitle for its 30th anniversary is The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction. And yet it’s such a moving and intimate read. I suppose that’s why I enjoyed reading it so much…

Chop-Chop!

The Kitchn’s Cooking School Lesson 6 I’m really enjoying going back to basics with ingredients and dishes that I like to cook at home. I’m cooking better than ever. Last week was chicken breasts, a cut that I eat all the time but struggled for the longest time to find the right way to cook….

Somewhere Else for Lunch

As some of you may remember, I’m reading one entry of James and Kay Salter’s Life Is Meals: A Food Lover’s Book of Days per day until the end of the year. In the October 25 entry, James writes, “There are days, perhaps many, when you long to be somewhere else, and days when you…

From My Library: Vol. 5

I’ve been reading a lot about writing and memoir writing. Since I got back from Germany, it’s been hard to rein in my mind. I have many things—from books to documentaries and podcast interviews—to share with you, but it’s probably best to spread things out over the weeks. Since this week has been crazier than…

Perfection Found, Almost

The Kitchn’s Cooking School Lesson 5 Little by little, I’m getting back to my usual way. First work, then cooking, then exercising, then meditation, and now, finally, The Kitchn’s Cooking School. Where did we leave off? Ah, yes, the lesson on poultry. I’m just so glad that I’ve finally found the perfect way to cook…

Saturday Rambling

I probably should eat. It’s almost one in the afternoon here in Bangkok. Instead, I’ve fed myself with water and Gabrielle Hamilton’s “Rome” and “Hunger” episodes in The Mind of a Chef. My stomach was not rumbling, but my mouth watered at the sight of the Prune chef-and-owner putting sardines on slices of avocado and dressing…

From My Library: Vol. 4

My vacation in Germany is drawing to a close. Tomorrow, Monday, is my last full day here. All the free time on this trip means I have been able to focus on reading William Zinsser’s On Writing Well. And my love for the book is steadily deepening. I want to share a few passages from the…

How to Be Gentle and Firm

The Kitchn’s Cooking School Lesson 4 I had planned to move on to the poultry lesson this week on the blog. The only thing I had left to do was to write about it. But I am now in Germany for a vacation and realized two days ago that I had forgotten to bring the…

From My Library: Vol. 3

I’m leaving Bangkok for a short vacation in Germany in less than 24 hours as I’m writing this. I haven’t exactly packed, meaning I have stuff on my bed I still need to put in a suitcase. But I’ve cooked and polished everything in the fridge that needed to be cooked, except for milk, which…

Mastering the Omelette

The Kitchn’s Cooking School Lesson 4 I’m veering off this lesson in the Cooking School a bit. The omelette is not part of the homework, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to master. It is the dish that French kitchens use to test a new cook after all. And many a successful chefs achieve their…

From My Library: Vol. 2

It’s been a great but busy and exhausting week. Where to begin? What to recommend? My head is full of information and things to say, but I don’t have that much time to say them well. I’ve been studying up on eggs quite a bit since it’s the next lesson in The Kitchn’s Cooking School….

Hot and Thorny Issues

The Kitchn’s Cooking Scool Lesson 3 Roasting vegetables has become a comfortable way to cook for me. I fell in love with it when I was in France and my mother came to visit. We usually went out to eat since the town I was living in—Aix-en-Provence—had so many wonderful little restaurants and cafes. When…

From My Library: Vol. 1

I don’t technically have a library. I live in a studio apartment after all. So my books can be found on the floor on both sides of my bed, a small bookshelf, and my desk/dining table. But “From My Library” is about sharing things I’ve read, listened to, or watched that are related to food….

How I Cook: Year 2

Since I started this blog, I’ve been cooking not only more frequently, but I believe my cooking has changed in many ways. When I wrote the first How I Cook post, I wanted to tell the readers about my food and cooking background. More than that, I wanted to make it clear that this food…

Of Things Sharp and Sweet

The Kitchn’s Cooking School Lessons 1 & 2 Apparently I had been holding the knife wrong way—you know, the very comfortable way of holding the knife by placing the index finger on top of the blade. I had no idea that it’s actually less stable, making it more difficult to control. That’s the thing with…