The Forgotten

I didn’t know going into this lesson that I would get to revisit one of my childhood favorite egg dishes. And that’s steamed eggs (khai toon in Thai). It was such a delicious and comforting dish that I still can’t believe that I rarely thought about it. The last time I ate such a dish must have been in a Japanese restaurant. They usually come in a teensy-weensy bowl, as if there’s only half an egg in there, perfectly silky and light. 

Cooking and Waiting

The Kitchn’s Cooking School Lesson 15: Boil & Simmer Much has been said lately about the joy and benefits of cooking for others. I have hosted and cooked for a friend and written about the joy of it on this blog. And I have long loved cooking with others. But I still largely cook for myself…

One Week and Two Pots of Beans

The Kitchn’s Cooking School Lesson 11: Beans I always feel a huge sense of accomplishment when I have spent a few hours cooking something that I can eat or use as a base for other dishes for the rest of the week. Last week, it was red kidney beans. I really went back to the…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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….

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…

Wake Up and Cook

I’ve been cooking up a storm these past few weeks. After my vacation in the US in June and early July, I was having a little trouble with motivation. The approaching new semester felt like a torture chamber. My YouTube browsing was getting unhealthy again. I kept saying to myself, “No more teaching after this…

One Jar Closer

Recipe 7: Pickled Red Onions
Victories 7 and 7.1: How easy it is; getting one step closer to fulfilling my dream of mastering the art of pickling and canning and having my kitchen lined with beautiful jars of jams and pickles.

The Joy of Hosting

Recipe 5: Potluck Quinoa
Victories 5, 5.1, and 5.2: Getting fluffy and separated grains by spreading them out on a baking tray as soon as they’re done cooking; “planning ahead” so that you have something healthy and simple at the ready; hosting a friend at home and enjoying it with her

Breakfast in All Its Glory

Recipe 4: Chicken-maple-apple Breakfast Sausage Patties
Victories 4 and 4.1: Accepting this definition of sausage: “highly seasoned ground meat formed into a patty,” and having enough time to cook and eat a full (and

An Easy Win

Recipes 3 and 3.1: Roasted Mushrooms on Toast and Mushroom Spaghetti      
Victories 3 and 3.1: Roasting mushrooms (simple as that) and discovering that mushrooms can go great with pasta without any sauce

Defy and Conquer

Recipe 2: Julia’s Caesar
Victory 2: “Abandoning convention” by using mayonnaise instead of raw egg to make Caesar salad dressing

The First Little Victory

Recipe 1: Olive Oil­–Fried Eggs with Yogurt and Lemon
Victory 1: Making perfect fried eggs (thankfully, Julia Turshen and I agree on the definition: fully set egg white and runny egg yolk) by creating and trapping steam in the