Borderless cooking adventures in a small apartment kitchen with inspiration from Vietnam, China, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Thailand, France, Italy, Greece, and last but not least, the United States. I hope that whoever reads this blog will join me on a journey of culinary exploration.
In this blog, you’ll find recipes that range from authentic Asian to downright fusion. Growing up in the melting pot that is Southern California, it is hard not to be inspired by all the food cultures that surround you. Most foods that I cook/prepare tend to be in the “healthy” range because I generally I to stay away from deep frying, baking, and sweets. However, I believe that food nourishes not only the body, but also the soul. So you may occasionally see some more “junky” or comfort foods in this blog.
Wok Even Further with Me:
I am mostly a self-taught cook who has been experimenting in the kitchen since I was eight years old. My teachers? My grandmother, father, Emeril Lagassee (the “BAM!” guy),Two Fat Ladies, Rachel Ray, Bobby Flay, Giada de Laurentis, Ming Tsai, Jacques Pepin, and the Iron Chefs. Full disclosure: I have not had any formal training in culinary arts. I hail from a family of cooks and pseudo-chefs who have worked anywhere from a street cart in Saigon selling freshly rolled rice noodles to full-scale Chinese Seafood restaurants. They have taught me the fundamentals on how to prepare and eat authentic Chinese and Vietnamese food through our shared family meals.
Although my family has a difficult time expressing the weight of their love, I know for certain that I am loved whenever they serve me a bowl of freshly steamed white rice crowned with slow-braised pork belly. Inevitably, cooking and food became the language through which my family communicated with me. Unsurprisingly, cooking is how I stay connected to my family’s Chinese/Vietnamese roots and also how I show love to others. Although I have never set foot in Vietnam or China, I feel more in-tune with my heritage whenever I simmer a pot of ginger chicken soup. It also allows me to share parts of my cultural identity to friends from different backgrounds.
I am usually not a “recipe” follower, but I have tried my best to document and quantify what I did to help you recreate the foods that I dearly enjoy. I highly encourage you to taste the food for seasoning as you cook or to make adjustments to suit your personal taste. Beyond this, I am generally a fan of tasting something delicious and trying to recreate it and make it my own. Cooking is a creative, engaging process that is most fun when you add your own twist to it. Please share what variations you make so that I can continue to learn and grow in my cooking.