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In the Kitchen


Instructions June 2006

Cakes on a Plane

Or, how to bake a four-tiered chocolate cake in one small oven, fit it into an overhead bin and then drive it over a mountain range.

Audio January 2002

Bánh Xèo

A crêpe is a crêpe is a crêpe…or is it? Listen to this sound piece and learn just what's in a name.

Video  |  June 2006

Donuts of the World

Fried dough as the universal expression of love.

Guide  |  June 2006


The transformation of fresh Copper River salmon into edible silk.

Commentary  |  May 2007

Indian Mixies

The secret to crushing cinnamon and pulverizing lemongrass.

As heard on KQED May 07

Photos  |  August 2006

Special Truffles

Sunday in the park.

Instructions  |  October 2003

Sugared Flowers

Roses are red, violets are blue,
Blossoms to taste after saying “I do.”

Journal  |  February 2001

Taming the Wild Yeast

The trials and tribulations of trapping Candida milleri.

Special Section  |  January 2008

A World of Tea

A primer on selecting, brewing and serving loose leaf teas.

Also see Nha Magazine, Jun 03

Photo Essay  | February 2001


Photo Essay  |  December 2005

Hong Kong

Photo Essay  |  May 2000




Recipe  |  February 2008

New Year Recipes

Jiao-zi and Jai.

Also see Fine Cooking Feb 09

Travel Journal & Photo Essay  |  May 2001

SE Asia & South Asia

A Harvey A. Bell Grant from the IACP allowed me to travel from Singapore to South India to research the “Tamarind Trail.”

Special Section  |  February 2009

Pickle Power

Instructions January 2004

Cà Phê Sữa Dá

a.k.a. Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Photo Essay  |  November 2007

Sikh Langar

Communal meals in Stockton, CA.

Also see Saveur Nov 07

Travel Journal  |  May 2001


Travel Journal  | May 2001


Travel Journal  |  May 2001


Travel Journal & Photo Essay  |  May 2001


Photo Essay  |  May 2001


Photo Essay  |  December 2005


Photo Essay & Recipe  |  December 2005

Lao Cooking Class

Video  |  January 2009


What’s This?

Can you guess what this handy little gadget helps you do?


Story Map  |  May 2015

The California Table: Hangtown Fry

      One of San Francisco's oldest and most iconic dishes is Hangtown Fry. First served at a mining camp in the Sierra Foothills, this luxurious blend of tender eggs and deep-fried oysters tells the story of the city's golden boom times.

During early shortages, as 49ers streamed into San Francisco more quickly than the frontier city could absorb, chicken eggs could even go for 50 cents each (just over $14.00 in 2014).

From the hard work of early entrepreneurs in the egg industry to the rough but gilded tastes of lucky prospectors, read more about Hangtown Fry.



On the Road




Photo Essay | May 2001

Hmong New Year Festival

BBQ and pov pob in Fresno.

Photo Essay  November 2007

Sikh Nagar Kirtan

Sharing food as community service in Yuba City.

Cooking Classes

KQED highlighted one of my cooking classes at their Bay Area Bites blog. Read Anna Mindess’ fun post of learning how to make a 6-layer pandan rice cake. Included is her conversation with me afterwards about food, family, and courage in the kitchen.

Teaching hands-on cooking classes remains one of my favorite ways to share my love of food. I’m happy to create a custom menu for your very special event. Check out my page on cooking classes for lots more details.

This is how I roll…

Other Projects

Leah’s Pantry is a wonderful organization that provides nutrition and cooking programs to underserved communities throughout California. I’m honored to be one of their instructors.

Asian Culinary Forum brings together a diverse community of chefs, farmers, academicians,  artists, writers, entrepre-neurs, and home cooks to explore issues connected to Asian food around the world.

Email Me

Questions about cooking or projects?  Stories to share? Suggestions for future features? Recipe requests?

Send your messages to:
thy [at] wanderingspoon.com


Check out the first installation in my series of story maps that trace the geography and history of iconic California dishes...

  1. San Francisco Cooking School
    Monday, October 24, 2016  |  6:00 - 10:00 pm  SOLD OUT!

  2. Sunday, December 4, 2016  |  10:00 am - 2:00 pm

  3. Learn how to make some of your favorite dim sum treats at home in this very hands-on workshop.  We’ll prepare from scratch a variety of simple doughs and fillings, making and then enjoying four iconic dumplings: siu mai, har gao, gao choy gao, and guo tie.

  1. Flavors of Southeast Asia: Leaf-Wrapped Foods

  2. 18 Reasons
    Wednesday, November16, 2016
    6:00 - 9:30 pm

  3. In this intensive workshop, you’ll learn how to work with dried, frozen and fresh leaves while preparing iconic dishes from Hong Kong, Thailand, and Malaysia. There will also be stations set up for practicing different styles of beautiful and compostable leaf bowls.