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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 sell 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. (The integrated maps are very image heavy, so please have patience while the pages load!)

What’s New


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.

Need Help?

With Words

Learn more about my skills and experience as a mixed-methods researcher, narrative writer, and content strategist. I’m happy to explore with you the diverse ways I can support your organization’s goals.

With Food

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

Email Me

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

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

Pun Stuff

Designed by my BFF, Bryan Wu

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.


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

Asian Fundamentals: Chicken

  18 Reasons, San Francisco

   Thursday, November 30, 2017

   6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

I’m teaching another intensive workshop at this fabulous nonprofit cooking school. Come learn how to butcher a whole chicken and then cook it lots of delicious ways. I may be biased, but SE Asian flavors seem to complement these tasty birds especially well.

The includes grilled chicken skewers 3 different ways, larb packed with lots of fresh herbs, and Malaysian curry chicken.

We’ll be working with VN-style, whole “walking chickens” so you’ll need to be comfortable looking at your food in the eye. If you have a boning knife, I recommend bringing it (sharpened!) so that you learn how to handle it during for this basic skill. Class details and registration here.

Kenneth Rainin Grant for Public Spaces

Good news!! Survival Project received a generous grant from Kenneth Rainin Foundation’s Open Spaces program. With this funding, our art collective will be able to work for the next year and half on a city-wide installation, titled TRANSITION24, that explores how public transit intersects and connects the people, places and histories in San Francisco’s diverse neighborhoods.

Check out the new website, where you can follow what we’re doing and see updates about our events and installations.


Science  |  August 2015

Mapping the Food Universe

What is a sandwich?