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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

Thanks to the Harvey A. Bell Grant from the IACP, I travelled from Singapore to South India.

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



1001 Foods You Must Eat Before You Die, KIOSK, Chef’s Maternity Jacket and more!


What’s This?

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


Video February 2012

Bánh Tráng

       Before machine-made rice paper became popular, my aunt, Dì Yên, and my cousin,  Trinh, made bánh tráng in Viet Nam by hand early every morning and sold it locally in their town just north of Saigon. During my recent visit, they were generous enough to spend a couple of days showing me how they used to make it. Selecting the grains at the rice shop, soaking and grinding them to the perfect texture, and firing up the earthen stove: they took me through the whole process.

       In the video, you can see the amazing skill required to spread the tender, paper-thin sheets. For photos and more detailed explanations, check out my slideshow.



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.

Other Projects

The Asian Culinary Forum, a nonprofit dedicated to the exploration and enjoyment of Asian food around the world, provides me lots of opportunities to teach the public and food professionals. Visit the Forum’s website to learn more about our events and classes.


Email Me

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

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


Eating Cultures

As part of the upcoming exhibition at SOMArts, Eating Cultures, I’m honored to join Lok Siu and Mark Padoongpatt on a discussion panel about Asian Pacific American food and foodways.

In addition to talking about meals and migration, I’ll be selling copies of Edible Aliens. (See right for photos of the completely handmade book.)

Learn more about the special exhibit, artists, presenting organizations, and other related events at SOMArt’s website.

Eating Asian America
Panel Discussion

May 10, 2014, 2–4pm  |  Free admission
934 Brannan, San Francisco  |  map
Co-presented by the Culinary Historians
of Northern California


(From left: Knotweed, Burdock, and Fennel)