Editorial: Print & Online
In this love letter/social commentary essay, I argue the hot take that American Chinese food IS "authentic" regional Chinese food, touching on difficult topics such as gatekeeping; authenticity and value; third culture; cultural imposter syndrome; and disappearing ways of life. Part of The Spruce Eat's AAPI Heritage Month releases, selected as a Flipboard Ten for Today and Inside Food Magazine recommended read.
In this serious, brutally honest, vulnerable essay about the impact of the rise of anti-AAPI violence in America, I talk about shame, fear, cultural and professional imposter syndrome, and how the wave of hatred has caused me to finally steer into and celebrate my culture as the ultimate act of resistance against erasure.
Like many food writers, Serious Eats was a major dream pub for me. I was honored to have contributed to their first-ever digital issue, The Wok, along with the likes of J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, Jenny Dorsey, and more in an interviewed and drawn-from-experience accessories guide.
For Simply Recipes' fried chicken package, I wrote an essay about my grandma's fried chicken--a craggy, crunchy example of cross-cultural perfection now lost to us, its recipe forgotten even by her. This is about taste memory, the importance of writing down family recipes, and how some treasures are too wonderful to last.
Reaching over 70K readers in less than one business week, this piece was so popular, it spawned a Part II: Reader Contributions follow-up with even more ways to save in a budget-conscious, inflation-impacted world.
Enough with the Instagram perfection! As budgets run tighter and time runs shorter with demanding work schedules, this fun story celebrates the imperfect, the tired/hungry/poor dishes parents whip up that become family recipes, comfort foods, and the things we love and remember about being young and cared for.
Starting with memories of making this common-to-Chinese (but not so much other cultures!) restorative, cooling tea, I interviewed several respected practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), herbalists, and tea experts to break down why this tea is so beloved and such a staple to Chinese wellness practices.
It had been a long while since I was able to go into an in-depth, detailed, and #vicariousfoodwhore-style (#rip to when I blogged lol) food review, but because my ETNT editor is a treasure, I got to do one a timely one--with a same-day turnaround!--about the soon-to-come, limited time Arby's Diablo Dare sandwiches! I love when I have the focus freedom and space, too, to write all pretty about food and dig deep into the sensation of eating, while also being witty where I can :)
n my journey as a writer, I've come across so many wonderful people who saw something in me, believed in me, and gave me a chance. These incremental kindnesses have gotten me so impossibly far. But the greatest male influence on my life, perhaps even more so than my father, has been Bryan Hynes - my guru, my mentor, my advisor, teacher, and beloved friend. It was an honor to be able to write about my experience as his mentee for CircleAround for their Teachers series.
Writing this piece cracked me up, and I hope reading it did the same for others! This was an SEO assignment that I gave a snarky little spin to, throwing shade and including smartass comments from several booze experts across disciplines. TL; DR: Don't try these at home!
I call myself a recreational grocery shopper, and I think it's pretty apt. I find it soothing, and I love checking out the innovations in the food space, particularly since I cook so much at home. It's been my pleasure to take on the Kitchn's Grocery Spotter column for several installments and talk about latest innovations in the ready-to-eat space.
My mother believed in miracles and the healing powers of the world around us. Perpetually curious and thirsty for knowledge, she was always ahead of the curve when it came to holistic health remedies and wellness trends. No surprise then that it was through her that I first heard of "magic mushrooms," as she called them. Since then, cordyceps, nootropics, and adaptogens have exploded, begging the question, what ARE they? Tapping into a bunch of TCM herbalists and experts, I answer this question.
I was excited to make the headline for the Yummly newsletter with my dumplings 🥟 around the world tour! Dumplings are a particularly special food to me, not only culturally, but personally, and it was a pleasure to learn about how cute filled pockets of dough take shape elsewhere in the world and how universally loved they are.
Back in the local business game, and this time in Atlanta! Well, Sandy Springs, to be precise, which is a lovely suburb of the city since I am, at heart, a suburban gal. A comprehensive round-up of all the top brunch spots in the area for your Sunday pleasure.
I'd rather have stinky breath over stinky small talk any day. I lurveee alliums in all forms, so much so that I wrote a love letter to the Trader Joe's All the Alliums Onion Salt for The Kitchn. Therefore, it was a no-brainer to accept this assignment with Simply Recipes for a detailed explainer for their Education vertical on garlic powder, in which I share PERFECTLY NORMAL 🙃 details of my life, like the fact that I keep no less than six different forms of garlic in my kitchen at all times!
For Eat This, Not That, I typically do comparative taste tests. This research piece allowed me to flex into nutritional analysis--which I already do in my own free time!--about one of my favorite protein sources.
In my first ecomm story for Katie Couric Media, I took on the hilarious, fun challenge of finding the most outrageous ugly holiday sweaters on the interwebs and writing about them. I especially appreciate that I was able to get a little risque and put my tongue firmly in my cheek for some of these silly write-ups. And the hardest part about this research was narrowing down the options! Headline is mine, too.
If you're anything like me, you probably have more spices than you have room for, but are loathe to throw them out. Well not to worry! I break down how much time you have, how to best store them, and how to (inevitably) revive them in this service piece for INSIDER's new food reference section.
I absolutely LOVE writing service pieces with tips and tricks, and this commerce piece/buying guide for INSIDER, a goal pub, let me do exactly that. Who knew there were so many nuances to a seemingly unchanged thousands-of-years-old cooking tool?!
Eat This, Not That! was a franchise that years ago, changed how I shopped for food, how I chose brands, and how to make smart swaps without sacrifice. What I learned--including about food marketing myths and health halos--has done much to inform my other food/wellness writing, and I am so honored to share my first byline with them on one of my favorite foods: Greek yogurt!
Delighted to have written this devil-may-care-toned but FACTUALLY BASED piece for AllRecipes on clearance meat and why I love saving money buying them. This practice of mine is a rather controversial topic among my friends and family, and I can't say I didn't take a great deal of satisfaction in getting the FDA facts and stats on why we should stop wasting and throwing out perfectly (maybe not great, but) FINE meat ... And our hard-earned dollars while we're at it!
In this reported service piece for RealSimple, I gather some pros and collectively, we spill some of the secrets of making super soup and stupendous stews, a hot topic EVERY winter.
Have a heart! In this nutrition-focused service piece, I tap into cardiac professionals and dietitians to find out how they easily work heart-healthy foods into their everyday life without skipping a ... beat. <3
Loved writing this fun, irreverent take on Valentine's Day for HuffPost - UN-sexy foods to avoid for this Hallmark holiday! I pull in dietitians to get snarky with me, and tell all the bad dad jokes with unhinged abandon.
In winter 2020, The New York Times published a story about how "Chinese Restaurants Are Closing. And That's a Good Thing, Owners Say." ... But what the story failed to do was take into account the unique generation of takeout kids and how WE feel about the disappearance of our entire way of life due to a lack of documentation as we seize the next rungs of the ladder of social mobility to bring to fruition our parents' American dreams.
Absolutely love writing for Yummly, as their unusual recipe gallery format allows me the room to dig into history, intersperse personal anecdotes, AND share cooking tips for topical ingredients all in one hybrid piece! This one is a compilation of background for some obscure and many popular Asian noodle dishes from across the regions/countries, as well as some noodle history and a firmly implanted cultural flag on the topic.
I love green beans. And when I love something, I want to learn EVERYTHING about it ... which is exactly what I did for this 101 for The Spruce Eats, creating a reference/hub article with several links out to other Spruce Eats pieces to max out that valuable cross-pollination of content.
I was "thrilled" I got to show some love to the island (and previous towns) I got to call home for so long for my first travel piece with Thrillist ... especially as I moved 950 miles away. Many Manhattanites make the mistake of thinking that Long Island is a wasteland between NYC and the Hamptons, but they couldn't be more wrong, as I happily prove here.
I've had very strong Feelings about my dad's love affair with @Costco pizza, especially as a strong proponent of #smallbusinesssupport ... AND as a New Yorker. I tried to steer him from it, to little avail. However, things change, and not always the way you expect them to. I talk about it (and shout out my BELOVED Gio's Pizza in East Islip as well as IG darling Spontini) here for The Kitchn.
Looking for ways to "spruce" up holiday-themed dinner leftovers? In this service piece, I provide new ways to think about where you find inspiration.
I went a little heavy on this piece. COVID fatigue has taken its toll on all of us, but it's particularly nuanced for Asian-Americans. In this essay-reported piece hybrid, I dig into the ugly, leaving Pollyanna behind to get gritty and real.
I am not an expert on Asian applications of tofu. But when I was asked if I could find a cool spin and write about it for Yummly, I was delighted to say "Challenge accepted!" In this recipe round-up, I weave in some background info on the ingredient; a brief 101 on types; tips that I realized afterward only a POC would inherently know; and personal anecdotes for traditional recipes under the umbrella of bringing this "global citizen" ingredient back "home" to Asia.
Saving money is top of mind right now, and everyone is looking to be a savvier shopper. In this article for HuffPost, I break down how to be just that when it comes to your groceries, sharing some of my favorite tips and apps to pay like a pauper and eat like a king.
For this BRIDES service article, I was proud to have a chance to highlight a Black-owned business, The Stationery Bar, to break down EVERY TYPE of wedding invitation paper and printing style to help couples make the right choice when it comes to setting the stage for their big event. If you've ever wondered about vellum, wanted to know about acrylic etching, or the difference between lifted or imprinted printing types, we've got you covered!
In my first piece for PEOPLE Magazine, I tap into how we can transmute the love language of touch--which many of us can't communicate with right now for various reasons, whether it's distance or caution--into the other four.
This dietician-supported service piece shares some of my favorite "health hacks" for how to doctor up restaurant meals to be more nutritious when you have the luxury of tinkering with it at home. Particularly timely as cooking fatigue sets in due to COVID-19 and as families order in more frequently since they still aren't comfortable or able to dine out, this is the first of a two-part service piece.
"Butter makes it better." But how? And which one? I answer all of these with more than you ever need to know about butter in this comprehensive researched service piece for The Spruce Eats.
This story about the emotional ties we have to food and the small, unconsidered losses of divorce was the first time I'd even mentioned my split in my writing. But it's not about who you think it might be about. In an homage to my former father-in-law, I write about the ties we have to the food we share. I'm proud to say that it performed well enough to have been syndicated through various outlets.
I've written a lot about my dad ... But only because my mom has always side-stepped into the background, laughingly humble and hilariously self-deprecating. In my first-ever international byline, for Al Jazeera, I finally write my first piece about the powerful impact she has made on shaping who I am simply by telling me--at direct odds with zeitgeist--not to be like her.
Food is never just food, and in this piece originally approved by Eater's Life in Chains, I wrote about how mall chicken teriyaki has meant different things to me during different stages of my life, and how faux Asian food made me feel more American growing up.
On Thanksgiving 2019, I was immensely thankful to be the leading Personal story for that day's Huffington Post ... an essay, in a poetic closed loop, about how I even got there. I covered the origin of an ethnic stereotype, first-generation immigrancy, non-traditional traditions, and the privilege of family. Over 70K reads made this a banner achievement for me ... but even more meaningful was the outpouring of responses from over 80K readers.
In this researched service piece, invigorated by the scraps left on the cutting room floor for my bao story for SmartMouth, I fell deep into the rabbit hole of the bread that makes buns bao (and why you shouldn't call it bao buns - argh!). From history to varieties, this comprehensive guide to mantou and its uses should hopefully become a good reference for other food writers looking to answer the question of what on earth this wonderful, simple, puffy bread IS.
There is no "normal" for holidays. Not everyone can afford to go "home" for Thanksgiving during college; not all turkeys are made of turkey. This personal essay about my very first Friendsgiving touches on both of those, and the importance of chosen family when geographically orphaned.
Many travel to Long Island's North Fork to hop vineyards (and hops, for that matter, as of late). Me? PIE. This day trip itinerary takes you along the must-go stops on what I've designated the pie route for your fall table in my first piece for Patchogue Lifestyle Magazine in its second-ever issue, which was then picked up by the national brand for syndication.
One of the most comprehensive listicles I've ever done for Edible Long Island, this run-down lists the most unexpected, creative, unconventional twists on a signature NY/NJ Italian dessert: the seven-layer rainbow cookie. One of the most bookmarked articles of the season, this has been saved to many a local to-do list!
An essay first drafted nearly a decade ago, this very personal piece touches upon the relationship between me, my father, food, cultural assimilation and rejection, and growing up "other." This exclusive was picked up by digg within one business day (!)
These are the stories that remind me why I do what I do and write for whom I write: to spread the word on our community heroes and provide the spotlight they so rightfully deserve. I am so proud to have been able to tell the story of the Millers, who have opened a warm, wonderful restaurant in Lindenhurst not in hopes of, but actually doing more for their community. Their not-for-profit model has them donating 100% of their proceeds to local charities, which are personally vetted quarterly.
In this nine-page feature spread for the Long Island Pulse, I tapped into the network of local chefs I'm fortunate enough to know for their top tips on how to gussy up a summer barbecue ... whether you fancy something familiar or WANT to fancy (up) something familiar.