My Favorite Clear Tom Yum Soup

Whenever I make one of my Mama’s recipes, I have to remind myself that cooking takes practice and things don’t often go as smoothly as they look on TV (How does Jacque Pepin make things look so easy?). And when I call her to ask why I carefully followed the recipe and the dish doesn’t…

Cheers to Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

While I’ve always been close to my family here in Colorado and my brother and sister-in-law who live in Seattle — especially during the past few years — I’m fairly disconnected to the Asian American community. I don’t have any close friends who are Asian besides my cousins, and I don’t attend many cultural events,…

Saturday Fish Fry & Why We Eat Whole Animals

Every Chinese New Year and on other occasions, my Mama performs a ritual of offering a variety of dishes to the Buddhist alters that protect our homes in hopes of ushering a year of good fortune. This involves purchasing and preparing a plethora of whole animals, pigs, ducks and chickens — with feet, faces and…

Nipa’s Amazing Orange Chicken

Before your scoff at this recipe, hear me out: I obviously can’t speak for all Asians, but my family adores orange chicken. The crown jewels of North American-Chinese cuisine, orange chicken and sesame chicken are not commonly found in Thailand (or China, for that matter). As a result, we’ve had relatives fall in love with…

Introducing Theodore Roosevelt

Meet Theodore Roosevelt, the newest member of the Kaowthumrong-Harrison fam. Hailing from Cañon City, Colorado, where he lived on a farm with a pack of eight other cocker spaniels, Teddy is enthusiastically enjoying his fourteenth week around the sun. Like our 26th president, he loves frolicking in the outdoors, moves at speed of light and…

Easy Creamy Tom Yum Soup

While many Americanized Thai restaurants serve tom yum soup as an appetizer or soup course, Thais typically eat the beloved dish as a main course with rice, which offsets the heat from the chilies. There are two versions of the soup: creamy and clear. My Mama’s super-easy recipe for the creamy variety uses tom yum…

Spicy Thai Basil Chicken

Thai basil chicken is a zesty go-to dish that my Mama can always make on the fly. While fattier chicken thighs always seem to add extra flavor, the sauce adds moisture and zing to even the driest chicken breasts. Up the number of chilis if you like it tongue-tingling hot or leave them out completely…

Hot for the Hot Pot

Every Christmas, my family pairs the traditional American prime-rib, turkey or ham dinner with a hot-pot meal (my mama also supplies a buffet of egg noodles laced with savory garlic oil, steamed crab legs and shrimp, and blanched Chinese broccoli). With the holidays just around the corner (gasp) and in excitement for the arrival of…

From My Mama

Like many Asian mothers, my Mama shows her affection best through food. She knows my boyfriend Gavin loves peanuts, so at one point she was buying him two 48-ounce jars of crunchy Jif Peanut Butter every two weeks, along with equally-Costco-sized cans of honey roasted peanuts and mixed nuts. Charmin toilet paper. Eight-pound pork bellies….