Food, family and thoughtful living—is the byline for American-based food blog Chinese Grandma. Created by former investment banker and home cook Lilian, it’s all about old-school food and philosophy, inspired by her, "real Chinese grandmas."
Describe your cooking style in three words: Fresh. Generous. Unfussy.
What’s your signature dish? Can I have a signature condiment? My honey balsamic vinaigrette makes everything better: salads, raw veggies, cooked veggies, sandwiches. The Kitchn’s managing editor, Faith Durand, came for lunch, got hooked on the vinaigrette and featured it on the Kitchn (along with my real kitchen).
What do you think is the most underrated ingredient? Plain yogurt. It’s so useful in place of buttermilk (think pancakes, biscuits, marinating chicken); used as a condiment (a cooling side for anything curry-spicy, or turned into raita or tzatziki), or as a light dessert (sweetened with maple syrup and served with berries). It keeps well, especially if you make your own, and unlike buttermilk, it never goes to waste. A bowl of plain yogurt with honey and walnuts is fantastic in the morning or anytime.
What’s the best cooking advice you’ve ever received? Don’t be afraid! No one says it, but I’ve learned that from observing every cook I’ve known. Making a meal can be as simple as assembling good ingredients. Complicated is optional. You never have to go there if you don’t want to. Either way, it’s just food. Nothing is going to blow up.
If you could share a meal with anyone in history who would it be? Nora Ephron. We’d talk food, writing, and our love of New York City. I would make her lunch, and she would make me laugh.
Images courtesy of ChineseGrandma.com