Episode 49: China Blue + Designing a Different Chinese Dining Experience

In this episode, we are not just talking about Chinese food, but also the elevated dining experience you can find at a number of Chinese restaurants in recent years. We chat with founders Yiming Wang and Xian Zhang of Cafe China, China Blue, and Birds of a Feather, who are purposefully designing Chinese restaurants that become well known as much for its food as for its tastefully designed spaces.

Read More

Episode 48: Zai Lai + Taiwanese Breakfast

#FMWAsianBreakfast is back in a big way this season. Last week we talked about Beijing’s jianbing, this week we’re onto Taiwanese breakfast! Chef Edward Huang of Zai Lai, a home-style Taiwanese concept in Columbus Circle’s Turnstyle Market, takes us through this iconic Taiwanese meal.

Read More

Episode 47: Mr. Bing + Jianbing, The Ultimate Beijing Street Food

On this week’s episode, we talk about one of the oldest and most popular street food items in China–jianbing. It’s a crispy and savory crepe packed with delicious flavors, textures, and color.

Brian Goldberg, Founder of Mr. Bing, first fell in love with jianbing when he studied Chinese in Beijing in the late 90s; he bought jianbing everyday outside of his school from a nice lady who made them fresh on the back of a bicycle cart. Learn about this tasty treat and its journey to NYC.

Read More

Episode 46: Kimbap Lab + Bibimbap in a Roll

Kimbap is an iconic Korean dish made from cooked rice, and other ingredients that are rolled in a dried sheet of seaweed, cut up and served in bite-size pieces, or as our friends from Kimbap Lab call it–bibimbap in a roll.

Co-founder of Kimbap Lab, Sarah Lee, takes us through her experience with this dish, her mission at Kimbap Lab, introducing sauces to kimbap, making Korean food gluten-free, and more!

Read More

Episode 45: Tang Hotpot + China's Thousand Year Old Dish

On this episode of the Feast Meets West podcast, we are talking about a beloved dish that will warm you up inside and out. Hotpot is one of the most popular and oldest dishes originating from China over a thousand year’s ago.

In the studio with us is Yu Li, Founder of Tang Hotpot, where he serves up an authentic yet upscale Sichuan hotpot experience.

Read More

Episode 44: The Hwa Yuan Legacy + OG Sesame Noodles

In this episode of the Feast Meets West podcast, we’re talking about sesame noodles and the family that made it a staple in New York's culinary landscape, helped define Chinese cuisine in the city since the 1960s, and pioneered the craze for fiery Sichuanese.

Chef Chen Lieh Tang and James Tang–son and grandson to the legendary Shorty Tang–joined us in the studio to talk about the popular dish and the return of their restaurant Hwa Yuan on East Broadway.

Read More

Episode 43: Shunan Teng + Baijiu, the World's Most Consumed Liquor

Baijiu is the world’s most consumed liquor but is virtually unknown outside of China. Baijiu connoisseur, Shunan Teng of Tea Drunk, returns to the Feast Meets West podcast to talk about drinking baijiu, the different types, and how to appreciate this strong Chinese spirit.

Read More

Sri Rao's Homestyle Chicken Curry Recipe

On the final episode of 2017, we talked to Sri Rao on the Feast Meets West podcast. Sri is the author of Bollywood Kitchen: Home-cooked Indian Meals Paired With Unforgettable Bollywood Films.

He has generously shared one of the recipes from his new cookbook with FMW listeners. Make this homestyle chicken curry, throw on a Bollywood flick, and enjoy a cold winter's night at home!

Read More

Episode 42: John McCarthy + Bringing Izakaya Culture to the West

Japanese izakayas are easy to love. They’re casual, fun places to drink, and have become synonymous with tasty and affordable food options.

In this episode of the Feast Meets West podcast, we talk about bringing izakaya culture to the west, and what that looks like at John McCarthy’s latest project, Oka. We also give special attention to pairing sake with food.

Read More

Episode 41: Nom Wah Tu + Beverage Pairings for Chinese Food

As the landscape for Chinese food matures in New York with more specialized and regional options, it’s time we talk about what we can expect in the alcohol department that matches and complements the food.

What exactly pairs well with the many flavors and spices found on the contemporary Chinese menu? To help us answer the question is Sophie Maarleveld and Phillip Szabados of Nom Wah Tu.

Read More

Lynda's Food Diaries: Countdown to 2018

In case you were wondering what your Feast Meets West host has been doing over break other than hibernating, here's a page from my food diary counting down to 2018. Clearly, I've been reading too much of the Grub Street Diet.

Happy belated new years everyone! See you back on air in a couple days.

Monday, Dec 25th - Merry Christmas!

A bit of an odd week to write this diary entry since 1) holidays - so not my regular eating schedule 2) stomach bug (day 3 of suffering, or as my friend Suzanne puts it “my butt falling off”) - worst timing as the holidays are a rare and glorious time in the year for guilt-free feasting. On the plus side, this is the first time I lost weight over Christmas.

Depressed due to lack of appetite. When you take away a man’s ability to fulfill their life’s passion (mine, being eating), they become a shell of their former selves. Ryan, sensing my despondency, suggested we venture into the bone-chilling cold for a bite. We made it down a few blocks to the perpetually dependable Sapporo Ichiban. We are hosting Christmas dinner so did not order too much. Shared a plate of gyoza, clam soup, a California and a sweet potato tempura roll. Still feeling nauseous, so focused energy on consuming the easy to drink clam broth for sustenance.


Proceeded to dive into dinner prep once we got home. Ryan’s vision was an all vegetarian meal with a lentil-based “meatless meatloaf” as the centerpiece, flanked by garlic mashed potatoes, and vegetables. Ryan was on the mains, using the InstantPot my mom got me for my birthday to pressure cook the lentils and potatoes. I was on veggie duty. For the roasted brussel sprouts, I used this recipe, minus the hazelnuts. For the crudite plate, I blanched some asparagus, cut up some cucumbers, plated some cherry tomatoes, poured ranch sauce into a ramekin, and called it a day. Our friend Vicky brought a lemon ricotta cheesecake from Whole Foods which took care of dessert. 

Sadly, I did not eat, because stupid stomach. But Ryan and our friends enjoyed the food while we watched the Christmas classic, Home Alone 2.


Tuesday, Dec 26th

Did not wake up with stomach ache so felt a lot more cheery today. Had a sliver of yesterday’s cheesecake for breakfast and did not immediately explode. Very promising.

Checked out the “Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World” exhibit at the Guggenheim with Vicky. We had some hot chocolate after to reward ourselves after such challenging art. Again, stomach feels settled and excited to put more solid things into it.


Met up with Suzanne at Yaso Tangbao in Downtown Brooklyn before catching “Call Me By Your Name” at the Alamo Drafthouse. Note, soup dumplings are a genius idea for any day, but especially an arctic day. Got the regular pork, and crab & pork soup dumplings, the non soup-dumpling pork dumplings in broth, and pan fried baos. Soup dumplings were tasty morsels, the broth in them was light, and they were budget friendly. 

At the movies, Suz and I shared some soft pretzels dipped in mustard. Good carbs. Good movie.

Wednesday, Dec 27th


We ended up at Frankel’s Delicatessen for lunch. Normally would get a bagel (kind of a weekly habit at this point), but was feeling kooky so ordered the BLT instead.

On Day 2 of my winter break culture mission and decided to go to the Queens Museum with Ryan to check out the “Never Built New York” exhibit. This was my favorite cultural activity of the week. Most impressed by the to-scale Panorama of NYC model.

Waited until I got home to eat since I had a dentist appointment in the afternoon and didn’t want to attack my dentist with food breath. Normally would be whining with hunger but stomach bug has really done a number on me.

Ryan’s obsession and experimentation with the InstantPot continues. He made some risotto. Hm, not so good. The creamy starches that are released during stirring were not present. He says he will try again and make it work. Anyway, I ended up making a bowl of Shin ramen. After I stirred in all the little flavor packets, I dropped an egg in for a nice runny yolk.

Thursday, Dec 28th


Had to catch up on work, so no art today. To get me through the day, I had some avocado a la Alison Roman (of Dining In) with her “Everything” seed mixture, lemon juice, spread on toasted english muffins. Pleased to say that Alison has personally approved my choice of vehicle for avocado consumption. 

In preparation for forthcoming 2018 Feast Meets West episodes (sneak peek, folks!), I went to Chinatown to meet up with Sophie Maarleveld of Nom Wah Tu. We had a chat over a pot of green tea about pairing beverages with Chinese food. Then, walked over to the nearby Hwa Yuan where I met the Chef’s son, James Tang, for a tour of the restaurant, a brief history of the restaurant, and a taste of some of their popular dishes including our recording topic of choice - the sesame noodles. Really looking fwd to our upcoming episodes!

Back home, I continued eating the leftover scallion pancakes, stir-fried beef, and spicy wontons for dinner, while watching “Coming to America” for the first time. Filling in my US culture gap.

Friday, Dec 29th

Went to Jongro KBBQ with some friends for a proper lunch feast. We inhaled platters of beef, pork, stews, and a seafood pancake. Welcome back appetite! Regulars of K-town BBQ joints (aka Vicky) say the meat here is the best.

After lunch I met up with Seung Hee Lee of Everyday Korean for a chat at Radiance Tea House in midtown. This tea house is a blessing in an otherwise annoyingly touristy and lacking part of town. We shared a pot of the “spring beauty”, a black tea infused with rosebuds, dates, and faintly sweet with brown sugar - supposedly good for things like vitality, blood and skin.

Met up with Ryan for a date at the The Met, now on day 3 of my winter break culture mission. Everyone apparently had the same brilliant idea. We waited in line and battled crowds of puffy jackets to check out the Michelangelo and David Hockney special exhibits. The ordeal required a drink where I experienced the most enjoyable part of the museum visit - a limoncello martini at the balcony bar.

On the way home, dropped by Keste Williamsburg, where we shared a pizza. Pizza was delicious, but this location was sparse and seems more optimized for the delivery operation, unlike the inviting West Village original. Pizza was not enough (sharing was Ryan’s idea), so got some Nestle cookie dough - warm cookies for lazy people. Didn’t put them in a cookie jar fast enough and Ryan ate all the cookies.

Saturday, Dec 30th

Started the day at the East River Park where I sent my dead fish ("Alpha" the betta fish) to sea. The memorial brunch took place at Reynard with Alpha’s inner circle.

Headed around the block to Westlight for end of year drinks. Still think this is one of the best views in the city. Let’s pour one out for my fish, and for the generally shitty year known as 2017.

Had too many cocktails, followed by more wine at home. Need nap. Fell asleep at 9pm like an adult.

Sunday, Dec 31st - New Years Eve!

Hooray, we made it through the year intact! Despite the deteriorating global climate, there is much to be thankful for.

Cleaned the house and rewarded myself with a bowl of spicy beef noodles with soup from Xi'an Famous Foods.

Iris is here visiting on her annual NYC pilgrimage!

We opted for a mature NYE celebration with some bubbly at home, dinner and countdown at the delicious Northern Italian restaurant Naked Dog, and our first cocktail of 2018 at Ramona.

Happy 2018!

Episode 40: Sri Rao + The Indian-American Kitchen

Photo credit: Lisa Vollmer

For our final episode of the season (and year!), we are joined by screenwriter, Sri Rao, to help us learn more about Indian-American recipes, culture, and his new cookbook Bollywood Kitchen: Home-cooked Indian Meals Paired With Unforgettable Bollywood Films.

Aside from working in Hollywood and being one of the few Americans working in Bollywood (India’s movie industry), Sri is a devoted home chef of Indian cuisine. Having grown up in Pennsylvania, both films and food were ways in which he learned about and connected with his Indian heritage.

Food and films are our primary connection to a motherland we never knew.
— Sri Rao, in the introduction of Bollywood Kitchen

Check out Lynda's interview with Sri to learn about his process of introducing the American audience to Bollywood films across different genres through his cookbook, and how he paired a recipe with each movie. They also discuss Indian-American beef dishes, why Asian moms and aunties are the worst at imparting their recipes, and why a lot of Indian musical actors don't actually sing!

Quick-fire Q&A: Amelie Kang and Meng Ai of MáLà Project

Co-owners of MáLà Project, Meng Ai and Amelie Kang, joined us for Episode 36 to talk about Sichuan dry pot. Here's our quick-fire Q&A session with these two ladies!


Amelie Kang

Neighborhood of residence:
Crown Heights.

Favorite restaurant in your hood:
I hang out more in Manhattan than Crown Heights. Huerta’s in East Village is one of faves.

Favorite spot to grab a drink:
B Flat any day!

Most recent/recommended dining out experience:

Favorite dish to cook:
Lamb stew.

What Asian food staple/trend do you want to see more of?
鱼头泡饼Fish head + pancake stew?   

What would be your last meal on earth?
My grandmother’s fried rice—she does it with just leeks, eggs, and a proper amount of salt. Best thing ever.

Meng Ai

Neighborhood of residence:
Roosevelt Island.

Favorite restaurant in your hood:
There aren't many restaurants on Rooselvelt Island. Aside from MáLà Project, Little Alley is one of my favorites.

Favorite spot to grab a drink:
Angel's Share in East Village.

Most recent/recommended dining out experience:
Tang Hotpot in Chinatown.

Favorite dish to cook:
Braised pork feet (红烧猪蹄).

What Asian food staple/trend do you want to see more of?
Chinese breakfast, like clay oven rolls (烧饼) and fried bread sticks (油条).

What would be your last meal on earth?
A kind of fried roll with beef and bean curd sheet that my mother learned from my grandmother.

Episode 39: Momo Delight + Why NYC Loves Nepalese Dumplings

Momo photo credit: Teddy Wolf

Our first Nepalese guest, Fulpa Jangbu of Momo Delight—formerly known as food truck Momo Bros which won Rookie of the Year at the 2017 Vendy Awards—joins Lynda on our second to last episode of the year. They talk about Nepalese and Tibetan food, and why New Yorkers love the Nepalese dumpling, momo!

For those who are not familiar with this food, momo is a type of South Asian dumpling found in Tibet, Nepal, and parts of India. Fulpa and his brother, Pasang, were born in Tibet and grew up in Nepal - so they know their momo! Fulpa explains to us how momo isn't just a food in Nepal, it's part of their lifestyle. It's a food that all Nepalese people know and love. Whether it's a birthday, a wedding, or just a bad day that needs a pick-me-up, momo is the answer.

Starting Momo Bros, followed by Momo Delight, seemed like a natural series of events for the brothers. Not only did they learn how to make momo at a very young age, their father had been a chef in New York for several years and their mother is a great cook. As the brothers began to take their dumpling-making more seriously and making them for friends and family, their parents recognized their effort and encouraged them to start selling their momo. Though they are both college students, they also have the New Yorker work ethic and manage to balance running a small business with their studies.

Many people know Nepal for having the tallest mountain in the world. But it’s not just that. Nepal has more than 130 different ethnic groups [...]. They have so many different varieties of ideas and cuisines...we would love to share that with the rest of the world. And we would like to start with sharing momo.
— Fulpa on the mission of Momo Delight

To learn more about the different kinds of dumplings and sauces Momo Delight serves, why the brothers wake up at 4 a.m. to smash dough, and the difference between Tibetan and Nepalese momo, make sure to check out the episode above. 

There's only one episode left of the season, so make sure you tune in for the last Feast Meets West interview of 2017!

Episode 38: Calvin Eng + Fermented Chinese Flavors

Photo credit: Paul Wagtouicz and Calvin Eng

While you may be familiar with some fermented Asian food staples, like soy sauce and kimchi, in this episode we explore some of the less well-known flavors from the Chinese pantry with help from Calvin Eng of Nom Wah. Learn about all the fermented and preserved funky goodness you’ve been missing out on as the chef guides us through the “oddities” in his fridge!

We start the show by asking Calvin about his culinary journey: where he's from, how he pursued culinary in college (by tricking his mom!), and how he moved away from his interest in fast casual food to be working now with Jonathan Wu at Nom Wah Tu. 

Calvin then walks through the fermented foods you'll find in his fridge...literally (see above photo). Lynda and Calvin discuss the origins, uses, and level of funkiness of fermented beancurd, shrimp paste, dried shrimp, fermented black bean, salted eggs, and century eggs. Fun fact: apparently Lynda eats all of those things on congee.

When I was little, my mom used to fuck with me and say that if I didn’t finish my rice, I would have an ugly wife in the future. So I would just take [shrimp paste] straight up on my rice and eat it up.
— Calvin on how he eats shrimp paste

Lynda and Calvin then touch on how to navigate the many different brands. They also talk about the non-Chinese American perceptions of these fermented products, and how far away we are from finding them in the average American household. (It's gonna be a while with this list, guys.) Calvin finally tells us a bit about what's next, or rather, why he's not too concerned about it, and the food legacy he wants to leave.

We wanted to let listeners know that we are raising money for Heritage Radio Network, the independent, member-supported, nonprofit radio station, broadcasting from two recycled shipping containers in the back of Roberta’s Pizza in Brooklyn. If you’re a fan of Feast Meets West and want to support Heritage Radio Network so that they can keep bringing shows like this one to you for free, please do head on over to the Feast Meets West Facebook page and make a contribution. Every little bit will help HRN reach their 2017 goal!

Wok-Fried Spicy Scallion Salsa Verde with Kale and Egg Noodles

Last week we spoke to Ching-He Huang about the art of stir-frying, as well as her new book, Stir Crazy: 100 Deliciously Healthy Stir-Fry Recipes. As promised, here is the recipe she has shared with listeners of Feast Meets West. Bonus: it's the perfect way to use all that beautiful kale at the farmers market this winter!

Taken from Stir Crazy by Ching-He Huang, Published by Kyle Books. Photography by Tamin Jones.

In Chinese cuisine there is a ginger scallion sauce that is normally dressed over steamed chicken, which I adore. I love to use this sauce for a veggie chow mein—it's simple and just divine.

Chinese Wok-Fried Spicy Scallion Salsa Verde with Kale and Egg Noodles
Serves 2

1 1⁄2 cups sliced curly kale
7 ounces dried Chinese egg noodles
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
pinch of salt
knob of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 red chile, seeded and finely chopped
1 pinch of dried chile flakes
2 scallions, finely chopped1⁄4 cup cold vegetable stock
1 tablespoon low-sodium light soy sauce

chinese wok fried scallion salsa and noodles.jpg

Pour 4 1⁄4 cups cold water into a pan and bring to a boil. Add the kale and blanch for 30 seconds, then drain and remove.

Cook the noodles according to the package instructions, then run them under the cold tap, drain, and drizzle with the toasted sesame oil.

Heat a wok over high heat until smoking and add the canola oil. add the salt and let it dissolve in the hot oil, then add the ginger, fresh chile, dried chile, and scallions in quick succession to explode their flavors in the wok.

Add the vegetable stock and stir-fry over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add the kale and cooked egg noodles and toss all the ingredients well to warm through. Season with the light soy sauce and give it one final toss, then transfer to serving plates and eat immediately.

Episode 37: Ching-He Huang + The Art of Stir-Frying

Photo credit: Tamin Jones (from Stir Crazy by Ching-He Huang)

Cooking Channel personality and cookbook author, Ching-He Huang, talked to us about her new book, Stir Crazy: 100 Deliciously Healthy Stir-Fry Recipes. Learn how this cooking method became popularized in China, as well as Ching’s expert advice on what makes a good stir-fry.

We start the episode with a confession: neither of us actually own a wok! Thankfully, Ching called in to this episode from the UK to help inspire us to improve our stir-frying technique. She's an Emmy-nominated TV chef and the author of 8 cookbooks. You may recognize her from the Cooking Channel’s “Ching’s Amazing Asia”, “Easy Chinese”, “Restaurant Redemption”, and “Eat the Nation”.

After Iris gives us a brief historical introduction to this Chinese cooking technique, Ching tells us about her international upbringing, and how she had to start cooking at a young age because her mother was always traveling for work and her father was a terrible cook! She also talks about how she shunned her Chinese culture when she was younger, but as she grew up, it was through cooking that she discovered and learned to appreciate her culture.

14.03 "Every time I cook, I'm reminded by what my grandmother said [...] she said 'look, if you don't know how to cook, how can you be a decent human being?'"

We then discuss her new book Stir Crazy. Ching tells us why she decided to write this book, focus on stir-frying, and why she wanted to go back to basics. She also tells us her definition of what constitutes as a good stir-fry, and why the round-bottomed wok is still king. Make sure to listen to this section for the pro-tips!

Ching has very generously shared one of the recipes from Stir Crazy with Feast Meets West listeners so come back to www.feastmeetswest.com later in the week to check it out!

Quick-fire Q&A: Carson Yiu of Outer Borough

Carson Yiu, founder of Outer Borough, joined us in the studio for Episode 32 to talk about stinky tofu. We caught up with the entrepreneur to find out where he eats and drinks in the city!


Neighborhood of residence:
Bayside, Queens

Favorite restaurant in your hood:
Mama Lee

Favorite spot to grab a drink:
Angel's Share. When it's cold out, you can sit by the window and watch the cars go by, very New York City/romantic.

Most recent/recommended dining out experience:
Congee. It's rare to find good congee outside of HK/Taiwan. I love the comfort it brings, the art of cooking it with a stock, and the time it takes to break down the rice.

What Asian food staple/trend do you want to see more of?
Taiwanese breakfast. In Taiwan, everyone wakes up for Taiwanese breakfast even if you're hungover. I would love to share that experience with Westerners.  

What would be your last meal on earth?
Sausage, egg, and cheese on a roll. Eggs were the first dish I learned how to cook. Everyone can cook an egg but very few can cook it well. I think I make a pretty good egg sandwich, and the classic sausage, egg and cheese on a roll reminds me of growing up in NYC.

Other than stinky tofu, what other funky foods do you get down with?
1000 year old eggs, blood cake and pig intestines, chicken feet, and beef tongue.