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Photo by Mars Tanumihardja

Hello and welcome to my blog!

I started my blog as a way to record the interviews and recipes I gathered while researching for my cookbook, The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook–Home Cooking from Asian American Kitchens which was released in October 2009. The paperback version came out in August 2012.

The cookbook is a compilation of family and homecooking recipes from across the Asian smorgasbord, the idea being that grandmothers are the closest link we have to our cultures and traditions. Plus, you’ll find anecdotes and stories about family, food traditions, grandmothers, mothers and aunts, and much more. I hope it will be a resource for helping preserve food traditions and recipes for generations to come.

The project was a wonderful journey of learning and connecting that I could never have experienced in culinary school. And it fulfilled my yearning for the grandmothers I never knew. You can meet Nellie and learn how to make her stuffed egg-crepe rolls or wrap suman (sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves) with lola Gloria.

Since then my blog has evolved from being a journal/behind-the-scenes look at my process of putting the cookbook together (you can read about it here and here) to an assemblage  of Asian home cooking how-to’s with lots of tips, techniques, ingredient spotlights, and, of course, recipes. Since my roots trace back to Southeast Asia, many of my posts will skew toward that part of the world.

Plus, I love shopping at farmers’ markets and meeting the farmers and vendors who grow and produce our food.  Coming home and deciding what to cook from my market finds gives me such a wonderful thrill–it feels like Christmas day every time! In fact, I love markets so much I even worked as a market manager when we lived in Pacific Grove, CA.  Hence, developing recipes that tie Asian cooking styles with local, seasonal ingredients comes very naturally to me.

Professionally, I’ve reviewed restaurants, written food and travel stories, and contributed to guidebooks. My stories have been published in Coastal Living, HealthMonterey County WeeklySaveurSeattle MagazineSeattle MetropolitanSunset, and Priority (Singapore Airlines inflight magazine), Silkwinds (Silk Air’s inflight magazine), and Wine and Dine, three magazines based in Singapore where I grew up.

Although I spent my entire childhood in Singapore (from babyhood to 19), my parents are from Indonesia and I’ve lived in Seattle on and off since 1992. For now, I make my home in NoVA (Northern Virginia) just outside Washington D.C. with my son and husband.

For clips and more information, please check out my professional Web site:

If you’d like me to feature a recipe, ingredient or technique, or if you’d just like to say ‘hi,’ please email me: pat{at}ediblewords{dot}com. I’m always looking for family recipes and grandmothers to feature on my blog, and who knows, there might be The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook Part II!

I’d love to hear from you!


Email: pat{at}ediblewords{dot}com




30 Comments leave one →
  1. December 12, 2012 7:12 pm

    Very nice blog. I have enjoyed just looking around🙂

  2. August 31, 2012 7:29 pm

    Asians are going to be stereotyped with physical food. Asians must be sterotyped with spiritual food. Check out the true God’s name at


    P.S: Do tell your family.

  3. February 19, 2012 3:54 pm

    Hi Pat, great site. I just plugged it on my recent post, 7 Philippine Cuisines – – enjoy!

  4. Gladys Wijaya permalink
    October 4, 2011 12:20 pm

    I actually think I did! It’s on the way to UW right? Don’t really know the name of the area but I used to stay at Greenwood and I would pass by it on the bus ride to the UW area. It’s like a cozy little wooden house with a few steps leading up to it…? Wow, I’m glad I found you! This is coincidences piled atop one another! But I’m not sure if I ate there before or after your family sold it.

    By the way, if you don’t mind me asking, since you are starting on an indo cookbook and all, which part of Indonesia are you from? And it seems like you’ve moved! Must be nice being able to experience different places! I’m starting to miss the US really bad..not that I’m complaining about the food here.

    • October 5, 2011 1:02 pm

      Hi Gladys,
      They sold the restaurant two summers ago. You might have met my dad Rudy if you were there before then.

      I was born in Jakarta but I grew up in Singapore and lived there since I was a few months old. So I can’t really say I “lived” in Indonesia. I speak bahasa but not very fluently, I can get by but it’s pretty obvious I’m not local🙂. It’s so nice to meet you, send me an email sometime!

  5. Gladys Wijaya permalink
    September 24, 2011 1:44 pm

    Hi! I haven’t read through your blog but decided to go to the ‘About’ section first and how glad I am that I did!! It’s an almost scary coincidence (although not exact) but I am Indonesian, studied in Singapore since I was little and went off to college in the US in, even more coincidentally, Seattle. My younger sister is still in Seattle now and guess what, she was born in 1992. Yes, that single sentence gave me goosebumps! Your blog looks very promising though, since I am starting to be into cooking and looking for more inspiration. Oh yeah, I learnt how to cook from observing my grandmother cook (mostly home-style traditional Chinese dishes).

    • September 28, 2011 11:07 am

      What a funny coincidence! Did you ever eat at my family’s restaurant before they sold it? Julia’s Indonesian Kitchen? Anyway, I’m glad you found me. I’m hoping to start working on an Indonesian cookbook soon so stay tuned!

  6. September 18, 2011 6:31 pm

    Whereabouts in are you from? Chldlve Pedo

  7. September 10, 2011 7:11 am

    Couldn’t resist commenting in your about page. You have one of the most beautiful space in the food blog world. Home cooking and keeping alive the culinary heritage of our ancestors is something I am a strong advocate of. Am going to be a regular to your space.

    • October 5, 2011 1:08 pm

      Thank you Sailu, your kind words mean a lot to me. I agree wholeheartedly with you, that’s why I started this project. Cheers! Pat

  8. January 21, 2010 10:30 am

    Hi Little Teochew!
    I’m so glad you found me. Thanks for your lovely comments. I’ve had many people ask about Teochew recipes and now I know where to refer them!

  9. January 14, 2010 8:27 am

    My gosh, Pat. I can’t believe I’ve missed out on your blog all these while! I came here looking for a buna shimeji recipe and found so much more. Love your blog! It’s got everything – fantastic recipes, awesome photos, witty & intelligent writing.

  10. November 18, 2009 3:27 pm

    I came accross your blog today and I’m an instant fan right away. I just started my food blog 2 weeks ago, and like you, my recipes too have stories to tell. I cook simple dishes and I put my take on traditional ones. I would like to share my Adobo Nation Salad Sensation I hope you don’t mind but I’m posting my link here. .

    Thank you!

    • December 2, 2009 1:21 pm

      Hi improptu diva,
      Glad you found me and I’m happy to meet someone with a similar focus on their blog.

  11. November 11, 2009 5:28 am

    What a delightful find! I was looking for a chicken adobo recipe to refer to in an upcoming post, and your site immediately won my attention. I’m one of the unlucky few that did not learn much about my food heritage from the women in the family, so reading you is like the missing link that I’ve been longing to discover for quite some time. Loved the post where you referred to your maternal grandma as “Popo”. I rarely ever see or hear that term, and called my paternal grandparents both “Popo-man” and “Popo-lady”. I do hope your book comes out in Italy!

    • December 2, 2009 1:25 pm

      Hi Rowena,
      I love Popo-man and Popo-lady! My grandpa was gung gung. Unfortunately, the book is not being distributed outside of the US. If you’d like it shipped to Italy, you can buy it from me or I just shipped a book to Holland and international shipping is $12.95. Take care! Pat

  12. Angela permalink
    August 26, 2009 6:00 am

    Hi! I’m so happy to have found your blog🙂 I was born and raised in the Philippines and have been residing in Seattle for the past 23 years. The recipes all look so yummy.

    I don’t think I’ve ever had Indonesian or Singaporean food. . .Need to remedy that. Any restaurant recommendations in Seattle?

    • August 26, 2009 10:56 am

      Hi Angela, so glad you found me. I’m biased but you should try Julia’s Indonesian Kitchen at 65th and Roosevelt just north of the U District. In all transparency, my mom and sister-in-law own it🙂. Another Indo restaurant is Indo Cafe in Northgate and Malay Satay Hut isn’t bad for Singapore/Malaysian food although their standards have gone down over the past few years.

  13. jenn permalink
    February 26, 2009 3:48 pm

    Hi I just found your blog and I love it. i can’t wait to try some recipes and I’ve already passed it on to 3 food obsessed friends.

    one little thing: you have a link to Sasquatch books on your blog but it doesn’t go to Sasquatch books–it just goes to Sasquatch a web hosting site. The link seems to be missing the word “books.” In that your book should be released soon, I thought you’d want to know.

    • March 4, 2009 11:33 am

      Hi Jenn,
      Let me know how you like the recipes. Thanks for letting me know about the link, I’ve corrected it.

  14. October 31, 2008 1:09 am

    Oh Pat, what a wonderful story and recipe. I’m so glad I found you! Congratulations on the book. I’m one of those who enjoyed my grandmother’s dishes, watched her make them, and can follow her instructions but neither mother’s nor mine come out just as good as Grandma’s did. We try. We eat them and remember her.

  15. August 15, 2008 7:02 am

    nice blog…

  16. August 14, 2008 10:27 pm

    Hi Pat,

    Glad to visit your blog that I found a link through Eating Asia. I am looking forward to reading your cookbook.

  17. May 3, 2008 9:00 am

    Hi tastymealsathome, thanks for your kind words and I welcome you to stop by any time!

  18. tastymealsathome permalink
    May 1, 2008 9:20 am

    I love your site, Pat! The stories, recipes, and pictures are awesome–truly a gem. I look forward to coming back here again and again.🙂

  19. March 31, 2008 6:41 am

    Hi Pat

    Great blog and recipes! It’s a great idea. I’ve been learning a lot about Chinese cooking from my mother, who of course learnt everything from hers. Will have to explore for weeks through all your categories, but I can’t wait!

  20. November 8, 2007 3:10 pm

    Glad you found me, Tonia. Please visit again for more fun tidbits on Asian homecooking!

  21. Tonia permalink
    November 5, 2007 9:04 pm

    Hi there – I just found you through a link from Hogwash. I’ve been poking around through your older posts and I love your site! My mother is from Indonesia (Surabaya) and I lived in Seattle for 8 years, so your words feels a little bit like home to me. My parents are still in Washington… next time I visit them I’m taking them to Julia’s. Thanks for your posts – I look forward to reading more!


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