Come behind the scenes at Chinese Soul Food for a #KitchenTour and see Hsiao-Ching's kitchen in Seattle!
Our kitchen and dining room are combined. I love how the space is the keeper of so many family moments, traditions, and, of course, memories of so many meals.
Tell us about your kitchen?
The kitchen and dining room are adjacent to the living room. This area occupies the center of the home. I don't know the exact square footage, but I have enough to space to host most of the holiday dinners for extended family and hold the occasional cooking class. It is a busy room, because of all the meals I cook and because the kids do homework at the dinner table.
What have you done to make your kitchen cosy, functional, beautiful or inspiring?
We have clean lines, white cabinets, and we try to minimize the clutter on the counter. The openness helps to keep the space visually calm. Having lots of cabinets for storage is helpful. We also have Sonos speakers and Alexa for voice-activated commands. I can request any kind of music to suit my mood and the type of food I'm cooking.
How do you keep organized while cooking?
I always think through the process in my head before I start and I clean as I go. I prep all the ingredients and get them set up on the counter in the order that I'm going to cook the dishes before I do the active cooking.
Any tips & tricks for organising your pantry, fridge and ingredients?
I keep my pantry and refrigerator stocked with basics at all times. That way, it makes it easier to improvise dishes or "throw something together." I know that I can always make a salad or a stir-fry or a rice/noodle dish, because the basic ingredients for these types of dishes are always available.
Do you do a lot of cooking and what are your favourite dishes to make?
I do most of the cooking from scratch. I tend to make dishes that are relatively fast to cook and that have infinite potential for improvising. Stir-fries are a go-to.
Where do you turn for new recipe ideas?
I have a wall of cookbooks. I will flip through books for inspiration. I don't like to follow recipes, because I'm an intuitive cook. I can look at combinations and then make a dish based on internalized cooking skills.
Do you plan out your recipes for the week or do you like to be spontaneous?
I'm spontaneous. I certainly could plan a week of menus, but it doesn't mean I would stick to that menu. Every day is different and what we crave to eat can change depending on what happens during the day.
If you had three wishes, what would you do to make this your dream kitchen?
For my current kitchen, I would love to have a skylight to bring more natural light in. If I had a big budget, I would love to build a kitchen studio separate from my house. Then I could have a camera-ready kitchen set for photos or videos, instead of having to transition from a family kitchen to a camera-ready kitchen.
Whose kitchen would you love to explore? Send us a message!