Photo by Mars Tanumihardja

Hello! My name is Pat Tanumihardja and welcome  to Pickles and Tea, a blog presented  in collaboration with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

When I was writing my first cookbook The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook–Home Cooking from Asian American Kitchens (Sasquatch Books, 2009, 2012), I started a blog to record the interviews and recipes I gathered while researching my cookbook. Grandmothers are often the closest link we have to our cultures and traditions, and this cookbook pays them tribute by compiling family recipes and stories (both frequently passed down through grandparents) from across the Asian smorgasbord.

My blog has since evolved from cookbook journal to a platform showcasing my interpretations of, and reflections on, contemporary Asian food and cooking in America. Here at Pickles and Tea, I’ll continue to highlight: food stories, cooking tips and how-to’s, ingredients, and, of course, recipes—old, new, and reinterpreted.

As a food writer, I’ve reviewed restaurants, profiled chefs and food artisans, penned travel stories, and contributed to guidebooks. My stories and recipes have been published online and in national, regional and international publications. My latest cookbook is Farm to Table Asian Secrets: Vegan & Vegetarian Full-Flavored Recipes for Every Season (Tuttle Publishing, 2017). 

Born to Indonesian-Chinese parents, I was raised in Singapore and moved to Seattle, WA for college. Growing up embraced by two very food-focused cultures, I learned to appreciate good—and diverse–food from a young age, and learned to cook as soon as I could tell garlic from ginger. It’s no surprise food became a very integral part of my life.

Despite my culinary training, I believe my most valuable lessons were learned from my mother, Julia, and the home cooks who have so graciously opened up their kitchens and their hearts to me over the years.

I’ve been lucky to live and travel in various parts of the world, experiencing different cultures, making new friends and tasting fabulous cuisines. For now, I make my home in Northern Virginia just outside Washington D.C. with my husband and son.

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. And, I’m always looking for home cooks and family recipes to feature on my blog.

I’d love to hear from you!


Email: pat{at}ediblewords{dot}com