About Melissa Lee

Melissa is 100% MIT (Made in Taiwan), where she worked as a food writer. She’s also worked alongside renowned chefs like Ming Tsai and Joanne Chang, honing her craft and gathering stories along the way. Part story-teller, part educator, and part food lover, Melissa brings a special blend of experience, skill, and enthusiasm to her work. She blends her Asian background, her new home of New England, and love of food and culture to bring joy, optimism, and inspiration to food lovers and fun-seekers everywhere.

Featured blogs

Scallion Pancake

Scallions are a common pantry item in most Asian households. It goes well with almost any stir fry dish. They […]

Bubble Tea Ice Cream

If you ask a Taiwanese person to name a few Taiwanese drinks, I can guarantee one of the answers will […]

Totoro Musubi

  When I was little, I watched all the cartoons written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. My Neighbor Totoro was my […]

Hemingway in Kochi

 Hemingway is believed to have discovered this daiquiri when he was in Havana. He once said, “Don’t bother with churches, […]

Sesame Ice Cream With Apple Cider Donut Bites

 Ice cream is so remarkable! It’s a blank slate for a skilled artist to create masterpieces for the masses to […]

Apple Cider Muffins with Streusel

 Fall in New England is a time when I take my daughter to Tougas Family Farm for apple picking. […]

Melissa's Picks

Ask Melissa

Hi Melissa, I have been seeing this girl for a month who loves spicy food, and I would like to make her a special homemade meal for her birthday. What is the best dish to cook for her? – Chris
Hi Chris, I would like to know what “kind” of spiciness your girl likes because there are several different kinds of spiciness in Chinese food. For example, Sichuan, arguably China’s most famous province for spicy food, is noted for its “numbing spice” (麻辣)—a spiciness that both numbs and ignites fires on the tongue at once. The people of Hunan, on the other hand, are known for their love for the aroma of fresh chilis, cooked in a “dry hot” style. This is called a fragrant spice (香辣). I think the best “numbing spicy dish” to cook for her is the Kong Bao Chicken (宮保雞丁). If she embraces a healthy lifestyle, Spicy Thai Papaya Salad is great. If a worst-case scenario occurs, the dish is too spicy, and she faints—break out your CPR mouth-to-mouth skills to rescue your beauty. If the dish is just right, a kiss and a hug will be the perfect side dish for any cooking date. Best of luck, Chris!
Melissa Lee
Hi Melissa, I love sushi, but I always screw up the rice. Do you know any quick and easy way to make sushi rice? - Annette Hi Annette,
Hi Annette, first, rice matters. What kind of rice do you have in your pantry? If you have jasmine, sticky, Calasparra, arborio, or basmati rice, NONE of them will work. They just won't. A friend of mine cooked basmati rice and wanted me to make sushi out of it. I tell you that rice is like a couple who is going to get a divorce. They just want to separate from each other no matter how hard I tried to squeeze them together. First, you need to get the right sushi rice. For some help, read my sushi shopping guide blog post. And then you need to wash the rice at least seven times until the water is not cloudy. Unfortunately, there is NO shortcut. It’s not like risotto or paella when you want the starch in the dish. Last but not least, a good rice cooker, such as a Zojirushi rice cooker, will make it all easy for you! Happy cooking, Annette!
Melissa Lee