About

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About Omnivore’s Cookbook

Omnivore’s Cookbook is all about bringing real-deal Chinese flavors to you.

I call my cooking style Modern Chinese Cooking. I teach the principles of a recipe and how you can cook with almost anything you have in the kitchen.

To me, “modern” Chinese cooking means:

  • Sharing my family recipes with proper measurement and lightly tweaked cooking process, so it’s more approachable for non-Chinese audience. My grandma never used any measurement and my mom rarely does. To recreate my favorite Lion’s Head Meatballs, I recorded the recipe by observing and then experimenting in my kitchen.
  • Exploring the beauty of Chinese spices and ingredients, and integrating them with local produce to create something new. Yet its spirit stays true to real Chinese food. I make roasted Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts, for example, by using a homemade Sichuan Kung Pao Sauce just like what we eat in China.
  • Using modern appliances to make a complicated recipe easier. I use a blender and mixer to make dumpling filling and noodle dough, so making Chinese dumplings from scratch and cooking hand pulled noodles seems less intimidating.
  • Making homemade food that’s healthier than restaurant food. For example, you can make Chinese American takeout-style orange chicken, where I show how to create crispy chicken without deep frying. Also, ninety-nine percent of my recipes use natural whole foods and ingredients. But I do use bottled ketchup and mayonnaise once in awhile.

In March 2017, I partnered with The Mala Market, an online store run by Taylor Holliday of the awarding-winning food blog The Mala Project. She sources premium Chinese ingredients delivered to your door. I’m proud to carry the freshest Sichuan peppercorns in the US.

About Maggie

I’m Maggie Zhu. I started Omnivore’s Cookbook in 2013. Born and raised in Beijing, now I’m a Austin based blogger, writer, recipe developer, and photographer.

My culinary adventure started in 2007 in Japan because I needed to cook to survive. My first homemade dish was Japanese style stir fried sweet and sour chicken with pepper. I cooked it in a second-hand nonstick skillet where whatever I put in stuck. Yet the result was super delicious and made my surroundings feel like home.

I love the meticulous way that a Japanese cookbook writes a recipe. That is where I started and developed my own style of cooking and teaching. I was delighted to discover that Japanese websites and cookbooks actually tell you measurements, unlike Chinese cookbooks.

Food waved its magic wand in 2010, when I met my future husband Thomas at a Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant, where we chatted about Egyptian food. On our first date, Thomas made some carbonara pasta that tasted heavenly. I was so surprised that men can cook too! A few weeks later I a French-style-Russian dinner. Thomas said my potato salad reminded him of his mom’s homemade dishes.

Forward to 2015, I moved to the US and now I cook in my American kitchen for my husband. I make lunch and dinner almost every day. Learning and sharing Chinese food became a way to connect me with my roots and the rest of the world. It reminds me of who I am. I’m proud to come from a country with so much delicious food. My mission is to help more people get to know real Chinese food. And expose less-known regional cuisines, such as Northern and Xinjiang food, to a broader audience.

My blog, Omnivore’s Cookbook, was listed by Yahoo News as one of  7 Food Blogs You Should Be Following For Asian Cuisine. I’ve also written for the Austin Statesman daily newspaper. My work has been featured on Reader’s Digest, MSN, Good Housekeeping, Huffington Post and Buzzfeed.

Everyone needs to start somewhere. If I can do it, you can do it too.

Wedding

Photo courtesy of Wild Soul Studio

Start Cooking and Stay Connected!

If you’re new to Chinese food, go to this page. It will guide you from building your basic Chinese pantry to my most popular recipes.

Or you can go to my recipe index and start browsing recipes.

To contact me, please go to my Contact page and drop a message. You can also send email to maggie {at} omnivorescookbook {dot} com

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Maggie Zhu of Omnivore's Cookbook

photo courtesy of David Hagerman