This is Julie but many of you might know me as Mrs. Lin from Mrs. Lin’s Kitchen.
Born and raised in Taiwan, I moved to the U.S. with my family when I was a teenager. My mom is a great cook and she has been a huge influence and inspiration for me. Since I was in first grade, I’ve always been interested in watching her prepping and cooking in the kitchen. Everything was so fascinating!
Although I wasn’t tall enough to reach the kitchen sink, I got onto this tiny stepping stool to help my mom out. My mom would tell me that in order to learn how to cook, I would have to start from the basics such as setting up the dining table, washing the vegetables, descaling the fishes and learning the different cutting techniques. It took me about 2 to 3 years to master everything.
Slowly but surely, I moved onto “woking” which, at the time, was my ultimate goal. The day mom gave me the woking spatula, I was delighted. The spatula felt like a fancy trophy; I felt like I had finally graduated from the “cooking school”. I guess all those practices in my mom’s kitchen was my apprenticeship to become a cook.
Growing up, Hiyayako, Omurice, Japanese Curry, Japanese Potato Salad, Inari Sushi, Miso Soup, Beef Noodle Soup, Taiwanese Fried Rice Noodle, Lu Rou Fan and Pot Stickers were a few of the regular dishes my mom would cook for the family. Of course, she taught me how to make them all. At the time, I didn’t know if they were Japanese, Taiwanese or Chinese food. They were simply just our everyday meals.
Why was I introduced so many cuisines at home?
Taiwan was once a Japanese colony. And for fifty years, Taiwan has gotten a strong cultural influence from Japan, even long after the Japanese left in 1945.
Even though I was born twenty years later, Japanese culture, especially food, still very much live on among the Taiwanese. You will find Japanese restaurants serving Sushi, Sashimi, Teppanyaki, Oden, Tempura and Yakitori everywhere in Taiwan.
After WWII, millions of settlers moved from China to Taiwan. Therefore, Chinese dished from Sichuan, Zherjiang or Hunan province were introduced to the locals. Pot Stickers, Kung Pao Chicken, Mapo Tofu are commonly found at the school cafeteria and food stalls.
With these unique historical periods, Taiwanese cuisine has gotten profound influences from China and Japan.
Life in the U.S.
My life has changed after moving to America. When I was in Taiwan, my mom was the master cook at home but I found myself cooking often because my parents were traveling a lot. All those years helping in my mom’s kitchen and skills that I have learned suddenly became very useful. Egg flower soup, different noodle soups, stir fries and handroll sushi were quick to make and at the time were perfect for school nights. Since I love food and have always been curious how those processed food was made, I decided to major in Food Science and Technology in college. After going to UCD, I still cook often and share cooking with roommates. During the time I was introduced to spices that I have never used before as well as other cuisines that I have never made at home. Since I remain deeply connected to my Taiwanese roots. I launched MrsLinsKitchen.com, my online specialty store, in 1997 only few years after graduating from college. In 2013, I started my Youtube channel, Mrs. Lin’s Kitchen. On top of that, this year I created this blog for the written and printable recipe cards to make learning my recipes a little bit easier for all of you. I want to use all of the platforms to share my passion for Asian food and cooking with the rest of the world. They also serve as a place for me to document my mom’s signature recipes and all the delicious dishes I’ve learned.
If you are ever in need of Asian kitchenware and homeware, you might find it at MrsLinsKitchen.com. If you are looking for quick and easy recipes, please check out my Youtube channel and this blog. I love simple, easy and, most importantly, delicious recipes that can be whipped up in no time.
Many years ago, I was diagnosed with gluten allergy. That’s why I have a playlist dedicated to gluten-free recipes. If you or someone you know have a gluten allergy, try out my recipes. I also recommend alternatives to replace gluten ingredients in many of my recipes.
I hope you enjoy reading my story. Thank you for always supporting me and Mrs. Lin’s Kitchen. I love hearing my readers and please don’t hesitate to leave me some comments. Once again thanks for reading thus far and Happy eating!