#ChineseFoodiesofIG: Amelie Kang, Mala Project

Amelie Kang , co-founder of  Mala Project

Amelie Kang, co-founder of Mala Project

This is part of an ongoing series of interviews I’m doing with my favourite Chinese foodies that I follow on Instagram. Come and follow the #ChineseFoodiesofIG hashtag on Instagram and leave a comment showing your support for these talented folk!

Where are you from? (Where are you really from?)

Currently based in NYC; Beijing is home; born in Tangshan, Hebei, China.

What does Chinese food mean to you?

Until I was 18, Chinese food to me just meant "food", ha. It's something you don't feel its uniqueness until you encounter other options. After moving to America, Chinese food became ritual. I started planning where I wanted to go for Chinese food, what to order, who to go with, what kind of regional cuisine. Not only because of the ceremonial experience of dining out in NYC, but because Chinese food is a part of my identity and I need myself to be rightly represented. In this case I am literally what I eat.

How did you learn to cook?

I learned baking through a professional pastry chef from New Zealand in high school, then attended the Culinary Institute of America where I learned professional cooking (the curriculum was based on French cooking, I still didn’t know how to cook Chinese food).

Dumpling or bao?

Bao for breakfast, dumpling for lunch and dinner.

Favourite Chinese vegetable?

Pork. Just kidding, celtuce.

Share a food memory:

My grandmother had a standalone kitchen in her garden that was filled with pomegranate and persimmon trees. When she cooks in there it almost feels like cooking in the wild. I used to stand on a stool in front of the wok and watch her. She's like a chef magician and able to put out dishes within minutes. And we'd always have the same conversation every time she prepared a meal.

She'd ask me, “What do you want to eat?”

I'd say, "Meat stir fry.”

“Meat stir fry with what?”

“With meat.” 

Most underrated Chinese ingredient:


What would you like to tell the world about Chinese food?

No matter how much we export to the rest of the world, there are two things Chinese only keep in for themselves: best tea and best chefs.

Go to China and try the food there.


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