The Food of Taiwan by Cathy Erway – Book Release and NYC Events


Her name may belie the fact that she grew up with family dinners prepared by her Taiwanese mother and uncle, but Cathy Erway, author of The Art of Eating In: How I Learned to Stop Spending and Love the Stove and the blog Not Eating Out In New York (both essential DIY readings for NYC-dwellers), wants to spread the gospel of Taiwanese food.  Using her knack for sharing personal discovery and appreciation for food from farm to table, her forthcoming cookbook, The Food of Taiwan, introduces the cuisine and culture that is much loved in Asia as a unique jewel but has only recently gained recognition in the United States thanks to an increasing number of Taiwanese restaurants and social media-friendly articles like CNN’s “45 Taiwanese Foods We Can’t Live Without”.

To master Taiwanese cooking, Cathy spent time in Taiwan visiting restaurants and night markets and researching recipes and techniques.  However, much of what makes Taiwanese food so interesting is found outside of the kitchen.  She also explored the sub-tropical island’s local ingredients — vegetables, herbs, spices, and bountiful catch from the sea — as well as the complex historical, social, and ethnic influences and confluences that led to the remarkable diversity of Taiwan’s food.  The joys of sharing the kitchen and table were an important part of her culinary experiences in Taipei.  Cathy got in with the locals and found herself helping with the preparation a banquet for three generations of a family and another for a group of old friends that often gathered at a shop turned teahouse.


Back in New York, her recipes were perfected at six “Taiwanese Test Kitchen Dinners” at her apartment in Brooklyn.  At each dinner, ten dishes were prepared for and served to ten guests, allowing Cathy to test her recipes and receive feedback, some of which led to realization that people here might not be ready for bitter melon.


The Food of Taiwan presents traditional recipes, like this recipe for Dried Radish Omelet (菜脯蛋), (a salty-sweet omelet with a crunch that is often eaten with congee, but is great on its own), as well as Cathy’s own creations that incorporates Taiwanese cooking techniques and flavor combinations, like cilantro and peanuts.

As one of the few English-language cookbooks dedicated to this cuisine, The Food of Taiwan is poised to get a new audience salivating over the food from the island of 23 million and shows another facet of the unending diversity of the Chinese-speaking world.

The Food of Taiwan is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and will be released on March 24, 2015.  Pick up your copy from in New York at McNally Jackson, St. Mark’s Bookshop, Greenlight Bookstore, WORD Bookstore, BookCourt, Barnes & Noble or online at Amazon. For updates on the book and events, follow the book’s Facebook page.

If you’re in NYC, you can learn more about Taiwanese food and meet author Cathy Erway at these events later this month:

The Taiwanese Table: Cuisine and Identity – Cathy will lead a panel discussion that includes James Beard Award-winning sommelier Belinda Chang; Brian Tsao, Executive Chef at Mira Sushi & Izikaya; Ken Ho, co-owner and Chef of the innovative Taiwanese-Mexican eatery Lucky Luna, and Matt Gross, “The Frugal Traveler” columnist for The New York Times and former editor of

Since it’s wrong to talk and tempt, after the panel, Cathy will heat up the skillet and crack a few eggs to demonstrate how to make the classic night market dish, the Taiwanese oyster omelet (蚵仔煎).  Chef Tsao and restaurants Bian Dang and Lucky Luna will provide Taiwanese snacks to sample.

Co-sponsored by TAP NY and

Tuesday, March 24, 7 PM
The Greene Space, 44 Charlton Street
$25/General Admission (includes one drink and tastings from three Taiwanese restaurants)


The Food of Taiwan Book Release Party – Celebrate the release of The Food of Taiwan the next day at Threes Brewery.  Cathy will introduce her cookbook and sign copies which will be available from Book Court at the event.  Mingle and munch on some of the snacks that will be provided.

Co-sponsored by TAP NY and

Wednesday, March 25, 7 – 9 PM
Threes Brewery, 333 Douglass Street, Brooklyn


Pop-up at Jimmy’s No. 43

Cathy will host a pop-up Taiwanese “pub dinner” at Jimmy’s No. 43 on March 29.  We’ll post details as soon as they’re available.



Photos by Pete Lee, courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

The post was updated to reflect that books will be available at the Three Brewing event.