The Author

linda-lau-headshotLet me introduce myself. My name is Linda Lau Anusasananan. I know it is a mouthful. Lau is my maiden name, just three letters. People often misspelled this short name. Imagine the confusion when I married my Thai husband and added Anusasananan. It’s twelve letters long. The name goes on and on but it’s easier to say than you think. Let me break it down for you: A-nu-sa-sa-na-nan. Some people just call me Linda A. or  Linda Lau A.

I spent more than thirty four years writing about food for Sunset Magazine, a lifestyle primer on how to live in the Western United States. As Recipe Editor and food writer, I wrote food stories and developed and tested thousands of recipes for the home cook.  I loved exploring ethnic cuisines, especially Asian. In 1987 I convinced my editor to let me go to China and as a result produced “From China’s Kitchens to Ours,” the  first story written by an American magazine about home cooking in China. I also served as a special consultant to cookbooks such as Sunset Chinese, Sunset Oriental, Sunset Wok, and contributed to the Sunset Cookbook annuals and other publications. My articles have also appeared in Cooking Light, Flavor and Fortune, Yoga Journal, Zester Daily, and

I am a Chinese cooking expert on  Register to see videos of some recipes from The Hakka Cookbook as well as other popular Chinese dishes. Click here to see a video on youtube.

I was born in the America but my ethnic roots are Chinese. Although I ate a lot of Chinese food growing up, typical American foods such as chicken pot pies, spaghetti, and tacos were also frequent fare. So I’m sort of an east-west gal. I love Asian foods but most of my cooking experience comes from working at Sunset Magazine. I like to demystify ethnic recipes for home cooks and Western tastes.

I am a member of the San Francisco Professional Food Society, Association of Chinese Cooking Teachers, and  Les Dames d’Escoffier. In the past I served as president of the San Francisco Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier and the Association of Chinese Cooking Teachers.


25 thoughts on “The Author

  1. Pingback: Notes and Queries: Cuisines | Rachel Laudan

  2. I was rather excited to find this cookbook on Hakka food….Im planning on ordering it! Can you tell me if there is a recipe for Hakka Cha Guo (steamed tea cake) in the book? Thanks!

    • Anne,
      There is a recipe for a steamed rice cake with toasted garlic oil. This cake is not sweet, but acts as a neutral platform for sweet soy sauce, toasted garlic oil and hot red chile sauce. The texture is smooth, dense, a bit bouncy like a firm steamed pudding.
      Most of the recipes come from Hakka all around the world and from my travels, but it is not an all-encompassing book of all Hakka recipes. lets you peek inside the book and you can view the list of recipes and some of the introduction.
      Hope this is helpful. Thanks for your interest.

  3. so wonderful to find a cookbook dedicated to Hakka food. I am a hakka and hope someday to visit a tulou in China. All the best to your new cookbook

    • Melinda,
      Thanks for your kind comments. Hope you enjoy the book. I wrote it for Hakka all over the world so we could better understand our history and culinary heritage.

  4. Hi Linda,
    Thank you for honoring the Hakka cuisine. My family comes from India, so I grew up eating the Sweet Soya Sauce noodles. I have moved from Toronto to San Francisco, so if I have desire to eat the dish, I wing the recipe. Now thanks to your recipe, I know how to make the sauce authentically.
    Thank you, again!

    • Lillian, Thanks for your comments. I enjoyed discovering the Hakka-Indian cuisine. It was new to me and I loved the combination of flavors.

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  6. Hi Linda, congrats and thank you for publishing this Hakka cookbook! I speak and live Hakka! I love Hakka food. I am a 3rd generation Hakka from Singapore. Growing up, my grandpa made egg flower soup. He has passed for a long time now, my aunt has been working on it but far from being the same. On a trip back to the Hakka village, my dad tried the most authentic egg flower soup prepared by our relatives!! My grandma’s favorite was xi pan! Yes, I am still trying to perfect it. My go to is chai po eggs. Last night, I just made a pot of preserved mustard greens with pork belly. Write if you stop by Santa Barbara.

    • Valerie,
      It’s funny I was in Santa Barbara last September and tried to set up a book event with the library who does it through a local bookstore. I guess the bookstore was not interested.

      I didn’t know egg flower soup was Hakka. What was special about the one your grandpa and father made?

      Too bad I didn’t meet you when I was working on this book. I could have included some of your recipes. Maybe in my blog, if you would like to share your soup recipe or any other, send to me.

      I wish I could remember more Hakka. Most of my family who spoke Hakka have passed away and I don’t remember much.
      Thanks for your comments.

  7. Just a very BIG BIG thank you for publishing this book, It shall always be In my heartI Iwas never taught how to cook hakka food, im trying different ones very very slowing, your book was advertised at the sun-yat-sen centre in Vancouver, newsletter/email that I 1st saw it my instant reaction was YES!!! I ordered it through If you ever publish anymore of these le me know, theres nothing like feeling like a stranger and in your book, it says scattered globally, yes but its nice to connect with soul food plus the title hakka cookbookThank you once again. Angie

    • Angie,
      Heartfelt comments like yours make me feel that all that work was worth it. I wrote the book especially for people like you and me. Thanks,

  8. Hi Linda,

    Firstly congratulations on publishing your cookbook. I have just ordered it from Amazon!

    Secondly, I’m a little confused because I thought I posted a message here earlier in the evening but I cannot find it now, so I apologise if two messages from me show up. I have recently set up a website at and would be very pleased to add a link to your site and even a picture of your book, if that would be ok. Perhaps even a little bio! As you can see on the site, I took lots of photos of food when I was in Moiyan! I am sure the visitors to my site will be interested in your book.

    Look forward to hearing from you,

    Karen Cheung, UK

    • Karen,
      I love your website especially the food photos and the language lessons. I never got very far with my Chinese classes and can barely remember Hakka words. I hope I can learn from your site. You can certainly link to my site. I can send you a cover image of the book as a pdf or jpg. Let me know what works for you. Good luck. I look forward to reading more.

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  11. Great to finally see someone publishing a Hakka Cookbook! I have just started looking into compiling my dad’s own Hakka food recipes…Hopefully will do more cooking about Hakka Food.

    The cover drawing of your upcoming book is very attractive..Can’t wait to get a copy of the book!

  12. Congratulations, Linda! What a labor of love. My mother’s father was a Hakka, or Keh as she says it, who was born and lived in Indonesia. I’m sure she and I will both enjoy your book. I look forward to seeing it in print! Will you be in Seattle for a book tour since Alan is here?

    • Pat, Hope to do something in Seattle. Just trying to figure out the schedule. Have enjoyed your blog for a long time.

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