Process + pantry with founder, Hawnuh Lee

Apr 2, 2020 | by Hawnuh Lee


Hawnuh Lee is the founder / designer / illustrator / writer / photographer / stylist / general food person behind Closed Loop Cooking. She’s kicking off our latest series, by interviewing herself, for The Heirloom Kitchen, a quick look into process and pantry. Let’s get into it.

Morning beverage of choice?

Warm-on-the-side-of-hot water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a cut of fresh, organic ginger with the peel still on. 

Describe your preferred vessel to drink aforementioned beverage out of.

A 32 ounce wide mouth, glass mason jar. For some reason everything tastes better out of glass.

Go-to knife?

I love my dangerously sharp, 8” Japanese MAC knife but I usually find myself reaching for the shorter 6” utility knife with no name. Ol’ reliable. 

Necessary object / appliance / tool in your kitchen?

My cast iron. I use that thing on a daily basis. It’s incredibly versatile, easy to clean, and she gets me.

Kitchen object with a story?

Our kitchen island. My partner designed and built a beautiful island for my birthday and it has become the centerpiece of our cooking space. A lovely shade of mint green with dual doors on either side, it carries quite a load with stacks of cookbooks, kneading, and hopeful experimentations. Feels very much a part of our everyday lives.

Describe how your pantry is organized.

I hoard glass jars of all shapes and sizes. My pantry is somewhat of a mismatched collection of dry goods in any number of glass containers, candy I hide from myself, and dehydrated experiments I can’t bring myself to get rid of.

Gadget you’re not sure why you still have?

A small, triangular microplane with neon green feet that does not work. A gift from my mom who was very well intentioned if not misled.

Last impulse produce purchase? Did you make anything with it?

Bok choy! It was added to my CSA groceries, not something I would normally grab. Going to try roasting with loads of garlic.

Top three pantry staples? And ideas for what to do with them?

Special pantry item that’s nice to have on hand?

A nice flaky table salt for garnishing. Adds some beautiful texture and looks posh. Something like Maldon.

Must have condiment?

Hot sauce! I’m a Cholula gal through and through.

If you were something currently in your fridge…

Basic yellow mustard or a jar of vinegered apples left in the back for too long.

Clean as you go or save it for later?

Clean as you go, absolutely. I can’t stand a pile of dishes waiting for me.

Any current kitchen experiments happening?

Trying out no-yeast bread recipes! There is a serious shortage of yeast at the moment, have to make due with what we have.

Trusted recipe book or site?

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat naturally. 

Scrappy kitchen tip to share?

Regrow your green onions! Save the roots and let sit in a bit of water so they can continue to grow. Plant them and start a small kitchen herb garden!

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