Linda Shiue

Food isn’t just about nutrition, it can be inspiration.  My culinary... read more

Linda Shiue


Food isn’t just about nutrition, it can be inspiration.  

My culinary education began with learning to make quiche in an early French class when I was seven.  That sparked a lifetime of curiosity of the people and cultures behind different cuisines.  My twin passions are food and travel, and I believe that the best way to get to know a culture is to sit down and break bread (or roti, or a bowl of rice or noodles) with the locals.  My stories are about some great meals, but also about the people I’ve shared them with and the places I’ve eaten them, all around the globe.   The second thing I do on a trip (after unpacking my belongings into my new temporary home) is to head to the local market to see what people are buying, eating, and gossiping about.  Aside from some animal parts and insects in general, I am almost always willing and interested in trying local flavors.  I’m kind of a nomad locavore in that way.  But I will also often pack an “emergency kit” of few simple spices– a sea salt grinder, a pepper grinder, and a well-sealed bag of Trinidadian curry powder.  My spice emergency kit ensures that no matter where I am, I can cook a meal that will satisfy our tastebuds and also introduce a part of my family’s culture to new friends.

That’s why I’ve named my blog after the spicebox that is found in the kitchens of Indian homes, called a masala dabba.  A masala dabba consists of a large, flat-bottomed, round steel container in which nest several smaller steel bowls, all covered with a lid.  This traditional spicebox is visually appealing as well as being a convenient and portable way to keep herbs and spices fresh and at hand, wherever you are, when you’re in the mood to cook.

I devote my leisure time to reading voraciously, eating with gusto, traveling, and cooking meals inspired by my travels.    I’ll share with you the stories behind some memorable meals, and the recipes they inspired. Welcome, and please pull up a chair at my table.

Thanks for coming by.  


 -linda shiue

Follow me on Twitter @spiceboxtravels