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Actress, Director, Producer Joan Chen's New Role: Food Blogger

Actress, Director, Producer Joan Chen takes on a new role as a food blogger with the launch of "The Hungry Empress."
Joan Chen and family at a screening of The Last Emperor at the Castro Theater in San Francisco. (L-R) Audrey Hui, Angela Hui, Joan Chen, Peter Hui.
Joan Chen and family at a screening of The Last Emperor at the Castro Theater in San Francisco. (L-R) Audrey Hui, Angela Hui, Joan Chen, Peter Hui. Courtesy Joan Chen

Actree, director, screenwriter and producer Joan Chen is taking on yet another role: food blogger.

“We thought [the blog] would be a fun way to help me eat more mindfully. And it is,” said Chen. “But what started out as short blogs of our daily meals became longer and longer, and turned into a form of self-expression that I look forward to writing every day.”

In a media landscape full of recipe websites and meals immortalized on Instagram, Chen’s new food blog, Hungry Empress, is trying to stand out. Her approach is light and refreshing, with a focus on healthful eating. But to go beyond just recipes, she weaves in tidbits about her acting career, family stories, and musings on food and life as she works towards “a healthier, fitter life” not overshadowed by celery sticks and a treadmill.

“Not only am I a lover of food but I enjoy sitting around," said Chen. “This is also a way to share my journey as a Chinese American. Memories of my early life in China and my current life in America -- through food.”

Chen’s daughter, Angela Hui, brings in the health and nutritional science to the blog by analyzing recipes and food labels, writing reviews, and editing her mother’s posts.

Chen shares one of her favorite recipes, for sweet and spicy sriracha-glazed salmon.

Actress, producer, director Joan Chen launches new food blog.
Joan Chen's latest project combines her love of food and family, in a blog that focuses on the two coming together.Courtesy Joan Chen

Joan Chen’s Best Salmon Recipe!

This sweet and spicy Sriracha-glazed salmon is one of the recipes in the “The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor” by Gina Homolka at Angela, the foodporn addict, was the one who first introduced me to skinnytaste, and we have since tried quite a number of their recipes. The Sriracha-glazed salmon is the most amazing tasting fish I have ever eaten. I am sure I am biased because I love everything with soy sauce, but this is truly a fantastic marinade.

A simple and non eventful Tuesday. I don’t mind having many more days just like this one. I can only take drama and excitement on the screen, not at home.

--Joan Chen


  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce (or tamari* for gluten-free) 60mL 低盐鲜酱油
  • 2 tablespoons honey 30 mL蜂蜜
  • 1 tablespoons rice vinegar 15mL米醋
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce (or to taste) 15mL甜辣椒酱
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger 15mL 姜末
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic 15mL 碎蒜
  • 1 pound wild salmon fillet, cut into 4 (4-ounce) pieces 一磅左右三文鱼
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil 25mL 麻油
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions, for garnish 30mL青葱
  • I added half a red bell pepper and two scallions to pan fry with the salmon.


In a 1-gallon zip-top plastic bag, combine the soy sauce, honey, vinegar, Sriracha, ginger, and garlic. Add the salmon, toss to coat evenly, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours, turning the fish once.

Remove the salmon from the bag, reserving the marinade. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat ad add the sesame oil. Rotate the pan to coat the bottom evenly and add the salmon. Cook until one side of the fish is browned, about 2 minutes. Flip the salmon and cook until the other side browns, 2 more minutes. Reduce the heat to low and pour in the reserved marinade. Cover and cook until the fish is cooked through, 4-5 minutes. (I only cooked it for another 2-3 minutes, and without the lid.)


Place a piece of salmon on each of 4 serving plates and sprinkle with the scallions.

Actress, producer, director Joan Chen launches new food blog.
One of Joan Chen's favorite salmon recipes, as featured on her new food blog.Courtesy Joan Chen