Jamie Chung Says This Essential Kitchen Tool Saves Major Prep Time

Here's what she and husband Bryan Greenberg always cook for each other.

Jamie Chung is not shy about saying what most of us are always thinking: “I plan my days and workouts around my meals.” After these last 18 months, when most of us have spent more time in our homes—and kitchens—than ever before, it’s impossible not to. 

That’s why it was an easy decision for the 38-year-old actor, who says she’s gotten pretty good at cooking and entertaining as a result, to partner with Northern California wine company Meiomi. “Growing up in San Francisco, we would take trips to Calistoga and Napa Valley,” Chung says. ”So I’ve always been intrigued with wine making.” And as an avid golf fan, Chung was excited to hear that the company, which is active in the prevention of and relief from the raging California wildfires, is also the official wine of the PGA Tour. “I’ve played golf since I was young, and [my husband] Bryan [Greenberg] has been getting into it more with me. It’s a perfect hobby to get out of the house in a safe and fun way.”

Although these days Chung doesn’t have a ton of free time on her hands. The Lovecraft Country actor stars in the season finale of Apple TV+’s Mr. Corman with Joseph Gordon Levitt, plays Molly in the upcoming Dexter: New Blood limited series on Showtime this November, and is voicing Misa in the upcoming Disney+ series, Star Wars: Visions. She’ll also voice the character Hel in Netflix’s Twilight of the Gods from Zack Synder. 

But even with a lot going on, Chung makes sure to recharge (including a recent vacation with friends to the Amalfi Coast). So for Glamour’s latest edition of How I Eat at Home, she fills us in on the perfect summer-to-fall recipes and the kitchen equipment she swears by.

Jamie Chung with husband Bryan Greenberg

Courtesy of Meiomi Wines / Bill Davila

Glamour: How often do you eat at home versus eating out and ordering takeout?

Jamie Chung: We are about half and half. I absolutely love cooking, and I’ve gotten pretty good when we were asked to stay home during the pandemic. When it comes to entertaining friends and family, I love to prepare a Korean-style hot pot, one-pot dishes, roasts, you name it! But when I’m traveling and working, sometimes it’s easiest to give in to ordering takeout. Plus, there are so many amazing restaurants near where we live that we want to support.

Do you watch TV when you eat at home? 

Guilty! Occasionally my husband and I will eat while watching Naked and Afraid. But only on Sundays.

How would you describe your eating habits? Do you stick to what you love, or are you an adventurous eater? 

I plan my days and workouts around my meals, usually keeping meals healthy but never depriving myself of cravings. These past few years I have consciously been cutting down on all meats, but I can’t ever say no to a good charcuterie spread. When it comes to a special meal, I usually treat myself to a good Vietnamese-Louisiana-fused seafood boil. I love crustaceans. Dishes that bring me comfort are usually Korean dishes I grew up with: tofu stew, pickled vegetables, bone marrow broth. When I’m in a new city or country, I’m diligent on doing my research online, searching for places I shouldn’t miss out on, and foods that are common in the region. The beauty of traveling and learning about cultures is trying new foods.

Courtesy of Meiomi Wines / Bill Davila

What’s one of your favorite places to visit based on their cuisine?

For our most recent trip to the Amalfi Coast, we stayed in this little town near Marina del Cantone. I discovered that the region is known for its Nerano-style zucchini pasta. The tastiest version of this pasta dish was at a family-run restaurant called Lo Scoglio. Much to my delight, Lo Scoglio was also featured on Stanley Tucci’s show Searching for Italy.

What four staples are always in your pantry or fridge?

Dried pasta, vinegar, nice olive oil, and miso!

What is your favorite summer dish to make, and how do you make it special?

My favorite summer dish is a watermelon feta salad. It’s really easy to make, refreshing, and pretty much exactly how it sounds—throw some cut watermelon, feta, balsamic vinaigrette, red onion, and mint into a large serving bowl, then top with a dash of salt and cracked pepper, and toss. The secret is to cut the watermelon into bite-size chunks so it’s easily eatable. Round it off with chicken kebabs, an orzo pasta salad, and you’ve got a tasty meal that’s easy to prep and cook while mingling with guests. It’s always a hit with guests and pairs well with a crisp rosé or chardonnay.

What’s the kitchen tool you use the most and why? 

My Le Creuset 6.34-quart Dutch oven. It’s perfect for my one-pot recipes and versatile. I also love my garlic press. If a recipe calls for four cloves of garlic, I usually add the whole bulb. The press ensures you get all the flavor out of the garlic for your dishes, and it helps save on so much prep time. I also fell in love with my [limited-edition and now sold-out] portable Kingsford x Ben Baller grill

Le Creuset Oval Dutch Oven (6.34-qt)

$395Le CreusetBuy Now

Orblue Garlic Press

$26$13AmazonBuy Now

Any grilling lessons you can share with us?

Bryan’s more of the griller, but during the summer months we’ll do staples like grilled chicken. We also love throwing pizza on the grill. It’s a perfect pairing for pinot noir, and we always enjoy a glass while we’re hanging around the grill and cooking. One tip I learned: Always do a 24-hour marinade and let any grilled meats sit for 10 to 15 minutes before you cut into them. It allows time for the meat to absorb any juices so you don’t lose that when cutting.

What’s your go-to healthy snack and splurge snack?

Ranch-flavored kale chips; Perfect Bar, blueberry flavored, which has to be refrigerated; Greek yogurt; and seaweed.

Perfect Bar—Blueberry Cashew

$30AmazonBuy Now

Do you listen to music when you cook at home?

A hundred percent. There’s always music playing in our house thanks to Bryan. He’s the DJ 24/7. Top songs of the summer have been “Don’t Rush” by Young T & Bugsey, “Ye” by Burna Boy, “The Way I Feel Inside” by the The Zombies, “Motorbike” by Leon Bridges, “Demeanor” by Pop Smoke and Dua Lipa, and all things Dua Lipa, Kid Cudi’s Man on the Moon III album, but especially “Tequila Shots.” 

What’s something you make that Bryan loves, and what’s something that Bryan makes that you love? 

Bryan loves my cooking, especially my Vietnamese French-inspired garlic noodles. Bryan makes perfect roasted sweet potatoes and avocado toast.

What beverages or wines do you always have on hand when guests come over?

We always like to have a mix for guests to choose from. Meiomi’s portfolio is perfect because they have a rosé, a chardonnay, a pinot noir, and a cabernet sauvignon—something for everyone. Outside of wine, I always have a mix of sparkling and fresh citrus, and the ingredients for making freshly squeezed margaritas if guests are looking for something mixed.

What’s something you learned to make or perfected during quarantine?

Pizza dough. And I’d like to venture into baking more next. 

Is there anything you’re looking forward to eating now that fall is almost here? 

Yes, absolutely! Squash, sweet potatoes, grilled carrots. There’s this really yummy garbanzo bean, coconut milk, and kale curry that’s one of my one-pot wonders. My favorite meal is miso-glazed salmon fillets and roasted vegetables from the farmer’s market. And of course, we love to treat ourselves to pies and cobblers. 

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. 

Jessica Radloff is the Glamour West Coast editor. You can follow her on Instagram at @jessicaradloff14.

This story originally appeared on: Glamour - Author:Condé Nast

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