The indie musician Michelle Zauner (who records under the name Japanese Breakfast) always had a complicated relationship with her mother, Chongmi. Michelle was born in Seoul and raised in Oregon, where she never felt like she was truly Korean or truly American. While it was sometimes hard for mother and daughter to understand each other, the thread that kept them together was their shared “Korean appetite,” as Michelle writes in her new memoir, Crying in H Mart. Dan talks with Michelle about losing her mother to cancer before she ever had a chance to learn her mom’s recipes. In the wake of Chongmi’s death, Michelle used food — and frequent trips to H Mart — as a way to rediscover her identity, and to grieve.
Here’s Michelle and Maangchi in 2019, discussing the evolution of Korean food:
Interstitial music in this episode by Black Label Music:
- "Gust of Wind" by Max Greenhalgh
- "Rogue Apples" by Karla Dietmeyer and Olivia Diercks
- "Young and Free" by by Cullen Fitzpatrick
- "Summertime Delight" by Cullen Fitzpatrick
- "Mouse Song" by Ken Brahmstedt
Music by Japanese Breakfast courtesy of Secretly Group
- "Everybody Wants To Love You" on Psychopomp (2016)
- "Psychopomp" on Psychopomp (2016)
- "Machinist" on Soft Sounds From Another Planet (2017)
- "Be Sweet" on Jubilee (2021)
Photo courtesy of Michelle Zauner.
Ever since my mom died, I cry in H Mart. H Mart is a supermarket chain that specializes in Asian food. The H stands for han ah reum, a Korean phrase that roughly translates to “one arm full of groceries.” H Mart is where parachute kids flock to find the brand of instant noodles that reminds them of home. It’s where Korean families buy rice cakes to make tteokguk, the beef and rice cake soup that brings in the New Year. It’s the only place where you can find a giant vat of peeled garlic, because it’s the only place that truly understands how much garlic you’ll need for the kind of food your people eat.
You’ll likely find me crying by the banchan refrigerators, remembering the taste of my mom’s soy-sauce eggs and cold radish soup. Or in the freezer section, holding a stack of dumpling skins, thinking of all the hours that Mom and I spent at the kitchen table folding minced pork and chives into the thin dough. Sobbing near the dry goods, asking myself, 'Am I even Korean anymore, if there’s no one left to call and ask which brand of seaweed we used to buy?'
Dan Pashman: This is The Sporkful, it’s not for foodies, it’s for eaters. I’m Dan Pashman. Each week on our show, we obsess about food to learn more about people. I got some news. Next week, Mission: ImPASTAble continues with an all new update! I'm gonna tell you what the first 24 hours after the launch were like, I’ll answer your questions, and I’ll try to figure out where I go from here. That’s next week.
Dan Pashman: Michelle Zauner is an indie musician who performs under the name Japanese Breakfast. To give you an idea of what Japanese Breakfast sounds like, here's the song "Everybody Wants to Love You".
[CLIP "EVERYBODY WANTS TO LOVE YOU"- JAPANESE BREAKFAST]
Dan Pashman: Despite the name Japanese Breakfast, Michelle is actually Korean-American. She told Teen Vogue back in 2017 that she picked the name by combining something she considers really American, like breakfast, with something she thought Americans would consider foreign. To her, that was Japan.
Dan Pashman: Japanese Breakfast has released two albums, with a third coming out this summer. And for the past few years, in between making music and touring, Michelle has been writing. Now she has a memoir out called Crying in H Mart. That’s what you heard her reading at the beginning of the show. Much of it is a reflection on her relationship with her mother and the process of dealing with her mom’s death. Food, and its role in their relationship, is a big part of that story.
Dan Pashman: Michelle was born in Seoul. Her mother, Chongmi, was Korean. Her father is American and white. When Michelle was one, they moved to Eugene, Oregon. When she was 10, they moved to a house in the woods, outside the city, miles away from pretty much everything.
Michelle Zauner: I think I was a bit of a lonely child and I was very needy, particularly, of my mother. And, yeah, I mean, there weren’t very many neighboring children nearby that I could play with and no siblings. I spent a lot of time with my mom, who was a homemaker. I really relied on her attention or I think I also lived a lot in my interior worlds.
Dan Pashman: It sounds like she also depended a lot on you. You were a big part of her world, too.
Michelle Zauner: Yeah, I was definitely her occupation, even though she wasn’t particularly a coddling mother. I mean, we were very, very, very close. She didn’t have that many friends. So I was very much her world in a lot of ways.
Dan Pashman: So when Michelle was growing up, she and her mom spent a lot of time together. And often, that time was spent eating. Here’s Michelle reading another excerpt from her memoir.
While she never actually taught me how to cook, she did raise me with a distinctly Korean appetite. This meant a reverence for good food and a predisposition to emotional eating. We were particular about everything: kimchi had to be perfectly sour, samgyupsal perfectly crisped, stews had to be piping hot or they might as well have been inedible. The concept of prepping meals for the week was a ludicrous affront to our lifestyle. We chased our cravings daily. If we wanted the kimchi stew for three weeks straight, we relished it until a new craving emerged.
I remember these things clearly because that was how my mother loved you -- Not through white lies and constant verbal affirmation, but in subtle observations of what brought you joy, pocketed away to make you feel comforted and cared for without even realizing it. She remembered if you liked your stews with extra broth, if you were sensitive to spice, if you hated tomatoes. She remembered which banchan side dish you emptied first so the next time you were over it’d be set with a heaping double portion, served alongside the various other preferences that made you, you.
Dan Pashman: Michelle and her mom were tight, but this singular focus on each other also bred tension. In an interview with Pitchfork, Michelle said, “I was always being told to calm down, to chill out, to slow down. I was a bad toddler, a bad child, a bad teenager. I felt too big for my environment. I just had this energy of like, I want to do what I want to do.”
Dan Pashman: In a feature on Spotify, she says the first song she was obsessed with as a young child was "Wild Thing". Michelle’s feelings of isolation weren’t just about being an only child living in the woods. It was also that she was one of the very few Asian American kids around. She writes in her book that she told her mom, “You don’t know what it’s like to be one of the only Korean girls at school.” Her mom’s response, “You’re not Korean, you’re American.”
Michelle Zauner: As an immigrant, I don’t think she understood. She raised her kid in America, and she...I certainly wasn’t Korean. You know? So I think that that sort of anxiety, this sort of dual identity that I possessed was really confusing for me growing up and was something that I kept trying to convey to my mother that she just couldn’t understand because she’d never lived through that. And, you know, I think her way of comforting me a lot was just kind of being dismissive. You know? I think that that was just her style of comfort, which sometimes was really aggravating.
Dan Pashman: It’s interesting though because on the other hand, you know, she would say, you’re not Korean you’re American. But then she was eager to share Korean food with you that was a big part of your upbringing, her relationship with you. She took you to Korean language school so you could learn to read and write. So clearly it was important to her to instill a part of that culture into your upbringing.
Michelle Zauner: Absolutely, it was a big part of her. Everything that she knew.
Dan Pashman: Right.
Michelle Zauner: And of course, I think it’s a really natural desire to want to share that with your kid. And it was very much something at an early age was really celebrated. I think there were parts of her home country that she also didn’t really like and didn’t really see me in. There was this real independent streak that she had that went against a lot of the more conservative stereotypes of Korean culture, in which she didn’t really fit in. And I think that knowing me and raising me and finding that I was this very creative and independent child, in her mind, she was like you are the farthest thing from what is going to be accepted over there. And the Korean community that existed in Eugene was already really small. But a majority of them were really rooted in the church. And I found it to be a lot more interesting later on in life that my mom really removed herself from that environment because she wasn’t a very religious person. And in retrospect feel like that was really brave of her because it must have been very scary and lonely to exit this community that you—it's the only thing that ties you to your home and your identity in a huge way, but is something you’ve decided doesn’t fit with you.
Dan Pashman: I can see the choice to not be involved in the church as brave, like you say. It also sounds like it could be a little rebellious.
Michelle Zauner: Yeah, definitely. I think, that’s another thing I kind of learned about my mom and understood about my mom later. When I was growing up, my mom obviously thought I was very rebellious and so I didn’t think of my mom as someone that could also have been like that in her youth. It was something that was constantly told to me that my mom was this tomboy and that she was a bit of a party girl and kind of directionless as a young adult. And it was always confusing to me because my was someone that would scream at me if I spilled something on the carpet or didn’t ever want to let me have a sleepover.
Dan Pashman: Michelle did see little flashes of her mom’s rebelliousness when they returned to Korea. Every other summer growing up, Michelle and her mom would go there for six weeks to visit family. Michelle describes those trips in her book. In one passage I asked her to read, she talks about just having arrived. They’re at her grandmother’s house, she and her mom are jetlagged. It’s the middle of the night.
At home, I was scolded if I got caught poking around the pantry past eight, but in Seoul, my mom was like a kid again, leading the campaign. Standing at the counter, we’d open every tupperware container full of homemade banchan and snack together in the blue dark of the humid kitchen. Sweet braised black soybeans, crisp yellow sprouts with scallion and sesame oil, and tart, juicy cucumber kimchi were shoveled into our mouths behind spoonfuls of warm, lavender kong bap straight from the open rice cooker. We’d giggle and shush each other as we ate ganjang gejang with our fingers, sucking salty, rich, custardy raw crab from its shell, prodding the meat from its crevices with our tongues, licking our soy sauce–stained fingers. Between chews of a wilted perilla leaf, my mother would say, 'This is how I know you’re a true Korean.'
Dan Pashman: Michelle says as a kid, hearing that from her mom made her feel special but it was also confusing. Sometimes her mother told her she was American, other times Korean, and Michelle didn’t really feel like she fit into either.
Dan Pashman: As she became a teenager, that need to break out grew stronger. She started drinking, doing drugs, missing school. She also got into music. She had taken piano lessons since she was 5, but in high school she ditched piano for guitar—really, for rock and roll. She started playing in bands at school functions. Then around town at real music venues. Her parents were initially supportive, until Michelle started saying she wanted music to be her career.
Michelle Zauner: I think it's a really funny thing in Asian culture that most Asian kids are forced into learning how to play piano or violin at the age of 5. But God forbid that you actually become interested in music. She felt like it was her duty to dissuade me from this lifestyle that was not very realistic. She never went to college and so it was really important that I went because she wanted me to have the opportunities that she didn’t have.
Dan Pashman: As Michelle writes in her book, she found out at a young age that her father was having affairs. She says for most of her childhood, he was away at work or at the bar. Today, she’s estranged from him. So that pressure from her mom to go to college and pursue a more stable career? She understands it in a different way now.
Michelle Zauner: Maybe she wanted some freedom from not relying on my dad to provide for us. I think that she wanted to make sure I was never in that same position.
Dan Pashman: But at the time, the growing distance between them was something Michelle didn’t know how to bridge. In her senior year of high school, she had a nervous breakdown, which led to therapy and medication. She writes, “My mother was convinced all of it was a direct attempt to spite her.” Michelle did end up going to college, about as far away as possible. Bryn Mawr, outside Philadelphia.
Dan Pashman: On the east coast her passion for music grew, and she was slowly starting to repair things with her mother from afar. Then, her mom got sick, and their relationship changed overnight. We’ll have that part of the story when we come back. Stick around.
+++ BREAK +++
Dan Pashman: Welcome back to The Sporkful, I’m Dan Pashman. You want to win a copy of Michelle Zauner’s memoir? Sign up for our weekly newsletter by April 30 and you’ll be automatically entered into this and all our giveaways. We only send one email a week, just want to give you some hot tips on what the Sporkful team is eating and reading or watching or listening to. Lots of good recs in there! Sign up now at Sporkful.com/newsletter.
Dan Pashman: Now back to my chat with Michelle Zauner, whose new memoir is Crying in H Mart. Michelle graduated from college and stayed in Philadelphia. In 2014, she was living with her boyfriend, playing gigs, and waiting tables. Then, just after she turned 25, she got the news that her mom was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. Michelle moved back to Oregon to take care of her.
Michelle Zauner: Well, my biggest fear always was my parents passing away. You know, because I was alone to deal with that. And I knew that there was always going to be this moment that there was going to be this role reversal but I had no idea it was gonna come this quickly. And of course so much of caretaking, since you’re a baby, is making sure that someone is fed and taken care of and is nourished.
Dan Pashman: Michelle devoted herself to the task of feeding her mother, a reversal of the way it was for so long. Michelle figured she’d try to make some of the classic dishes she’d grown up with, that her mother had made for her.
Michelle Zauner: But I never really learned how to cook Korean food because I never thought that I would have to figure it out so early. And on top of that, my mom was going through, like, really intense chemotherapy and like didn't want to eat a lot of the Korean foods that I associate with our culture, like really hot, really spicy, really cold, really flavorful, really garlic heavy. You can't eat that kind of stuff when you're going through chemotherapy and everything tastes like metal and makes you sick.
Dan Pashman: Is there a specific story you can share that you recall of trying to cook something for your mom?
Michelle Zauner: You know, it was already so hard for me to kind of think of something. But then I was like, oh, I'll make gyeran-jjim, which is this—It's like actually a side dish. If you go to like a really nice Korean restaurant, they'll give you a ton of side dishes and it's really good. There's this egg custard. It's just eggs and water, basically, or stock. And it's plain egg custard. And I was like, that's nutritious. It's a good source of protein. It's very plain tasting. It's Korean. And so I made this thing I'd never made. I was so proud of myself. I made this thing and my mom was like, I don't want that. I spent so much time thinking about this one thing. I put all my eggs, like literal eggs, into one basket and, you know, she just didn't want it.
Dan Pashman: How did that feel when she wasn't able to eat the food you were trying to give her?
Michelle Zauner: It was devastating but it was also fear inducing. I had a real fear of failure of she's going to starve to death. I need to figure this out. So there was a lot of panic of, oh, my God, she doesn't want to eat anything and she's going to wither away. I had a real palpable fear of that.
Dan Pashman: After two months of chemo, Michelle’s mother decided to stop treatment. The cancer was spreading too quickly. Knowing there wasn’t much time left, Michelle and her boyfriend Peter decided to get married as soon as they could, so Michelle’s mom could be at the wedding.
Michelle Zauner: I remember my mom's friends made kalbi, which is like Korean short rib barbecue, often eaten for celebrations and stuff. It's very decadent. I remember my mom tasting her marinade and kind of coaching her, like how we wanted it prepared or whatever. And that being like a special thing between us, because that was always what my mom did every time I came home from college. And so we were kind of like trying to recreate that for the celebration.
Dan Pashman: Two weeks after the wedding, and six months after being diagnosed, Michelle’s mom passed away.
Dan Pashman: How was your relationship with your mom when she died?
Michelle Zauner: Um, I think that for me, one of the really, truly heartbreaking parts of our relationship was like it was just starting to get really good. And I think that that's like a real thing that a lot of girls and their mothers go through where it's like a very natural thing to push away from each other in your teenage years and then really go find some distance and return to them with this newfound appreciation. And so one of the things that my mom said to me that I always will remember that was really beautiful to me, was as we sort of began kind of returning to one another, she said, "I just realized, I've never met someone like you." And I think that that was a really eye-opening thing for both of us where we were just finally acknowledging that, that maybe there was a lot that we didn't understand about each other.
Michelle Zauner: And so that was like a real turning point in our relationship. And that happened when I was like in my early 20s, maybe 20, 21. And so things were starting to really get great. And my mother was beginning to confide in me as a peer. I, you know, I think a lot of people in their early 20s, have this moment with their parents where it was like, oh, my God, you're a human being. I thought you were just my mom.
Dan Pashman: Right. Right.
Michelle Zauner: I realize you've had this whole other life that doesn't even involve me. And you go through all—you have thoughts that don't involve me.
Dan Pashman: You mean, you still exist when I'm not here?
Michelle Zauner: Exactly. It's like the tree that falls in the forest or whatever.
Dan Pashman: Right.
Michelle Zauner: There was like this time in my early 20s when my mom started telling me about her day and her life and stopped asking me questions. I wasn't the main—you know, it wasn't just her bombarding me with questions.
Dan Pashman: Right. Right.
Michelle Zauner: It was like, this is what I did today. I'm having trouble with this. And it was like, I remember having this very specific realization on the phone with her when I was in college that just, whoa. We're talking about my mom now. You know, it's her turn to talk to me about her life. And that was really exciting. And it's unfortunate that we didn't get to have that for very long. But I also feel like, you know, after learning about a lot of people who have lost their parents at a young age, I am...I can be grateful at least that I got to spend a lot of time with her before she passed and really try my best to prove how much I really loved her. And I would like to believe that she really knew that. And then that was where our relationship ended.
Dan Pashman: Did she ever tell you that she knew that?
Michelle Zauner: One of the last things that she said to me when we were just like hanging out in her bed a lot was, you know, as a child, you always used to cling to me. And here you are, you're still clinging to me. And that's always really haunted me because I feel like that was in a way like her way of saying, you know, I always knew that you really loved me.
Dan Pashman: Her mother’s death changed the way Michelle felt about the Korean part of her identity.
Michelle Zauner: I could always ask questions of my mother, and my mother always made me feel like she was the tie to that part of me and so there was nothing to question of that. And now that she’s gone I don’t have that to rely on anymore. If someone were to confront me about something that was not Korean that I did or something? I could just talk to my mom and all my mom would have to say is, it is Korean. And I would just know that it is. You know what I mean?
Dan Pashman: Right. Right.
Michelle Zauner: Because she has that kind of agency. But, yeah. I think losing her was just a scary feeling, where it was like I lost that half of myself almost. I don’t have that sense of belonging anymore.
Dan Pashman: So Michelle set out to rediscover that part of herself through food. She started trying to make the Korean dishes her mom made for her. Just one problem, Michelle’s mom never taught her how to make them. So Michelle turned to Maangchi.
CLIP (MAANGCHI): You know what I'm going to make? ....Korean fermented soybean paste with stew. First, I'm going to use potato, peeled potato, medium size, around one cup....[KITCHEN SOUNDS]
Dan Pashman: Maangchi is a YouTube star, famous for her Korean recipes and videos. We had her on The Sporkful last year. And this is a role she’s played for many people of Korean descent all over the world. We did a show years ago on international adoption and we heard from Korean adoptees, who used Maangchi’s cooking videos to reconnect with their roots. Michelle did the same thing.
CLIP (MAANGCHI): This is an American standard measurement. I got this from Ikea, so cheap....
Michelle Zauner: I found her to be so charming and effervescent and so soothing. Just her accent even, just reminded me of my mom and she just completely demystified this thing that felt like it had been withheld from me for a long time. And when I moved to New York a year later, I started cooking all these different dishes. And it was very comforting for me. And yeah, I just started going to Flushing and going to H Mart like every week and like spending 100 bucks on groceries and like watching these YouTube videos. It just became this routine that was really comforting to me, you know? And it was extremely therapeutic part of my grieving process.
Dan Pashman: What do you think made it so therapeutic?
Michelle Zauner: I had so much unprocessed trauma. You know? I mean, a big thing I wanted to get across was, it's really an intense, horrific thing to watch someone die. It's a really, really tough thing to see someone you love deteriorate their health. And that was really scarring for me. And because I hadn't spent a concentrated period of time with my mom since I was 18—it had been seven years since I lived with my parents. And then this was the last six months I could really remember. All of my memories of my mom were of her being sick and that made me so sad. My mom would have hated for me to remember her as this bald woman with sores all over her mouth. And part of what was really therapeutic about it was I would go to H Mart and I'd be like, oh, my God, they have red bean. And then I'd have this memory of red bean, you know, and the summers that we ate patbingsu. Or I would see this can of mackerel and I'd be like, oh my God, I remember when my mom used to cook this in soy sauce and sesame oil and she would eat it while we ate American meals or something on the patio table. And so it was this process kind of started opening up a lot of memories of my mom that had been kind of buried by this trauma. And I realized in that I was like, oh my God, I was really drawn to going there over and over again.
Dan Pashman: Now, Michelle has learned how to make a lot of the dishes her mom used to make for her. When she goes to H Mart, she has a long list of favorite items.
Michelle Zauner: Some of them aren't Korean. I always get—I just love H Mart. I hope that they sponsor me someday. I've probably spent thousands of dollars there every year.
Dan Pashman: Yeah.
Michelle Zauner: But I always get—they have like a sushi section, like a sashimi section. And you can get like a big fillet of salmon, raw salmon that's 14 bucks. And then, you just cut it at home and you have basically 50 dollars worth of sashimi just from the grocery store, which I've been into. I usually also buy Japanese mayonnaise, Kewpie mayonnaise that has the MSG in it.
Dan Pashman: Oh yes. Yeah. I have some in my fridge right now. Kewpie mayo.
Michelle Zauner: I like mixing that with Gochujang, which is another staple. It's like a, you know, fermented red pepper paste, a Korean red pepper paste.
Dan Pashman: Yup.
Michelle Zauner: And then my like big old man Korean thing that I love is ojingeo, which is dried cuttlefish. And you roast it on the gas stove and it kind of curls up. It's like cuttlefish jerky, basically. And you dip it into this red pepper sauce with the kewpie mayonnaise and you have like peanuts and beer. And that is the ultimate old Korean man, like pub snack.
Dan Pashman: And that sounds delicious.
Michelle Zauner: Yeah, it's really good.
Dan Pashman: I would love to eat that.
Michelle Zauner: And you're jaw hurts so bad, just knawing and drooling on this thing.
Dan Pashman: Right. Right.
Michelle Zauner: And yeah, I've eaten it since I was a kid and it's just like a really comforting—I love—it's really expensive but I am super into that. That is a big thing for me. I used to really not be into perilla leaf and I felt like a really bad Korean for a long time. So I actually have recently trained myself to like it. So I've started getting that for Korean barbecue, as well.
Dan Pashman: OK. I feel like one of my favorites and I mean, I don't know much about cooking Korean food—when I go out, I love bo ssam.
Michelle Zauner: Oh yeah, that's wild. That's one of those Korean things that I don't like very much.
Dan Pashman: Really?
Michelle Zauner: Yeah. You're a more true Korean.
Dan Pashman: OK, I don't know if I'd say that.
Michelle Zauner: Yeah. Yeah.
Dan Pashman: But I know that sometimes it's in some places. They serve with perilla leaf at some places.
Michelle Zauner: Yeah, yeah.
Dan Pashman: They go like more western greens.
Michelle Zauner: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm not a big fan of it. I think it's kind of gnarly, but it might be one of those things I need to train myself to like because I have some shame about not being into it.
Dan Pashman: Oh, well, I don't really have the authority to let you off the hook for that shame, Michelle. But if I did, I would.
Michelle Zauner: Maybe I should. I should try it again.
Dan Pashman: Michelle’s grief changed her relationship with food and cooking. It also shifted something in her approach to her music. In an interview with Wall Street Journal Magazine, she said, “I needed to write down and figure out what I was feeling. A lot of my grief manifested in an addiction to work.”
Dan Pashman: Soon after her mom’s death, she began recording under the name Japanese Breakfast and released two albums. The first was Psychopomp in 2016, which Rolling Stone compared to “listening to a lucid dream.” Here’s a clip from the title track.
Dan Pashman: Those last few seconds are a recording of Michelle’s mother. Japanese Breakfast’s second album, Soft Sounds from Another Planet came out a year later. Here’s the song, "Machinist".
Dan Pashman: For the first time, Michelle’s career as a musician was taking off. She went on a world tour, playing shows all over Asia.
Michelle Zauner: Then we ended this tour in Korea, in Seoul, where I was born and where my family is from. It was really, really special. You know, I have one aunt left in Korea. My mom's older sister and everyone else has died. And my aunt came. And before I went over there, I was telling her about the show. And I told her things were going well but I don't think—you know, a lot of parents really—or family understand what you're doing until they get to see what's going on. You know? But she was being translated through my cousin and my cousin was just like, yeah, she just—she said, "Just who pays you?" You know, like, how do you get paid?....
Dan Pashman: Right. I get that question as a podcaster, too. Right. Yeah. Like relatives, especially of an older generation, are like, "So this is a job?"
Michelle Zauner: Yeah. Yeah. She's like, "Is it an office? A company that pays you?" And I was like, "Well, you know, people buy tickets to a show and there's a promoter and then they give you some of the door or whatever. And they're like, OK. And so they came to the show and it was a really lovely moment where, you know, the show sold out. You know, it's not huge. It was 500 people in Seoul, which is like pretty wild. And I just said, “Imo, this is my hoesa.”, Which is like my company.
Dan Pashman: Right.
Michelle Zauner: And it was a very sweet moment. And, you know, my mom's photo is on the album cover and her little paintings are on the disks. And, you know, it's really something very beautiful about all these kids in Korea carrying out these big cardboard squares of my mom's face out into the streets of Seoul. You know, it was like a very sweet moment.
[CLIP "BE SWEET"]
Dan Pashman: That’s Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast. Her new memoir, Crying in H Mart, is out April 20 and available for preorder now. Her new album, Jubilee, comes out in June. This is “Be Sweet”, the first single off that album and, man, I cannot get enough of this groove!
Dan Pashman: Hey, we’re giving away a copy of Michelle’s book. Subscribe to our newsletter by April 30 and you’ll be entered to win. Subscribe now at Sporkful.com/newsletter. And get psyched for next week! We’ll have an update on Mission: ImPASTAble.