You might have seen Annie Wang’s mouth watering photos on her instagram. Minneapolis Eater did and they picked her as one of 16 Twin Cities-based instagrammers to follow for food in 2015. Wang, who grew up in Eden Prairie, is a local foodie who lives in the world of social media and knows a thing or two about cultivating creative and delicious content.
Wang is a marketing communication consultant who works specifically with food. She informs clients about new food trends and helps them use these ideas in the way they communicate and market to audiences. In her consulting work, Wang aims to make content innovative, appealing and relevant. Working with mostly social media and online content, Wang focuses on telling a story instead of selling one.
Wang’s story and interest in food started early in life in her family’s home in southern Minnesota and in her grandmother’s kitchen in Taiwan. “Growing up, I was one of those in-between-culture kids,” she says.
Wang was born in Taiwan. At age 2, Wang and her family moved to Mankato for her father’s graduate school pursuits. Wang remembers the ingenuity her mother used when cooking with Midwestern ingredients. “Growing up in the middle of southern Minnesota, my mom would always emulate food from back home,” Wang says. “Back in the late 1980s, you couldn’t find obscure ingredients. You had to mix and match.”
Wang recalls being 5 or 6 years old and loving every opportunity she had to cook with her grandmother in Taiwan, where she spent time during the summers.
Wang has always been interested in cooking, but her college and graduate degrees reflect other interests: Wang studied human perception and cognition at the University of Minnesota and continued her studies at New York University for graduate school. She started a food blog in 2008 while she was living in New York City.
In the beginning, Frites & Fries focused on the vibrant New York City food scene, in which she was fully absorbed. She was dating a chef at the time and was doing public relations work for various city restaurants, including her first PR gig with 6th Street Kitchen, a former East Village restaurant.
Today, Wang’s blog is a place for her to share her delicious foodie creations; it houses 350 recipes Wang has both made and photographed, drawing inspiration from everywhere. She pulls ideas from food magazines, from restaurant pairings and from conversations with her chef friends. She tries to update the site with a new recipe at least once per week, sometimes more.
Wang has shared a few tasty creations to try when we entertain this summer.
Walnut Miso Tartine with Pea Shoots and Carrot Ribbons
Makes 2-4 servings
1 cup unsalted roasted walnut halves
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. awase miso (a blend of white and red miso)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
4 slices wheat bread, toasted
1 carrot, peeled and cut into lengthwise strips using a peeler
1 cup pea shoots
Soak walnuts overnight in two cups of water, about 8 hours. Drain and combine the walnuts, olive oil, awase miso, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor. Process until the mixture is creamy.
Divide filling between the four pieces of toast. Top with desired amount of carrot ribbons and pea shoots. I used about 2 ribbons and then halved them lengthwise to maker thinner strips (you do not need to do this – it just looked better on camera this way). Finish it with ¼ cup of pea shoots per serving.
Daikon, Carrot & Cucumber Salad
Makes 2 servings
2 cups daikon cut into matchsticks
2 cups carrot cut into matchsticks
2 cups English cucumber cut into matchsticks
1 green onion, sliced
1 Tbsp. soy sauce (koikuchi)
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. white sesame seeds
In a large bowl, combine the daikon, carrot, cucumber, and sliced green onions. In a small bowl, combine together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, and granulated sugar to make a dressing. Drizzle dressing over vegetables and toss to combine. Season with sesame seeds.
Sweet and Spicy Ginger Martini
2 oz. vodka
1 oz. ginger liqueur
1 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
Candied ginger, for garnish
Combine liquors, and pour over simple syrup in martini glass.