Art & Culture, Entrepreneurship, New York, Podcast, Self-Empowerment, Taiwan, Taiwan Community, Taiwan Dining, Taiwan Food, Taiwan Life

Yun Hai Taiwanese Pantry: Our Talk with Founder Lisa Cheng Smith Ep 135

By Felicia Lin

A note from Talking Taiwan host Felicia Lin:

My guest on this episode of Talking Taiwan, Lisa Cheng Smith, has channeled her love of Taiwanese food, cooking and premium ingredients into creating Yun Hai Taiwanese Pantry. Yun Hai sources premium ingredients for Taiwanese cooking, directly from artisans, farms, and soy sauce breweries in Taiwan.

In this interview Lisa not only talks about how and why she started Yun Hai, and her vision for the business, but she shares her favorite Taiwanese restaurants, cookbooks, and some great resources for tips on Taiwanese cooking.

Taiwanese food lovers, this episode is definitely for you!

I initially spoke with Lisa earlier this year but so much has happened with Yun Hai since then, so a week or so ago we spoke again to get some updates. Be sure to listen to the end of the interview to hear about all of the exciting developments.


Here’s a little preview of what we talked about in the podcast:


  • What inspired Lisa to start Yun Hai Taiwanese Pantry
  • Where Lisa’s love of Taiwanese food comes from
  • The chili sauce that inspired her to start Yun Hai
  • The slow food movement
  • What Lisa loves about the food in Taiwan
  • How long it took Lisa to set up Yun Hai
  • The story behind the name Yun Hai
  • The challenges of running a small online business
  • How Lisa met her business partner
  • Yun Hai’s collaboration with Rose Bakery for the Lunar New Year
  • Lisa’s favorite Taiwanese holidays and festivals
  • Lisa’s Taiwanese cookbook recommendations
  • Other sources recommended by Lisa for Taiwanese recipes (blogs, YouTube)
  • Products offered by Yun Hai
  • New products
  • How Lisa choses products for Yun Hai
  • Yun Hai’s connection to Win Son
  • Lisa’s Taiwanese restaurant recommendations
  • Future plans for Yun Hai
  • The short documentary that Yun Hai produced about soy sauce makers in Taiwan
  • The newest developments with Yun Hai since the initial interview with Lisa earlier this year
  • Yun Hai’s Kickstarter campaign for Yun Hai Selection Dried Fruit Line (pineapple, mango, guava)
  • New products that Yun Hai is introducing
  • How Yun Hai has been growing
  • Yun Hai’s plans to open a store in East Williamsburg Brooklyn, NY
  • The Yun Hai Stories newsletter


Related Links:


Yun Hai Taiwanese Pantry website:


Yun Hai Taiwanese Pantry on Instagram:


Sign up for the Yun Hai newsletter:


Yun Hai’s mini-documentary, Time, Terroir, Taiwan: Soy Sauce Brewing in XiLuo:


Yun Hai Taiwanese Pantry on Facebook:


“9 Recipes for a Vibrant Lunar New Year Celebration” by Lisa Cheng Smith for Bon Appétit Magazine:


Taipei Times article about Yun Hai Pantry:


Yun Hai + Rose Bakery Year of the Ox Collaboration:


Dover Street Market:


Alice Waters:


Food of Taiwan by Cathy Erway:


All Under Heaven cookbook by Carolyn Phillips:


Carolyn Phillips’ blog, Madame Huang’s kitchen:


Choochoo-ca-Cchew (Taiwanese recipes with locally sourced ingredients):


Taiwan Duck (Taiwan Cooking) on YouTube:


Win Son Restaurant and Bakery:


Trigg Brown and Josh Ku of Win Son: Taiwanese Restaurant in NYC:


Ho Foods restaurant:


886 restaurant:


Happy Stony Noodles (restaurant in Elmhurst Queens):


Q Town restaurant:


Pulau Pinang restaurant:


Taipei Times Columnist Michael Turton Talks About the Taiwan Pineapple Ban by China:


Taipei Times article about China’s ban of Taiwan’s pinapples, “PRC bans import of Taiwan pineapples”:


Yun Hai’s Kickstarter campaign for Yun Hai Selection: Dried Pineapple, Mango, Guava from Taiwan:

About the Host

Author Felicia Lin is the Host and Producer of Talking Taiwan, a podcast which seeks to introduce you to interesting stories connected to Taiwan and the diverse individuals who make up Taiwan’s global community.

Follow Talking Taiwan on your Favorite Social Media Platform!


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