Maly Thao (Malis Vwj)


Maly Thao was born in St. Paul, MN and lived in other states such as California, North Carolina, Georgia, and Wisconsin. Her parents once owned a 3.8 acre farm in NC where they grew bamboo, rice field, corn, chinese greens, tomatos, peppers, and cilantro; before relocating for better job opportunities and environment. She is the oldest of 11 siblings, along with 5 other step-siblings. Now, she resides in Troutdale, Oregon and hopes to open a food cart in the near future.


One sentence to describe yourself: I’m a proud Hmong American who likes to make things simple in life and loves to share my food with families and friends. I was originally raised up in North Carolina and within the Hmong Community!

Best piece of advice you ever got about cooking: My Dad always say “Don’t say Ew because Ew can become “ooO Yummie.” The stinky stuff is the good stuff supposedly… When I was younger my dad would cook stuff that will stink such as beef intestine, sour bamboo, and papaya salad. Of course we were kids and so we were always saying eeww. But after they throw in the herbs....”Ew became Yumm.”

If you could only eat one meal forever, it would be: Rice with Eggs

Favorite food: Chicken Curry “Khauj Poob”

Recommended Reading: Tangled Threads, A Hmong Girl Story by Pegi Deitz Shea

Best meal(s): New Years Food: Sticky Rice with Hmong Sausage, Pork Belly, Papaya and Nam Vam.