First, and foremost, I am a Korean American woman, born and raised in Chicago, Illinois.

I am daughter, a sister, a girlfriend.

I am also an attorney. For the vast majority of the day (and many nights), I litigate things. I defend against lawsuits of every variety, I counsel Fortune 200 companies on how to avoid or get out of lawsuits, I write very aggressive emails, I argue.

How does this relate to food, you ask?

“The Korean Vegan hopes her 60-second recipe will make you less racist.” –Salon

“A lawyer by day, long-distance runner by morning, and author-slash-blogger by night …, Molinaro has a characteristic efficiency that made her a natural on the short-form video platform….” Healthy-ish by Bon Appetit Magazine

With nearly 1 million followers on her 3-month old TikTok, Joanne Molinaro, also known as The Korean Vegan, has appeared on The Food Network and Al Jazeera English, been featured in Salon, Healthy-ish by Bon Appetit, and the Kitchn, and will release her debut cookbook + memoir with Penguin Random House next fall.

Molinaro is a Korean American woman, born in Chicago, Illinois. Her parents were both born in what is now known as North Korea.  Molinaro started her blog, The Korean Vegan, in 2016, after adopting a plant-based diet. In July 2020, she started her TikTok (@thekoreanvegan), mostly as a coping mechanism for the isolation caused by the global pandemic.  She began posting content related to politics and life as a lawyer during quarantine.  However, after a single post of her making Korean braised potatoes for dinner (while her husband taught a piano lesson in the background) went viral, Molinaro shifted her attention to producing 60 second recipe videos, while telling stories about her family—immigrants from what is now known as North Korea.  In three months, she has amassed more than 900,000 followers and tens of millions of views.