Nina Coomes

Instructor & Writer
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Nina Li Coomes is a Japanese and American writer, currently living in Chicago, IL. Her writing has appeared in EATER, The  Collapsar, and  RHINO Poetry among other places. Her debut chapbook haircut poems was published by Dancing Girl Press in 2017.


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Cover Photo: Photograph by Jason Briscoe/Unsplash
You’re Going to Be Cared For: A Recipe for Braised Chicken Thighs

A Le Creuset Dutch oven telegraphs contentment and cheer—but for me, mine is a token of complicated bitterness and longing.

Jan 05, 2023
Cover Photo: Photograph via Apple TV+
‘Bad Sisters’ Captures the Intensity of Having and Being a Sister

My sister is not my best friend. She is my sister. Those are fundamentally different relationships.

Nov 01, 2022
Cover Photo: Photograph by  Pexels/cottonbro
I’ll Teach You Everything I Know: A Recipe for Ninjin-gohan

What a gift it is to be asked to feed a person, but what a further gift for that person to ask if they might be taught to make what you make.

Jun 30, 2022
Cover Photo: Illustration by Sirin Thada for Catapult
I Love You by Remembering What You Hate: A Recipe for Herby Salad

I find joy in being let into the idiosyncrasies of someone’s taste.

Apr 14, 2022
Cover Photo: Illustration by Sirin Thada for Catapult
This is How a Friendship Ends: A Recipe for Miso Ginger Carrot Bisque

This is an essay about soup, but it is also about friendship. Or rather, this is an essay about soup and how a friendship ends.

Mar 10, 2022
Cover Photo: closeup photograph of kodomo-don (egg with onion and  other seasonings over white rice, topped with slivered nori) in a white bowl
Between Parent and Child: A Recipe for Kodomo-Don

I call it 子供丼 (kodomo-don), because it is only egg over rice. Something about it is simple, one rank lower in maturity than an adult dish.

Oct 19, 2021
Cover Photo: a heap of spaghetti  noodles tossed with mushrooms, garlic, and topped with what appears to be shredded seaweed, resting in a shallow blue and white striped bowl
For Anxious Loneliness: A Recipe for Mushroom Wafu Spaghetti

In adolescence, weekend lunches meant fending for ourselves. On certain Saturdays, my sister and I ate wafu spaghetti together.

Sep 08, 2021
Cover Photo: illustration of a young woman with long black hair sitting on a red sofa in a white bathrobe, holding a spoon in one hand and a bowl of vegetable tuna curry with rice in the other
Feed Yourself Like Someone You Love: A Recipe for Summer Vegetable Tuna Curry

The trick to a good nostalgic curry rice is to finish it with honey. Just a drizzle at first.

Jul 21, 2021
Cover Photo: illustration of Edward and Alphonse from Fullmetal Alchemist
FMA and Me: Reckoning With Anime as Japanese and American

The affectations of white anime enthusiasts made me feel fake, confusing my yearning for the language and familiarity I craved.

Jun 09, 2021
Cover Photo: Screencap from PEN15/Lonely Island Classics/Hulu
On Skinship

An ode to bathtubs, ‘PEN15,’ and the women in my life.

Jan 27, 2021