Reporter Jennifer 8. Lee talks about her hunt for the origins of familiar Chinese-American dishes — exploring the hidden spots where these two cultures have (so tastily) combined to form a new cuisine.

The possessor of the best byline in the New York Times, Jennifer 8. Lee reports on culture and city life. Her latest book is The Fortune Cookie Chronicles.

Jennifer 8. Lee is a reporter for the New York Times, starting with the paper as a tech writer for the Circuits section. She’s now a metropolitan reporter for the paper, turning in sparkling and intricately reported stories of city life. NPR called her a “conceptual scoop” artist — finding and getting details on new lifestyle trends that we all want to talk about.

Her fascination with American Chinese food led her to research and write The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, in which she solves some of the enduring mysteries around this indigenous cuisine, including such questions as: “Who is General Tso and why are we eating his chicken?” and “Why do Jews eat Chinese food on Christmas?”