The older I get, the more pride I get in my beautiful country and its beautiful cuisine. Born and raised in Vietnam, I must say …
Growing up, I had all of these expectations set by my parents, my teachers, and my peers. I was one of the smarter students in my classes, I never found my work too difficult, and I spent free time being tutored outside of school to make sure I stayed ahead and my skills were sharp. My parents expected me to do well because they always pushed me to strive to be the very best I could be. Everyone else, however, assumed I would succeed because it was simply expected of “that smart Asian student.”
The Model Minority, as defined by teachingtolerance.org, is a myth based on stereotypes. In relation to the Asian American community, this defines us as individuals with gifted intelligence or skills, strong work ethics, and high obedience towards their elders.
With Summer coming to an end, it’s only right to write about one of my favorite ice cream treats! In the Philippines, they serve “Halo-Halo,” which translates to “mixed.” This dessert is the Filipino version of shave ice topped with evaporated milk and piled high with yummy toppings like sweet beans, coconut jellies, fruits, and ube (purple yam) ice cream! The best part about making halo halo is customizing it however you like – it’s like going to one of those ice cream places with the topping bars! Some of my favorite summer memories were spending Saturdays with my cousins in the pool. My aunt would walk over with a tray of cups of halo-halo.
Birtherism, like the Coronavirus-related racism, is rooted in the perpetual foreigner stereotype. The term birtherism refers to the political obsession with the birthplace of Former President Barack Obama and his personal background, his religion in particular. One of the most vocal proponents of birtherism was President Donald Trump. He’s now recycling birtherism and adapting it to the recent Democratic Nominee for Vice President, Senator Kamala Harris. The conspiracy argues that Senator Kamala Harris may not be a citizen because both of her parents were immigrants, and depending on their immigration status at the time of her birth, she might not qualify. Senator Harris, who could be not only the first female Vice President but also the first Black and Asian American to fill the role. She was born in Oakland, California to her father Donald Harris of Jamaica, and her mother Shyamala Gopalan of India.
In the first-ever Dish it Out segment, Emilie and Zach discuss their favorite foods from their cultures growing up. For Emilie, she shares a delicious description of Filipino Lumpia. Check out her recipe for Lumpiang Shanghai here. Zach shares his favorite, Char Siu Bao, or Chinese roasted BBQ pork buns. Check out the recipe for Char Siu Bao on our website here.
As a young Asian American, I didn’t have many other Asian faces to look up to. I spent my younger years obsessed with Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan because they were some of the few famous Asian roll models that we heroes on screen. But there was always one hero on TV: Grant Imahara.
How can beans be a dessert? How could they be sweet? These are the questions my friend Daniella asked me when I tried to convince her she needed to try something with red bean paste. Daniella is of Puerto Rican descent and moved around between Spain, Miami, and Southern California, where she developed in a love for Asian food. But when I tried to convince her to try red bean desserts, she immediately associated red beans with Puerto Rican beans.
Puerto Rican beans are also red but unlike Adzuki beans, they’re usually prepared stewed with spices and vegetables to go with rice…not quite a dessert (but still delicious!) I promised her that red bean paste from Adzuki beans is nothing like Puerto Rican red beans. I told her to think of it like a third bean flavor to chocolate and vanilla because those are both beans too!
Lumpiang Shanghai, or “lumpia” for short – the crunchy, savory, bite-sized appetizer that’s always the crowd-pleaser. When it comes to this Filipino-style egg roll, this …
My boys were growing weary of our meals at home and missed buying baos every Sunday in Chinatown. Char Siu Bao is one of those things which I am just nostalgic for. As often as we can when we go back out to NY, we hit up spots like Mei Lei Wah and Hop Shing for dim sum and at least a dozen of their baos to take home. It is a taste of my childhood. The baos are fluffy and sweet and the meat to filling ratio is just right with the crunch of sautéd onions. That being said I like recreating flavors. The char siu is a recipe passed down to me from my mom, I’ve picked up other recipes and techniques from chefs and home cooks alike. Nothing beats mom’s. It’s a tried and true dish in our household.
The new surge in hate towards Asians and Asian Americans is based on the premise that Asian Americans cannot be equated to a real American. We’ll always be foreigners, despite our birthplace, citizenship status, and contributions to society, and culture. The idea that people of Asian descent cannot be American stems from the notion that to be “ethnically” American, you must be Black or White. Nevermind that I was born in Pennsylvania, miles from Independence Hall and I’ve never left the country. For those in the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI), and many in the Latinx community, we’re left out of the picture of what an American looks like.