My culinary journey through Asia: After

Over the last 16 weeks, I’ve blogged every week about Asian food. I’ve discovered new recipes, culture, traditions and even a few things about my family that didn’t know before. So, what have I learned? I’ve learned that there’s so much more to learn about Asian cuisine. There’s a lot more to Asia that I…

American Chinese cuisine | Springfield-Style Cashew Chicken

I can’t talk about Asian-inspired food without discussion the Americanized Asian food that has swept the nation. General Tso (real name Zuo Zongtang) never ate the dish that was named after him; he died almost 100 years before it was invented. The earliest mentions of crab Rangoon come from the West Coast in the 1950s….

Thailand’s Songkran

Songkran was celebrated throughout Thailand this week. It is the time set aside to celebrate the Thai New Year and commonly features the themes of water, spring and renewal. A friend of mine who lives in Thailand shared photos of her daughter, toting a pink, backpack-styled canteen with a connecting pump and sprayer. She is…

Korean BBQ | Beef Bulgogi

Bulgogi may be one of the best damned things I ever ate. Maybe it’s because I enjoy a good cut of beef or delicious marinade. Beef bulgogi has flavor unlike any American barbecue. However, Westerners shouldn’t be too unfamiliar with the process of making bulgogi, as the methods are similar to any other barbecued meat….

Filippino holiday treats | Mango Float

It’s Easter weekend, and I took on the responsibility of cooking for the family. I wondered if there would be a way to incorporate an Asian dish into Easter lunch. At first, I was unsure, because Christianity is not the majority religion in many Asian counties. In Thailand, it’s Buddhism. Japan? Shintoism. India? Hinduism. Many…

Asian Table Manners | Part 3 – Chopsticks

This final week looking into Asian table manners explores chopsticks. Despite the Thai culture not predominantly using the utensil, my family did use chopsticks with noodle dishes. Practically any East-Asian inspired restaurant in the U.S. comes with the option to use chopsticks, yet there are fewer who can even operate a set. But there is…

Asian Table Manners | Part 2

Last week, I began the exploration of cultures and traditions of the Asian dinner table. While there were some consistencies among different countries’ traditions. Some were more specific than others. Thus, I present a glorious breakdown of the basic table manners, by country. Asia is a large continent, so I will primarily stick with South,…

Asian table manners | Part 1

Last week, I learned that ritual is significantly important to Asian cuisine. It got me thinking about table manners. Growing up, the acceptable table manners for the Asian dinner table were not the same as the ones I needed with my American grandmother. Slurping, for example, was perfectly acceptable with my Thai mother. She believed…

Japan’s Tea Cuisine | Green Tea Ice Cream & Shiratama Dango

Sharing the sweets of their home country, a group of 16 Japanese exchange students, visiting the University of Missouri for a month-long English immersion program, hosted an event with MU’s Asian Affairs Center that offered a dessert whose ingredients are the epitome of Japanese history and culture. The students from Kokugakuin University made and served…

Navigating an Asian food store

Recently, my dad showed me a Yelp review from 2012 of the Asian grocery store my family frequented when I was a child.He thought it was funny. Below is an excerpt from this person’s 1-star review: When I arrived it was 10 am, their opening time. I stood there baking in the hot sun for…

Soup Gelatin

Soup gelatin forms the liquid base for steamed dumplings. I tried to figure a way around it. But it was the only ingredient that could make the soup base. I tried looking for it in the store pre-made. No such luck. I looked online and found recipes that required animals bones, homemade stock and consomme….