She's on a kimchi mission
August 7th, 2014
07:45 AM ET
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For Hannah Chung, at least one element of her parents' culture was something of an acquired taste.
Kimchi - a pungent blend of fermented vegetables and spices - is a staple of the Korean table, and is typically offered amid a series of banchan, or free side dishes that are meant to accompany and complement the main dish.

But for Chung, it was a dish that made her feel removed from the dominant culture, not included.

"I actually rebelled against my parents by refusing to eat kimchi sometimes, and I've actually found out that that's a super common experience among second-generation Koreans," she says.

"I got made fun of for all the foods I ate," Chung, a second-generation Korean-American, recalls. "I didn't want to invite my friends over to my house because my house smelled like kimchi and Korean food, and it was really embarrassing for me."

Read more at Eatocracy's new home on CNN.com

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Filed under: Cultural Identity • Culture • Korea • Korean


Obama arrives in Tokyo, gets down to fishy business
April 23rd, 2014
11:00 AM ET
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President Obama's first mission upon touching down in Tokyo: a fish expedition. Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe joined Obama at Sukiyabashi Jiro, the three Michelin-starred restaurant made (even more) legendary by the 2011 documentary "Jiro Dreams of Sushi."

Jiro Ono, the 86-year-old chef/owner, still presides over every bite of the set menu. Obama seemingly approved, telling the pool of reporters assembled outside: "That's some good sushi right there."

Japan's first state visit by an American president in decades comes as the United States works to reassure Abe and other Asian leaders that the U.S. remains committed to turning foreign policy focus on them. The weeklong tour will also take Obama to South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines.

CNN's Dan Shapiro dined at the three-Michelin-starred restaurant in 2012 and shared a dish-by-dish account of his extraordinary 39-minute, $375 dinner of a lifetime:
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Filed under: Asian • Cuisines • Japan • Japanese • President Obama • Sushi


April 16th, 2014
04:45 PM ET
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(Travel + Leisure) Dim sum calls for dumplings, and about 55,000 are sold annually at State Bird Provisions in San Francisco. But not classics like shrimp-filled har gow. Chefs Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski prefer their dumplings with guinea hen. “Dim sum service offers a slew of freedoms with our cooking,” explains Brioza, whose menu includes steak tartare in lettuce cups.

The pleasure of a dim sum meal also comes from the showmanship and ordering experience. At Seattle’s New Hong Kong, for example, carts glide past diners and attendants raise the lids off steamer baskets, bellowing out what’s inside, whether sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves or garlicky spareribs. It’s all washed down with generous cups of fragrant tea.

Read on for more of America’s best dim sum destinations, and share your favorites in the comments below.
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Filed under: 100 Places to Eat • Asian • Chinese • Restaurants • Travel


Squeeze his finger to let him know how much fugu you want
April 4th, 2014
04:00 PM ET
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Under the bright lights of the waterfront Haedomari warehouse in Shimonoseki, Japan, tails twitch and bodies writhe in defiance of the onset of death.

The floor is awash with seawater as Yoshi Yanagawa moves down a line of 20 boxes, each containing about 15 puffer fish of varying values, lengths and states of coveted plumpness.

"Eeka! Eeka!" he chants, as 20 or so interested parties put their hands up to bid.

The puffer fish, or "fugu" in Japanese, gulp in more air, ballooning out their white belly sacs.
Shimonoseki is Japan's fugu capital.
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Filed under: Asian • Japanese • Stunt


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