An FOB feeling happy after reading Eddie Huang’s Fresh Off the Boat


It starts with the food bullying that I feel I can relate to Eddie Huang‘s story. Cleverly, he begins the book with dimsum, so that got my interest, but he talked about dimsum for less than 2 pages. The food bullying though, where his classmates said that his food smelled bad, that he wanted the white kid lunches, that’s where my memories came back. The bully for me wasn’t in school and wasn’t by the kids. Comments, always by adults and mostly white females, that the food my mom made made the house smell bad, or the stuff I eat or drink that they haven’t heard of, much less tried, is “gross”, are this pet peeve of mine that I can’t forgive. Sure, they may not be intended to hurt me or anyone specifically, but they’re never well-meaning. They are too minute to confront the speaker about, so I have no way to tell the speaker that she’s disrespecting my whole culture. They are the papercut stings that you feel every time you wash your hands. Eddie Huang and I don’t have anything in common, except we both being born to Asian parents. […]

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The Hawker Fare take on Southeast Asian cooking

For a foodie, I dare say nothing beats dining with other foodies. Foodies want to try new places but have a fair assessment of the food, regardless of “the trend”. The food can be scraps and you’d still have a good time dissecting how that kind of scraps made its way into a diner. But more importantly, you’re not the only one taking pictures of food, your companions also remember what you got and write about it too. In his calm, knowledgeable, matter-of-fact way, Bob Fukushima beat me to writing about Hawker Fare today, which drives me to push this post ahead of the other thirty backlogged. First, the credit must go to Robert Bergstrom for recommending this lunch spot in Oakland. He and Bob are barbecue buddies. How I got to know Rob is another post. We sat and chilled over rice bowls, among other things, for more than 2 hours; I could almost feel the sneer from the line of customers waiting to get seated. Hawker Fare opened in late May, why they have such busy lunch time is probably because of their off-the-norm, concise menu […]

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