Tag Archives: asian food

A Bite of Culture – Food as a Reflection of the People

By Emily Kim

Every country has its own unique cuisine. This is why, often enough, one of the first questions we ask someone who has returned from a trip is, “How was the food?” More than visiting a country’s famous sites and attractions, I like to travel to new places to try their food. Throughout my life, I have realized that food is so much more than delicious substances that fill one’s stomach. Rather, just like language, music, or any other aspect of culture, food can reveal so much about the country from which it originates. Three cultures (and therefore food) have dominated my life and, together, they have defined my identity. Allow me to explain.

Whenever I return to America after travelling, I am always shocked by the enormous portion sizes. Everything is unnecessarily huge! In addition, there are always so many choices on the menu that it is hard to decide just what to order. On top of all the choices, there are also so many sides as well! Salad, soup, and fries, just to name a few. There are so many elements, but they are all clearly separate entities. And while this nature of American food may be overwhelming at times, I think it sheds light on various aspects of American culture. We Americans like things big and feel constrained by limitations. It also reveals our individualistic nature as well; we like the power to choose and respect the boundaries we establish between things like work and play, friends and acquaintances. Lastly, one cannot forget the diversity of American cuisine. In the States, you can find authentic food from everywhere! This is only fitting, for America is a melting pot, home to people from all over the world.

Korean food also reveals so much about the Korean culture, the culture of my ethnicity. In a traditional Korean meal there are usually one or two main dishes accompanied by numerous side dishes. Instead of each person ordering their own dish, the whole party will share all of the food on the table; it is too much for one person to enjoy all by him or herself. This manner of eating reveals the communal nature of Korean culture. There is great emphasis on generosity and hospitality, and one of the biggest ways this is expressed is through food! Korean food can also be very interesting and creative. On the streets of Korea, you will find traditional foods transformed and adapted into dishes you would never expect. Take the french fry battered corn-dog or bulgogi pizza for example. It mixes old with new, often producing a combination that makes both even better. This reflects a progressive side to Korean culture and its emphasis on innovation.

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626 Night Market

By Bryan Lee

Here in SoCal, we hold the largest Asian-themed night market in the U.S, the 626 Market! For those of you who are unfamiliar with night markets, these immersive events contain numerous vendors that serve a assortment of food, with our very own numbering upwards of 250 vendors! From traditional asian street food to fusion-styled treats that are familiar to the Angeleno palette. Not only that, the 626 Market offers local vendors outside of food, like various art and entertainment. The locations change too, with markets popping up in Arcadia, K-Town, Orange County, and more!  

Photo by Frédéric Poirot on Flickr

If you’ve come from Taiwan, you’ll feel right at home here, and even if you haven’t, you’ll be able to experience and enjoy something completely new and exciting! This is a place to eat a lot of amazing food, to immerse yourself in traditional Asian culture, to learn more about local businesses and artists, and ultimately to have a great time. The night market has a lot to offer and is definitely a great place to visit with your friends or family!

Photo by Frédéric Poirot on Flickr
Photo by Frédéric Poirot on Flickr

Here is the website to check out locations, as well as the dates that each location is hosting 626: http://www.626nightmarket.com/

Featured image by tofuprod on Flickr

Bryan Lee is a senior in the animation program at USC! He was born and raised in Southern California so he knows a lot about the culture and lifestyle here on the west coast. Bryan enjoys a lot of things like Italian food, music/concerts, and all types of movies and tv shows. As an animator, his favorite hobbies are to draw and just to talk about art, however, he also enjoys a lot of hiking, basketball, and many other kinds of sports. Bryan also has had experience as a Taekwondo instructor and referee, an art teacher, and working at the 626 Night market near here in Arcadia.

Chinese New Year Away From Home

By Colette Au

Chinese New Year, arguably the most important event in the Chinese calendar, is a momentous occasion in Chinese culture. As an American-born Chinese (ABC), I have celebrated this tradition for as long as I can remember. We feasted on steamed fish garnished with green onions and ginger slices, and New Year’s cake: a steamed, chewy sweet made from glutinous rice flour, slab sugar, and water. At night, my parents would leave the lights in our house on. Perhaps a long time ago, superstitions dictated that the house should be lit to guide the gods of good luck and prosperity, but now the tradition persists as the lore has faded away. For me, celebrating Chinese New Year has always been about eating together with my family. Receiving red packets with crisp dollar bills inside is an added perk, but after leaving home and moving to USC, I miss the familiar foods we used to celebrate the new year.

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