This is why Asians are kicking butt on YouTube: We have a bunch of talented Asian Americans cutting loose with hilarious videos online.
This latest from the Fung Bros had me cracking up throughout, and drooling with hunger at the same time. Comedians Andrew and David Fung had the brilliant idea of buying 400 pieces of Mighty Wings from McDonald’s and then, with some friends joining in the fun, they started chowing through the wings using a variety of Asian sauces.
Some of the taste tests are hilarious (wasabi, for instance, which isn’t really a sauce, and in spite of what the Japanese woman says as the Fungs chomp on wings slathered with the stuff, isn’t used on everything in Japan…).
The video is a tour through Asian cuisines, and it’s a fine example of how Asian America overlaps — and sometimes clashes with — Asian culture. It made me hungry and want to go out and buy a few boxes of Mighty Wings and try adding sauces that aren’t in the video, like Tonkatsu sauce and Hot Mustard.
Recently a Seattle sushi restaurant, Mashiko, posted an open letter on its website saying that people who criticize the restaurant for having non-Japanese employees sushi are bigots.
“Stop being an ignorant racist,” the letter said, after noting that the restaurant is Japanese-owned and there are Japanese as well as non-Japanese staff. The letter also defends one of the restaurant’s most popular chefs, a Caucasian woman, who’s worked there for 12 years and has a loyal and devoted following.
“Should you refuse her fare based on her gender or race, you are an absolute fool,” the letter states.
I feel for the staff and owners of Mashiko, and I’m surprised that diners in such a great foodie town as Seattle would be so unsophisticated that they’d make decisions on food quality just on a racial basis.
Still, I think this is a much more complicated discussion than just bigotry (though that’s part of it, for sure).
Brilliant, smart, funny, right on and righteous. Makes me wish I live in LA, and could shop at 99 Ranch anytime I want. I love this video. I love all the food in this video (will have to try the couple of things I’m not familiar with).
Kudos to The Fung Brothers David and Andrew, and singer AJ Rafael for some sunny summer Share. Forward. Embed.
Forget Pace Picante Sauce, which used to make a big deal of being made in San Antonio instead of phony salsas made in New York City. Forget San Antonio as well as New York City. Look no further than Pueblo and Boulder, Colorado.
Boulder-based entrepreneur Kei Izawa and his partner, Jason Takaki, are launching a new product this weekend that really isn’t new at all. Karami is a Japanese American twist on salsa that tastes pretty great on a lot of food including chips, meats and fish, but its origins are as a Japanese side dish, the kind you might see served next to rice.
Karami, which means “beautiful heat,” has a salty, savory vegetable base that’s enhanced with a subtly sweet flavor and a mildly spicy kick. You can’t put a finger on one overarching taste, which makes it a perfect example of the Japanese word, “umami,” which translates as “pleasant savory taste” and is considered one of the five basic tastes following sweet, sour, bitter and salty. It’s a Japanese concept that’s perfectly embodied in a spoonful of Karami.
What makes it Japanese American, not Japanese?
Jennifer 8 Lee, a NYT reporter who wrote a wonderful book about the origins of Chinese food (specifically the fortune cookie, which is Japanese, not Chinese) called “The Fortune Cookie Chronicles,” wrote a HuffingtonPost piece about the way Asian cuisines fuse with American tastes. The essay is worth a read, and the 16-minute video about Chinese food is definitely worth watching.