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Bringing out the Asian in Me…

by Stephanie Casher on March 17, 2006

I frequently joke that I’m a terrible excuse for a Black person, lol. Truth be told, I’m a pretty terrible excuse for an Asian person as well. I suppose that’s a biproduct of being biracial — you can never fully immerse yourself in any one culture. Lucky for me, my good friend John seems to have made it his personal mission to bring out the Asian in me…

Though he’s not Asian himself (he’s actually Black and White), he sure does know how to cook a lot of Asian food. His stepdad is Filipino and Native American (how’s that for a sweet mix) and John picked up a thing or two growing up with David around. And now he’s passing on his knowledge to me.

Being one of those non-domestic breeds of women, I’ve never been much of a cook. And until I met John, I couldn’t cook a Filipino dish to save my life. Then he taught me how to make Adobo. I’m not going to lie, being able to make Adobo makes me feel like a bonafide Filipina. It’s not Papa’s (which I’m convinced is inimitable), but it’s pretty damn good if I do say so myself.

Last week John came over with the mission to teach me how to make yet another Asian delicacy — gyozas. Gyozas are the Japanese version of potstickers or wontons. And they are freakin’ delicious.

So impressed was I by the feast we whipped up last week, I decided to try and make it myself tonight, to see if what he taught me stuck. Cranked up my new Marc Broussard CD (which I Love!!!), and set to work on food preparation. I started by preparing the filling — a mix of ground beef with garlic, green onions, carrots and cabbage diced as fine as I could manage. I made a pot of brown rice using the rice cooker John was kind enough to give to me. Terrible Asian that I am, I didn’t own one before. Then I roll the beef mixture into the little wrapper thingys to make to wontons – an incredibly time-consuming process. All of a sudden I’m remembering why I don’t cook very often. Once the wontons are rolled, there are several ways to cook them. You can steam them or fry them. I like it both ways, so that’s how I prepared them. Looks good, don’t it? I can assure you, it tasted damn good as well.

So John, on behalf of my future husband and children, thank you for helping me get in touch with my Filipina roots by adding yet another recipe to my limited culinary repertoire… Actually, now that I think about it, weren’t you also the one who taught me how to cook black-eyed peas, cornbread, and collard greens for New Years??? Thanks for keepin’ it balanced buddy :-)

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