Asian cuisine is such a broad topic as Asia is one of the largest seven continents. It is a popular choice of cuisine and widely eaten by Americans. Just count how many fast food Chinese restaurants there are in the country or how many Spice Thai there are in Manhattan alone. Yet I feel Asian cuisine is not given enough credit when it comes to educating readers and viewers. Food Network even cut out the only Asian cuisine show with Ming Tsai. In many food publications Asian-American families are not featured enough or even ever featured in sharing how we celebrate seasonal gatherings.
If anyone who knows how to entertain on a hot summer day in July is my Uncle Tim. His barbques are more than your average burgers and hot dogs but to recognize our American-ess there is pre-brought burgers from Bubba’s and Nathan’s beef frank hot dogs, in which I am not too wild about. Nonetheless Uncle Tim emphasizes our Chinese heritage and throws in plenty of Asian flavors into his grill. Uncle Tim is a successful entrepreneur in the restaurant business and has multiple restaurants in the Tri-state area. If you happen to be in town, stop by at his first born, House of Yeung in Flemington, NJ, the white rice is delicious as it is glazed in vegetable oil. His family gatherings starts from the minute you enter his house in suburban Flemington, New Jersey. It starts off with cocktail hour, with chilled Corona and lime. More than ordinary hors d’eouvres there are dishes of home cooked fried rice, chow fun, store brought sushi, salad and corn on the cob. The amount of food feels like it was the actual party when the party really just had started. Sunset came along and the fire on the grill heated. Other than burgers and hot dogs, if any proteins Chinese loves is seafood! There was grilled tilapia, and what really stood out for the evening was Uncle Tim’s marinated coconut curry shrimps with green peppers and onions, delicious!
From suburban Flemington, New Jersey to the metropolis New York City. Aunt Yi Mei hosts the most extravagant summer gatherings. The location is spectacular with Battery Park and Hudson River as the playground, there are plenty of sports activities to do and much needed to burn off all the calories gained. Aunt Yi Mei was a former head chef in a Long Island Chinese restaurant and is best known for her marinated cuttlefish. For the gathering she used Taipan Bakery as a caterer. Taipan Bakery is better known for their baked goods and cakes. As of the catering it is Asian fusion with enormous portions of fried rice, beef bolognese pasta, fingered size sandwiches, ham wrapped asparagus, corn in mayonnaise, sushi, and fruit tarts. In addition, Aunt Yi Mei prepared a few home cooked dishes this included surf and turf ( Tbone steak and lobsters) and shrimps. She always out does it.
The Asian culture is one of the most family oriented and it is important to continue that tradition regardless how time consumed our society has become with all things plugged habits. Summer is probably my least favorite season of the year with the sticky, humidity and hot weather but cook something refreshing and gather family and/ or friends and you’ll be in good company in life.