About Kimlai



WHO AM I?

I’m an ethnically ambiguous 1/2 Vietnamese 1/2 Caucasian American and the creator of www.EatinAsian.com. My mother was born and raised in Vietnam and my father was born and raised in Pennsylvania. Being bi-racial definitely has its perks. I don’t feel weird taking 15 plastic bags from the Target check out to bag up my one tube of mascara cause hey, that’s what Asians do. I can’t even begin to tell you the number of uses for plastic bags. I can wear one purple sock and one green sock with my orange shorts and a pair of white heels and it’s expected. Then of course there are disadvantages to being biracial. Am I catholic or am I Buddhist? Do I follow the Asian cultural traditions? Is it okay that I don’t know how to play the violin? Why wasn’t I good at math? Why am I the only Asian on the streets of LA who truly is a good driver? And most importantly why do I feel like I need to own a nail salon even though I don’t do nails?

I’ve always been interested in the cuisine and culture of Vietnam but it became a full-fledged obsession when my mom insisted I learn to cook her food, in the event she’s not around some day, that I’m able to create myself a meal and not have to rely on going to restaurants all the time. It was always super important to me to learn about the culture, Viet ingredients and most importantly my moms recipes to stay connected to the Asian side of my ethnicity. Cooking your own food and combining ingredients is an art, it’s therapeutic and it’s about being self-sufficient. Besides, everyone knows no ones cooking is better than mom’s home cooking, no matter what ethnicity you are.

My true understanding and connection to the Vietnamese culture and ingredients came with I traveled to Vietnam with my mom. We were there for a super long time, which allowed me to experience the cuisine firsthand. The variety of fresh ingredients at the street markets and on the water-boats was amazing and so accessible. None of our meals were Americanized, which I was extremely happy about. In my opinion, adjusting an authentic recipe not only takes away the flavor but it doesn’t allow you to truly appreciate or experience the true ingredients indicative to a particular area.

The more knowledgeable I became with ingredients and cooking styles heightened my expectations when I go out to eat and when I’m cooking for family and friends. My palate has definitely become more sophisticated.

I created EATINASIAN because I wanted to share my knowledge of Asian food. EA guest bloggers write about their own experiences with the Asian culture, we share great restaurant reviews and we feature how to videos from the EatinAsian kitchen facility at Snyder Diamond Kitchen. It’s a melting pot for people interested in Asian cuisine and culture. It really has become a first hand look into a culture that simply put, can be a bit misunderstood.

If you have a burning question about the Asian culture, a favorite restaurant, a fabulous cooking tip…let me know. We’ve got the answer.

Chow!