A new take on an old tradition: Asian-American

By Annie Dang, Staff Writer

If you wanted to know what an Asian Thanksgiving looks like, let me tell you. It starts with EX- and ends with -TRA.

Last year, the spread went as follows: lobster claw, clam chowder bread bowls, strawberry salad, bread rolls, stolen butter packets from Texas Roadhouse, a golden turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, potato salad, a slow-cooked honey ham, green bean casserole, homemade sushi, bún thịt nướng (grilled meat with vermicelli noodles), Vietnamese sugarcane shrimp, Vietnamese shrimp salad, pecan pie, and apple pie.

Not what you expected right? This culture mashup of Asian-American culture is the answer to the question I’ve been asked a thousand times before: “What do you guys eat for Thanksgiving?”

What you see above definitely doesn’t go for all Asian families, but I know that mine has tried very hard to introduce more American dishes. Every year, I tell my mom about new dishes she can make like the grandness of green bean casserole or the ever sensational shepherd’s pie. As you can see though, we also never forget where we came from. The Western dishes are always accompanied by Vietnamese dishes that remind us of home.

So, if you’re wondering what we eat, never fear. Our Thanksgiving meal has become a blend of both cultures, and I am thankful for it.  I know that I’m blessed to get such a meal, so if anyone wants to come feast with us, we’re more than happy to have you.

So, to answer your questions, our thanksgiving meals are giant mash up of what it means to be Vietnamese American. And, don’t worry, this food does not go to waste. I eat leftovers for weeks and I’m pretty sure this is so my mother and aunties never have to cook again.

PHOTO: Courtesy photo,