Sakura’s Futomaki, Sawatdee’s Holy Basil Supreme, Supatra’s Silver Bean Thread Noodle Salad, Quang’s Sea Bass Noodle Soup, Leeann Chin’s Chicken with Mango, and David Fong’s Chow Mein with Shrimp are just a few of the 160 recipes featured in the new four-color history/cookbook Asian Flavors: Changing the Tastes of Minnesota Since 1875. Published by the Minnesota Historical Press Asian Flavors is now available in bookstores and on amazon.com.
We went into the kitchens of several dozen area Asian restaurants and talked with the chefs, owners and people responsible for bringing the food of the Asia Pacific Rim to Minnesota. It all started in 1875 when the first Asian immigrants came to Minnesota from China and we feature a dish from the first Asian restaurant in Minnesota, the Canton Restaurant opened by the Woo brothers in 1883. It became John’s Place and operated on Sixth Street next door to Murray’s until 1967. Woo Du Sing’s granddaughter and great grandson recreated the recipe for the original John’s Place Special Chow Mein, a delicious combination of chicken and vegetables without using a single drop of soy sauce.
We also went into the kitchens of Asia Pacific Rim home cooks who share their traditional cooking with friends and neighbors to bring you the food of the Philippines including Chicken Adobo, Putos, Vegetarian Egg Rolls, Empanadas and Ube Cake.
We included a variety of recipes used in teaching programs by the Asian Culinary Arts Institutes such as Wok Smoked Duck, Steamed Buns, Pearl Balls, Hunan Pepper Sauce, Noodles with Sesame Sauce, Cantonese Shrimp, Green Beans in Mustard Sauce, Lamb Curry, Spinach Masala, Rice Noodles with Toasted Coconut, Poori, and dozens more.
We illustrated Asian Flavors with more than sixty four-color food photographs and on-site photos by the talented Tom Nelson of tnphoto.com. Jedlicka Design Ltd. designed the book to be attractive, readable and a treasure for years to come. We added a timeline of the introduction of Asian food to Minnesota including familiar names such as Jeno Paulucci, Reiko Weston, Betty Crocker, and the Huie family of Duluth.
Asian Flavors is a culmination of my twenty years as food editor of Asian Pages and the more than 500 articles I wrote for the paper. It is in collaboration with my culinary partner Raghavan Iyer who is also part of the story of Asian food in Minnesota. The book is a tribute to the Asia Pacific Rim community and the wealth of traditions it has brought to Minnesota. We are very excited about Asian Flavors and hope you pick up a copy soon.