“You know, I’ve never spoken with an Asian before.”
I was perplexed more than anything. The statement was from a colleague. A colleague whom I didn’t know well, a colleague whom I had just met and whom I was engaged in rather pleasant small talk with prior to his sudden proclamation that I was the first Asian he had ever spoken with.
I was perplexed. Yes, I was offended because I’m not a different species, dude, so how has this experience been for you? But more than anything I was perplexed because we are literally everywhere, where do you live such that there is no Asian shop or restaurant in the vicinity?!
I was therefore not entirely surprised when our company suddenly enforced upon its staff compulsory “cultural sensitivity” classes. I’ve had worse experiences, of course, but that was particular for it did not have a trace of malevolence as it was pure ignorance, which isn’t excusable either.
So, I hope you’ve personally spoken with Asian people, I hope you have Asian friends and I hope you’ve had Asian food. I also hope that you’ve tried fusion food, like this, that merges together cultures and breaks down walls because food is the thing that we all have in common but is so different region to region and if you’re interested in the food and you want to learn about it you learn about the people.
So here’s an Asian chicken salad. I love the dressing, take the dressing and put it on everything.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit
1 inch piece ginger, grated
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp white miso paste
2 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp honey
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 chicken breasts, poached and meat shredded (alternatively get 1 rotisserie chicken, remove skin and shred meat)
1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped
1/2 head of lettuce, sliced into ribbons
Toasted sesame seeds, for serving
Whisk together the ginger, soy sauce, tahini, miso, fish sauce, sesame oil, honey, mayonnaise and lemon juice together.
Toss dressing chicken and coriander. Place on top of lettuce, add toasted sesame seeds, and toss everything together when you serve so the lettuce gets the dressing as well.