So what makes a food “Asian”? From my years of living in Canada I’ve compiled a list of many ingredients that will earn the qualifier “Asian” in your next creation.
I’ve also noticed that many health food stores and health-conscious restaurants have Asian options, which are also never found in “real Asia.” (This distinction is starting to sound very absurd, I know.) Crudessence, a raw restaurant in Montreal, has a salad dressing called “Fat Free Tibet.” Those people in Tibet are so healthy! Must be all that political turmoil that keeps them on their toes and leading to a fat-free life that we North Americans are so desperate to achieve.
Now, I’m not wrting all this to say that all fusion food is bad, or that we should only eat “authentic” Asian food, or that Asia is the only victim of mangled representation in food culture. But it does seem strange to be drowning and exotifying a diverse continent of taste in a vat of fat-free sea of soy sauce.
But I do admit that making “Asian” food is so much easier than making traditional Korean food – after all, soy sauce is only two blocks away, whereas gochujang is about 3 metro stops away. Just don’t tell my mom about it, okay?