By Adrian Danganan
The 34th Asian American Expo was held at Fairplex Pomona on Jan. 17 and 18. The annual trade showfeatured hundreds of vendors (mostly Asian), and aimed to link businesses to consumers. The event boasted activities for all ages, food courts and performances, making the Asian American Expo fun for the whole family.
What won me over, however, was the food.
The expo housed an array of food vendors, with many of them touching on different Asian cuisines. From the popular Chinese stinky tofu to tasty Japanese tonkotsu ramen, the Asian American Expo had enough food to keepeven the most pickiest eaters satisfied.
With that said, as soon as I arrived, I headed straight for the food.
Among the vendors were the folks behindthe Original Ramen Burger. After trying a few knockoffs, I was finally presented with the real deal, and oh boy, it proved them all to be frauds.
With cooked ramen noodles substituting as hamburger buns, a ground beef chuck patty, a sweet shoyu sauce, fresh arugula and green onions, the Original Ramen Burgeris truly the epitome of Asian fusion cuisine.
I also tried yang rou chuan, or lamb skewers. The vendor selling the skewers had the longest lines of the night. After trying a skewer, I could see why. The popular Chinese street food is grilled on the spot with cumin and chili spices. When served, customersare encouraged to sprinkle more cumin and spices on top before consuming. The skewer is deliciously aromatic and meaty.
I ended the night with takoyaki, a Japanese favorite. Considered a staple Japanese snack, takoyakiis usually cooked in a special ball-shaped pan, and handled delicately with each turn. The result is ball-shaped finger food stuffed with octopus, pickled ginger, green onions and tempura crumbs. Overall, the snack is quite dish and surprisingly dense.
What’s great about Asian cuisine is its cultural diversity. Each region presents their own offerings, whether it’s ingredient or technically based, and embraces it fully.
I’ve still got a long way to go with experiencing Asian cuisine. The expo simply gave me a taste of what Asian cuisine offers. It may take mea lifetimeto even experience half of its delicacies.
Butone thing is for sure: Asian cuisine is pretty darn good.
The Poly Post
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