The idea of fusion food can be cringey, conjuring ’90s-era tendencies the place East-fulfills-West flavors collided on the plate (wasabi mashed potatoes, anyone?). But for all those of us residing across cultures, culinary overlap is a pure expression of identity—and preferences just proper.
Marinara-doused somyeon noodles. Meatballs seasoned with sesame oil and soy sauce. Pizza with kimchi on the side, always. If you are a little one of immigrants, like I am, these varieties of cross-cultural combos could audio familiar. When I was rising up in New York Metropolis, I had obtain to a thrilling bounty of food items: charred lamb gyros, beautifully spiced Jamaican patties, and succulent pernil.
This exposure formed my tastes—as did the common Korean cooking I appreciated at dwelling. My loved ones blended Asian flavors into virtually everything we ate sometimes it felt like a concession (at times you just want a simple outdated Sloppy Joe like any other child, you know?). But nowadays that very same impulse is almost a trend: I’ve noticed gochujang on chain cafe menus and bulgogi taco kits at the supermarket. I did not take pleasure in again then how lucky I was to be swimming in so lots of culinary traditions at once. Now I do. For quite a few of us, mixing cuisines is neither pattern nor compromise it is a normal aspect of cooking in our multicultural kitchens.
So consider these recipes a adore letter to my more youthful self, a melding of typical dishes and flavors from my childhood: Kalbi jjim is married with Jewish braised brisket, miso swirled into chocolate chip cookies. Not fusion, but not not fusion. It is all common foodstuff, rooted in comfort and ease and nostalgia—neither listed here nor there but seemingly, and now easily, all over the place.