Celebrate Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month by taking a culinary journey through Asia and the Pacific Islands. Cook up an at-home version of kalua pork from Hawaii; enjoy noodle dishes from Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines; make your own better-than-takeout orange chicken; or serve up a comforting fish curry from Fiji. And if you have a sweet tooth, we’ve got you covered with Samoan coconut rolls and an Australian children’s favorite, fairy bread.
1. Vietnamese chicken salad with rice noodles
This salad is chock-full of crunchy vegetables, fresh herbs and chicken and tossed in a homemade dressing. Lindsay, author of the blog Pinch of Yum, says that the rice noodles and fish sauce are essential.
Pancit is a common Filipino noodle dish, and every family has its own version. This recipe includes chicken, but other common variations include pork, shrimp or even Chinese sausage. We love that the blog author uses a pre-shredded coleslaw mix, which saves a lot of chopping! Read the full post at A Healthy Makeover.
A tangy stir fry made with ramen-like noodles, yakisoba is popular street food in Japan. This recipe from the blog Cooking With Amber is vegetarian, but you can easily add meat to this dish. Using bottled yakisoba sauce makes this recipe easy.
4. Fijian fish curry
Fijian food culture includes a blend of flavors from other countries, especially India. Fish is a staple protein, making this dish a perfect example of Fijian cuisine. If spices such as turmeric aren’t a part of your spice cabinet, consider getting just a bit from the bulk spices section at the grocery store instead of purchasing a whole bottle. A pinch of ground cinnamon can be substituted for the cinnamon stick. Read the full post at Tara's Multicultural Kitchen.
5. Crockpot kalua pork
If you’ve ever been to Hawaii and attended a luau, you might have tasted kalua pork, a pulled pork dish that is slow-cooked in an underground oven. Luckily, you don't need to dig a hole in your backyard to create this succulent dish at home — just use your slow cooker. Even better, it takes just three ingredients, and one of them is salt. Read the full post at Pineapple and Coconut.
6. Chinese scallion pancakes
This simple recipe for savory Chinese pancakes can be made in a single bowl and then fried in a skillet. All the ingredients are easy to source and it's a cinch to pull together. These delicious pancakes would be great for breakfast or dinner. Tina, the recipe blogger likes to serve them for breakfast with a fried egg on top. Yum! Check out the full recipe on her blog The Worktop.
7. Pani popo (Samoan coconut rolls)
Delicious for breakfast, dessert or just an afternoon snack, these sweet rolls will hit the spot. You can make them with from-scratch or frozen dinner rolls. Either way, this ooey gooey bread will be a crowd-pleaser. Read the full post at Fav Family Recipes.
8. Malaysian sweet potato doughnuts
These sweet potato doughnuts are Malaysians' favorite sugar fix for breakfast or afternoon tea. They are made without yeast, but they are deep-fried just like a regular donut. These fried treats can be served warm sprinkled with sugar and a cup of coffee on the side. Read the full post at My Keuken.
9. Fairy bread
Since fairy bread was mentioned in a 1920s newspaper article in Australia, the whimsical snack has been a favorite at children's birthday parties. Best made with store-bought white bread, this colorful treat will brighten your kiddo's day. Read the full post at The Spruce Eats.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in May 2020, and updated in May 2022.