If your family is Asian or if you’ve spent any time with Asian friends, you’ll know that food is a central part of the family dynamic. Some might even call it… dominating. Can you relate to any of the following?

Your family vacations revolved around planning the next meal.


Photo by Abigail Wilkins

Because let’s face it: eating is the best part. Going to Vegas? Instead of buying tickets to see The Blue Man Group, you knew your time and money were better spent at the Buffet of Buffets: an epic 24-hour challenge to consume as many crab legs, pistachio gelatos and red velvet pancakes as possible. (Pro tip: Take it easy at breakfast.)

And while on vacation, you knew your priorities.


Photo by Teodora Maftei

Priority numero uno: NEVER let dad get hungry. You and your siblings have developed an X-ray sense for dad’s “hungry face.” The second his eyes start darting back and forth and his leg starts bouncing, you’ve got 15 minutes to get him seated in a 5-star, authentic Taiwanese restaurant. Max.

Fighting for the bill is totally a thing.

You better polish up your mediating skills because there’s no way Uncle is letting your dad pay for dinner. Civilized conversation can quickly escalate into high-tension, dumplings-all-over-the-Lazy-Susan cat brawl as the stronger man snags the bill in a heroic leap.

Your first Thanksgiving home from college was spent entirely at the kitchen table.


Photo courtesy of seriouseats.com

Hand-pulled noodles. Homemade mango seafood curry. Remember those dishes that you “didn’t like” in high school? No such thing anymore. Stir-fried chives, get in me.

But after a few semesters, you’ve learned to recreate tastes of home.


Photo by Nancy Chen

Scarcity breeds creativity. With a sunny-side-up off the grill, tomatoes from the salad bar, soy sauce, sesame oil and brown rice, you and the d-hall microwave can reproduce fanqie chao dan with authenticity that rivals your mom’s version.

Craving Chinese food? Check out these top eats in Boston: