Tag Archive | "Publisher Ng’s blog"

BLOG: A cheap father’s day

By Assunta Ng

I can’t believe that so few people want to honor their dads on Father’s Day. Some men are great dads, but restaurants are complaining that they don’t get much business on Father’s Day. Not many long distance calls will be made on Father’s Day either, even though Mother’s Day is one of the most popular calling days in America! Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 32 No 25 | 6/15-6/21Comments (0)

BLOG: Iron Chefs fight with Asian fusion dishes

BLOG: Iron Chefs fight with Asian fusion dishes

By Assunta Ng

Judges Darcy Northnagle, Rob McKenna, Assunta Ng, and Peter Vessenes (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

How to play

Not too many Asian Americans celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with a splash of fun, thrills, and originality. But Jinyoung Englund did just that on May 30.

Englund, a former Dino Rossi campaign staffer from the 2010 U.S. Senate campaign, has a flair for creating entertainment as well as bringing people together.

Englund and a group of young Asian-American and mainstream professionals organized themselves into a group called Dynasty and planned  a reception at the upscale Club Cielo at Escala, a downtown facility topped with condos that sell for over a million bucks, to celebrate API Heritage Month. The fancy club, according to organizers, fits young Asian Americans professional’s lifestyles.

Englund themed the event, “Iron Chef —Asian Fusion Cuisine” because, after all, we Asian Americans are foodies.

The event organizers produced an odd judging team. In addition to myself, judges were former Attorney General Rob McKenna; Peter Vessenes, CEO of CoinLab; and Darcy Northnagle, government relations manager at Google.

Who can be an Iron Chef judge

As you can see from the judging panel, anyone can be an Iron Chef judge — especially if you can be mean. I didn’t know I could be as mean as American Idol Judge Simon Cowell until this experience.

The meaner he was, the higher the ratings the show received and the more popular he became. You’ve got the idea even if you have never watched Iron Chef.

I’ve been a judge for scholarships, singing competitions, grant proposals, pageants, leadership group projects, calligraphy, and speeches before, and the only difference between judging those events and judging the Iron Chef contest was that I had never judged in front of a live audience before. The judges announced their scores in front of the contestants and the audience, a format which lends itself to judges purposely making fun of contestants. Adding a little bit of humiliation is the fun part and lets judges spice up their comments with humor, sarcasm, ferocity, and criticism to liven up the show.

If you don’t have a thick skin, you should never participate in a reality show contest.

Korean fusion tacos with kalbi marinated in 7 Up donated by Jinyoung Englund. (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

Asian fusion cuisine?

You and I have probably already created Asian fusion cuisine at home without even paying attention. Just use your imagination.

My favorite example is the Asian taco. Start with a tortilla and put meat and veggies on it. Then dip the taco in peanut, hoisin, teriyaki, Korean BBQ, or, really, any non-Mexican sauce.

Use Thai hot sauce with Chinese roast duck, satay sauce with wonton noodles! Combine Indian curry and soy sauce to bake a chicken! Make sushi rolls with all kinds of wild ingredients! Mixing seaweed in salads? Now you’re getting the hang of Asian fusion.

Fusion food will be the future of Asian restaurants, believe it or not.

People’s Choice Winner Albert Shen with his Ming Prawns (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

Ming prawns vs. Beef ribs

Albert Shen, candidate for Seattle City Council, won the People’s Choice Award. Smart Shen showcased a great package for his dish, focusing on taste, name, and back story. He was the only contestant who gave a name to his dish, Ming prawns (Chinese stir-fried prawns with catsup sauce). Catsup was the only fusion element.

“My parents owned a restaurant in Pullman, and the men in my family do all the cooking,” he said.

Yes to the tradition that men cook all the meals at home instead of the women. My husband lives up to this tradition pretty well!

Shen was a little miserly, however. He only bought two pounds of shrimp, and I was the only judge to get a taste of the dish after the audience. Fellow Judge Peter Vessenes only got to taste the catsup sauce!

Chris Lee and his organic stir-fried chicken (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

Chris Lee also knew how to sell his stir-fried organic chicken by bringing out his assistant. Oh man, a white guy! Wasn’t that wonderful that the Asian-American boss had a white assistant?

In second place, Deborah Yi with her fusion salad. (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

Another contestant, Deborah Yi, prepared an organic spinach and udon noodle salad with a delicious wasabi dressing. She could have been the No. 1 chef if she didn’t serve her salad in a big plastic container that was like the ones used to serve to prisoners. When I said that, everyone laughed.

Winner Nelson Yong with his beef ribs (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

The first-prize winner was Nelson Yong. He served stewed beef ribs with white rice and Caribbean salsa. Yong impressed the judges by personally serving each of us with napkins, knives, and forks. I enjoyed the ribs — they were moist and not dry. The rice was cooked just right, soft but chewy. He must have practiced his cooking hundreds of times before the contest.

The contest brought out the skills, identity, and creativity of Asian Americans. You can cook anything with the smarts of both the East and West. Many guests brought a fusion dish too since it was a potluck.

Dynasty, the behind the planning of the event.
Front (from left): Rep. Hans Zeiger, Nelson Yong
Middle: Matt McCleary, Rebecca Cheung
Rear: Jim Mischel. Lisa Shin, Jinyoung Lee Englund, Shelby Englund, Andy Yip
Not pictured: Rep. Linda Kochman (Photo by GH Kim Photography)

Well done Englound, Yong, and Dynasty — the group formed to plan the event! (end)

To read the publisher’s blog in Chinese, visit www.seattlechinesepost.com.

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 32 No 24 | 6/8-6/14Comments (1)

BLOG: Remembering June Chen

BLOG: Remembering June Chen

By Assunta Ng

What do Lloyd Hara, Sharon T. Santos, Christine Gregoire, Gary Locke, Maria Cantwell, Patty Murray, and Jay Inslee all have in common? Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 32 No 23 | 6/1-6/7Comments (0)

BLOG: Why I reject Asian cultural values

BLOG: Why I reject Asian cultural values

By Assunta Ng

When you read that headline, you probably thought, “Is she crazy? What is she thinking?” Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 32 No 22 | 5/25-5/31Comments (4)

BLOG: Jay, you should  change your jokes

BLOG: Jay, you should change your jokes

By Assunta Ng


From left: Stephen Uy, Gov. Jay Inslee, Justice Stephen Gonzalez, Judge Richard Jones, and Nick Brown (Photo by Assunta Ng/NWAW)

Gov. Jay Inslee attended a Cinco de Mayo reception last Friday at the Columbia Tower Club, and he opened his speech with a joke. Everyone laughed. Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 32 No 20 | 5/11-5/17Comments (0)

BLOG: The real and the fake Din Tai Fung

BLOG: The real and the fake Din Tai Fung

By Assunta Ng


Fake Din Tai Fung in Toronto (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

There’s a fake Din Tai Fung?

According to Din Tai Fung owner David Wasielewski, a Taiwanese immigrant, Toronto’s Ding Tai Fung is not a part of the Taiwanese chain, although the restaurant’s name has the same Chinese characters. The only difference is the English translation — the “fake” one is spelled Ding, the chain leaves off the “g.”

When I was in Toronto in 2011, my friend took me to dine at Ding Tai Fung. A month later, I saw Wasielewski at a wedding reception and raved to him about the fact that I had dined at Din in Shanghai and Toronto. I even told him that Toronto’s Ding even served green onion cake, one of the favorite Shanghainese snacks. I wish that Bellevue’s Din Tai Fung would include it on their menu.


Real Din Tai Fung restaurant in Bellevue (Photo from Yelp)

The Toronto Ding was opened long before the real Din Tai Fung launched in the United States, trademarking the name in the process. The Toronto Ding is pretty good, too. When we went, there was a line of people stretching out the door.

A new Din is opening

I first learned of the second Din Tai Fung’s opening at University Village in my own paper. The Seattle Chinese Post’s classified section listed a kitchen opening in the soon-to-be-opened restaurant in its April 27 issue.

I am not surprised. The famous Wild Ginger restaurant hired its first award-winning head chef, James Lock, by placing a classified ad in our paper.

The new Din Tai Fung? Just another step in the chain’s American invasion, as it already has five restaurants in the States, with more scheduled to open in Southern California.

Now, I don’t need to drive across the bridge for the juicy xiao lung bao. (end)

To read the publisher’s blog in Chinese, visit www.seattlechinesepost.com.

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 32 No 20 | 5/11-5/17Comments (0)

BLOG: My Wednesday adventures

BLOG: My Wednesday adventures

By Assunta Ng


Albert Shen at his campaign kick-off event on May 1, where he raised over $75,000. (Photo from Albert Shen)

Albert Shen or May Day?

For decades, every Wednesday night has been thrilling, agonizing, exhausting, and — sometimes — even hysterical and nightmarish. But if you check my calendar, you would be surprised — very few events are ever listed on Wednesdays. On Wednesdays, I have a date with my newspapers, and that’s the truth. Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 32 No 20 | 5/11-5/17Comments (0)

BLOG: Saying goodbye to an old friend

BLOG: Saying goodbye to an old friend

By Assunta Ng


Cheaper than B.C. and just as good (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

How do you say goodbye to a friend who is dying?

You don’t. Or, at least, I don’t. Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 32 No 19 | 5/4-5/10Comments (0)

BLOG: “I love you”

BLOG: “I love you”

By Assunta Ng


Daughter Liliana Morningstar-Chow and wife Sarah Morningstar speaking at the memorial. (Photo by Rebecca Ip/SCP)

Outsiders knew the late Cheryl Chow as intense, tough, and intimidating. One former student, now a successful entrepreneur, told me that he was scared of her when she was a principal with the Seattle Public Schools. Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 32 No 18 | 4/27-5/3Comments (0)

BLOG: Who will be the next Port Commissioner?

BLOG: Who will be the next Port Commissioner?

By Assunta Ng


From left: Finalists Stephanie Bowman , Darrell Bryan, and Claudia Kauffman.(Photo by Assunta Ng/NWAW)

Will the next Port Commissioner be a male or female? Maybe a person of color? A labor advocate or community college trustee? Will it be someone from Seattle? Auburn? Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 32 No 17 | 4/20-4/26Comments (0)

BLOG: A dinner to remember

BLOG: A dinner to remember

By  Assunta Ng


Don Hellman picked pockets for donations to the UW Task Force, a capstone course for all international studies graduates. (Photo by Han Bui/NWAW)

What’s the most appropriate gift for a Japan expert’s retirement party? Sixty haikus and to let him pick your pocket?   Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 32 No 17 | 4/20-4/26Comments (1)

BLOG: Should the Asian community support only its own candidates and not white ones?

BLOG: Should the Asian community support only its own candidates and not white ones?

By Assunta Ng

Earlier this year, several Asian Americans stood with Rod Dembowski instead of Rep. Cindy Ryu, a Korean American, in a contested King County Council race.

Dembowski, who is white and won by a council vote of five to eight, is now a council member, finishing the remainder of Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s term.

The topic of whether the Asian American community should support its own has been debated often. It is an important and complicated topic that has come up in the past and will likely split our community again in the future.

Why did Ryu lose?

Some Ryu supporters accused community members of backing a white guy instead of Ryu, but Dembowski is not just any white guy. His ties with the Asian community go back to his volunteering days with current U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke’s King County Executive campaign in 1993. He was later hired as a policy analyst for the Locke administration. Back then, he built relationships with several Asian American friends, including political guru Ruth Woo.


King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski

Dembowski frequently tells the story of how he and his wife, Lynna Song, who is Korean American, met during Locke’s campaign. His mother-in-law, Seungja Song, is one of the founders of the Korean Community Service Center (KCSC). She is known for her dedication to the agency over the past three decades.

An attorney, Dembowski is friends with many elected officials, including Ferguson. He was also heavily involved Ferguson’s attorney general campaign.

In the end, relationships won. When asked why he won the county race, Dembowski said, “I am friends with everybody.”

The interviews

Perhaps assumptions, insufficient preparation, and the Ferguson factor killed Ryu’s chance at the seat. The selection process for Ferguson’s seat was competitive. Each finalist, including Ryu and Dembowski, went through three interviews before a citizens’ panel, the King County Executive, and the County Council.

Ryu assumed that she had the diversity advantage as the council has only one member of color, Larry Gossett, and three women, out of eight council members.

Asian and Pacific Islanders make up 15.8 percent of King County residents, the biggest minority group in King County. 20.1 percent of King County residents are first-generation immigrants, and 35.6 percent are persons of color. As a first-generation Asian immigrant female, Ryu said she reflects the changing demographics in King County.


State Rep. Cindy Ryu

Combined with her experience being a former mayor of Shoreline and the first Korean female state representative in Washington state, Ryu thought that would be enough to lead her to victory.

What she didn’t expect was that the interview and the relationships Dembowski had built were more important, more than the diversity factor. One insider, who was involved in the process, said Dembowski was much more polished and prepared during the interviews.

The lesson for a person of color who is running: It doesn’t matter what race a candidate is, it’s significant to compete like you are the underdog and never the frontrunner. Organize. Be prepared in interviews no matter how articulate you are.

Ferguson had taken Dembowski under his wing and took him everywhere after the November election, so Dembowski could meet people. This implied Ferguson’s endorsement even before he officially made the announcement right before the council’s vote.

Ryu’s future

Ryu is known for her comeback in politics. After her defeat in the Shoreline City Council race, she ran for state representative in 2010 and won. Even as a state representative, she has an impressive record. Out of the 10 bills she has sponsored or co-sponsored, eight of them have passed.

Will she run for the council seat this August?

“I’d like to,” she said. “But it’s hard.”

If she runs, she will have to raise money for the campaign starting now, but she can’t because state law doesn’t allow legislative officials to raise money during the legislative session. And it looks like it will be a long legislative season with the budget issue looming. The last day of the session is slated to be April 28.

Dembowski has already said he is going to run this year for the council seat.

Who should we support?

Joan Yoshitomi, a Dembowski supporter, said she knew Dembowski when he was in high school, long before she met Ryu.

“He’s interested in [things that has to do with] the Asian community,” said Yoshitomi. “He volunteers a lot in the community, including with the Japanese American Citizens League. I am impressed with his interest in politics and his giving back to the community.”

Dembowski has taken a pay cut to become an elected official, leaving his law practice at Foster and Pepper.

Buwon Brown, a Korean American, and a KCSC board member, said she supports both Ryu and Dembowski.

“It’s a competitive world, it’s a political battle and open field,” said Brown. “You just have to do the best you can to serve the community.”

She also appreciates Dembowski’s attitude. “He’s positive,” she continued. “He asked what he could do to help. He’s willing to work together.”

There are some good white men who can champion social justice issues. It doesn’t just have to be people of color. A partnership between the mainstream and the Asian community is needed to secure a better future for us. Fortunately, Dembowski is no stranger to the Asian community. He will serve us well.

We all have different reasons why we support a certain candidate. Relationships are key. This is a free country, we have the right to choose who we choose, and we should be respectful of others’ choices. The important thing is that Asian Americans are part of the political process.

In the end, it’s all about serving. (end)

To read the publisher’s blog in Chinese, visit www.seattlechinesepost.com.

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 32 No 16 | 4/13-4/19Comments (2)

BLOG: Mistaken identities

BLOG: Mistaken identities

By Assunta Ng


Jim McDermott and Joe McDermott (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

McDermott and McDermott

Why did Congressman Jim McDermott, 76, of the 7th District, and King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 32 No 14 | 3/30-4/5Comments (0)

BLOG: Publisher Ng’s favorite foods at Vegfest 2013

BLOG: Publisher Ng’s favorite foods at Vegfest 2013

By  Assunta Ng

Zero calories, no fat, no sugar, low sodium, all natural, and meatless are the key words in many of the food labels at Veggie Fest, which took place last Sunday, March 24 at the Seattle Center. I munched and munched so much at the fest that I must have sampled at least 50 snacks. Some of them were palatable and others were yucky. I don’t care if they are healthy or not, they should think about taste first to appeal to eaters.


Coconut-based peanut butter (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

My favorite snacks are:

1.   Creamy peanut butter

I sneaked out at least 10 small dips of peanut butter. It’s made of coconut oil and peanuts. Yes, I love to eat peanut butter, but only without bread.


Banana chips (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

2.   Banana chips

Asian countries produce sweet dried bananas. I like banana chips, with sugar or salt.


Almond and olive oil dip (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

3.   Almond and olive oil dip

I couldn’t get my hands off the plate for this new product.


Almond milk popsicle (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

4. Almond milk popsicle

I was not the only one. There were long lines begging for this snack.

My less preferred snacks are unmodified seaweed and the faux meat (made of tofu) and veggie burgers. They might be healthy, but for me to chew on those tasteless, rough imitations is quite daunting. It would immediately change my mind of becoming a vegetarian. (end)

To read the publisher’s blog in Chinese, visit www.seattlechinesepost.com.

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 32 No 14 | 3/30-4/5Comments (0)

BLOG: What can the reality show contestants learn from each other?

BLOG: What can the reality show contestants learn from each other?

By Assunta Ng

http://nwasianweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/32_13/blog_people.jpgSeattle has been on the map recently. Local Filipino girl Catherine Giudici, who attended Roosevelt High School, won ABC’s reality show “The Bachelor” and is planning to wed Sean Lowe. Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 32 No 13 | 3/23-3/29Comments (4)

BLOG: Hara’s mom is 98 and doing well

BLOG: Hara’s mom is 98 and doing well

By Assunta Ng


King County Assessor Lloyd Hara and his mother, Shuko Hara

Former Seattleite Shuko Hara, mother of King County Assessor Lloyd Hara, is 98 and now living in Delaware to be close to her daughter. Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 32 No 13 | 3/23-3/29Comments (0)

BLOG: ID Rotary deserves praise

BLOG: ID Rotary deserves praise

By Assunta Ng


A play performed by students for Rotarians who helped build their school for girls.

The International District Rotary Club might be small, but it intends to produce a great international impact. Its 54 members have launched several global projects. From Zimbabwe, China, and Laos, to Brazil, India, and the Philippines, the ID Rotary is all over the map. It has done work in 26 countries, including seven Asian countries. Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 32 No 13 | 3/23-3/29Comments (0)

BLOG: Lunar New Year food surprises Americans

BLOG: Lunar New Year food surprises Americans

By Assunta Ng


Pork tongue with fungus and dried oyster (Photo by Assunta Ng/NWAW)

When non-Asians learn that Asian folks love chicken feet, their eyes roll. But we Asian immigrants actually eat more than the feet during Lunar New Year.   Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 32 No 11 | 3/9-3/15Comments (0)

BLOG: Publisher Ng’s Lunar New Year Awards — And the winner is …

BLOG: Publisher Ng’s Lunar New Year Awards — And the winner is …

By Assunta Ng

The crowd at the Bellevue Square Lunar New Year Celebration (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

Over 50 local Lunar New Year events took place in February, and they were all competing for attendees and attention. So, which one had the better food, larger crowds, strongest organization, and the most memorable performances? Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 32 No 10 | 3/2-3/8Comments (0)

BLOG: The death of print, will we be next?

BLOG: The death of print, will we be next?

By Assunta Ng

Photo by Charles Lam/NWAW

Witnessing the digital attack on publication has been a nightmare for those of us in print media. It hasn’t mattered how big, rich, or strong publications have been before, or how many prestigious writing awards they’ve won. Advertising revenue continues to bleed out, and many die as a result. Some publications, like Newsweek, have ended their print editions, continuing their online versions only. Read the full story

Posted in Vol 32 No 9 | 2/23-3/1Comments (0)

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