All-American Pan-Asian Chinese Food


For Hyphen magazine, Jenny Lee writes about the all-American tradition of eating Chinese food on holidays, especially for immigrant families.

Not just any Chinese food, either—Lee favors the classic low-cost Chinese buffet, with its mix of foods from across and beyond Asia, all prepared in very American ways.

Really, does anything symbolize the beauty of the melting pot better than “old folks and young folks from Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Latin America jostling over heaping piles of crab rangoons, sushi, cheese mussels, mashed potatoes, macaroni, and Jello”?

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →