Eating Asian America

A Food Studies Reader

453 pages

September, 2013

ISBN: 9781479869251



Also available in


Robert Ji-Song Ku is Associate Professor of Asian and Asian American Studies at Binghamton University. He is the author of Dubious Gastronomy: The Cultural Politics of Eating Asian in the USA (forthcoming 2013).

All books by Robert Ji-Song Ku

Martin F. Manalansan IV is Associate Professor of anthropology and Asian American studies and Conrad Professorial Humanities Scholar at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora (2003) and co-editor of Eating Asian America: A Food Studies Reader (NYU, 2013).

All books by Martin F. Manalansan

Anita Mannur is Associate Professor of English and Asian /Asian American Studies at Miami University. She is the author of Culinary Fictions: Food in South Asian Diasporic Culture.

All books by Anita Mannur

Chop suey. Sushi. Curry. Adobo. Kimchi. The deep associations Asians in the United States have with food have become ingrained in the American popular imagination. So much so that contentious notions of ethnic authenticity and authority are marked by and argued around images and ideas of food.
Eating Asian America: A Food Studies Reader collects burgeoning new scholarship in Asian American Studies that centers the study of foodways and culinary practices in our understanding of the racialized underpinnings of Asian Americanness. It does so by bringing together twenty scholars from across the disciplinary spectrum to inaugurate a new turn in food studies: the refusal to yield to a superficial multiculturalism that naively celebrates difference and reconciliation through the pleasures of food and eating. By focusing on multi-sited struggles across various spaces and times, the contributors to this anthology bring into focus the potent forces of class, racial, ethnic, sexual and gender inequalities that pervade and persist in the production of Asian American culinary and alimentary practices, ideas, and images.
This is the first collection to consider the fraught itineraries of Asian American immigrant histories and how they are inscribed in the production and dissemination of ideas about Asian American foodways.


  • "Full of provocation and insight, this collection productively investigates the complicated and often racialized relationships between consumer, producer, and nation. Foundational in its interdisciplinary, transnational critique of cuisine-driven multiculturalism, Eating Asian America skillfully navigates the vexed terrain of food politics."

    —Cathy J. Schlund-Vials, author of War, Genocide, and Justice: Cambodian American Memory Work

  • “[Manalansan] coedits the interdisciplinary collection of essays exploring the ways in which eating and culinary practices reflect and reinforce class, racial, and gender inequalities among Asian-American immigrants.”

    Rochester Review

  • "The essays themselves are readable and concise. Each scholar... [is] successful in reaching a very large audience, from Asian American scholars to those simply interested in food histories and identities." 

    —Christopher Patterson, The International Examiner

  • "Featuring 20 essays, this volume connects Asian food to larger social, economic, political, and historical contexts in the US....The essays in this volume not only constitute the first academic book on the topic with such comprehensiveness, but also investigate the social hierarchy that exists around race, gender, sex, class, and ethnicity."

    —Y. Kiuchi, CHOICE

  • Eating Asian America does an excellent job of introducing the Asian/Asian American perspective to the discipline of food studies.  This book is a highly useful, and much needed addition to food studies.  It is a significant addition to the growing conversation about American foodways; as such, it is important that this book not be considered to explore a niche topic.”

    Graduate Journal of Food Studies

  • "This book transforms the study of Asian American food from an idiosyncratic, crowd-pleasing set of narratives that map discrete social histories into a key subfield for the discipline."

    American Quarterly