Exploring Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Through Food

Exploring Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Through Food

At Primrose, we believe in fostering a sense of belongingness in every child. Through books, songs and activities, we make sure children see themselves reflected in the world around them and also expand their understanding of the different people and cultures within it.

When it comes to continuing those valuable lessons at home, consider mealtime as an exciting way to introduce the foods of many different cultures. Food provides a very natural and accessible way for children to explore different areas of the world. From the ingredients used to the traditions and cultural significance, children can learn to recognize the similarities between cultures as much as the differences.

As we honor Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we’ve gathered recipes from the Primrose community so you and your children can take a trip around the world right in your own kitchen. Note, some of these cooking techniques will require a grown-up to handle them without child assistance. We’ve marked areas where grown-ups can take charge and steps where children can assist.

Enjoy!

Aloo Channa Chaat

(pronunciation)

Chaat is a vegan Pakistani and Indian street food-style snack made from potatoes and chickpeas. The ingredients used in this recipe are simple, and every bite is full of flavors.

Children can assist with steps 1-4 and help measure and mix!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups canned garbanzo beans drained
  • 1 large potato, peeled, boiled and cut into small pieces
  • ½ onion diced
  • 1 tomato finely diced
  • Diced green chilies (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons dates and tamarind chutney (available premade)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon chaat masala
  • Red chili powder and salt to taste
  • ¼ cup tortilla chips (broken into small pieces)
  • Chopped cilantro

Preparation

  1. In a large bowl, combine garbanzo beans, boiled potatoes, onions and tomatoes.
  2. Add dates and tamarind chutney, lemon juice and chaat masala, and mix all the ingredients.
  3. Add salt and red chili powder to taste and mix again.
  4. Add crushed tortilla chips for crunch.
  5. Garnish with green chilies and cilantro.
Quinoa Tabbouleh

(pronunciation)

Tabbouleh is a traditional salad, originating in the mountains of Lebanon and Syria. It is a Middle Eastern staple that is enjoyed throughout the world.

Adults should take charge on step 1, but children can assist with steps 2-5, as well as support with measuring and mixing!

Ingredients

  • Generous ½ cup (2 ½ oz/75 g) quinoa, rinsed
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions (spring onions), finely chopped
  • ½ cup (3 ½ oz/100 g) cashew nuts, finely chopped (optional – leave out if there are nut allergies)
  • 1 large bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ bunch mint, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon wedges, to serve (optional)

For the dressing:

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon Lebanese 7-Spice Seasoning
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation

  1. Grown Up Step! In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring 2/3 cup (5 fl oz/150 ml) water to boil, then add the quinoa. Bring back to a boil and cook for about 12 minutes or until tender with a little bite. Drain, rinse and squeeze out any excess water. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
  2. Put the tomato halves/quarters into a strainer (sieve) to drain off excess juices.
  3. Make a dressing in the bottom of a salad bowl. Combine all the ingredients, then season and mix well.
  4. Add all the remaining ingredients and the cool quinoa to the bowl and toss to combine. Serve with lemon wedges, if using.
Lumpia

(pronunciation)

Lumpia are types of spring rolls commonly enjoyed in the Philippines and Indonesia. They’re perfect for any holiday—or just any day!

Adults should cook this recipe, but children can assist with measuring the ingredients!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb raw ground turkey
  • 2 cups of finely chopped carrots
  • 2 cups of finely chopped celery
  • 1 whole finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons pepper
  • 2 tablespoons season salt
  • 2-3 egg whites
  • 2-3 packs of egg roll wraps
  • Sweet and sour sauce
  • Cooking oil

Preparation

  1. In a mixing bowl, mix raw ground turkey, carrots, celery, onions, pepper, and season salt. It is easier to mix with your hands (use gloves). In a small bowl, separate the yolk and egg whites (put the yolk into your mixture).
  2. Open your package of egg roll wraps. Separate one wrap at a time and put it on a flat surface.
  3. Take a tablespoon of your mixture, put it onto your wrap and level it out. Roll once (very tightly), fold both sides in, roll it to the top stopping 1 ½ inches from the top, brush the egg white on the top and seal the roll.
  4. Once all the mixture is wrapped, you can either put some in a plastic bag and freeze it or save it to cook later on.
  5. To cook, use a deep fryer. Pour your cooking oil to the line and set it to 375°. Depending on the size of your deep fryer, you can add 4-5 of the lumpia. Then cook it till golden brown.
  6. Enjoy with sweet and sour sauce.

For more family-fun recipes:

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