May has been recognized by the U.S. as Asian American Pacific Islander Month since 1992. In 2022, the City of Columbia also proclaimed May to be Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This is a chance to celebrate the history of the AAPI people and honor the culture and community that they foster in Columbia SC. Several of our Columbia SC Ambassadors are part of this community and they’re sharing some of their thoughts, recipes and favorite AAPI businesses from around the capital city.
Living in Columbia
I want visitors and locals to celebrate each other’s differences and know that it's those things that inspire us...to travel, experiment with cooking, what we wear, how we treat one another. A beautiful way I celebrate my culture is by practicing henna art, knowing it will spark a conversation where I'm able to share a little bit about me and my family.
I am a Vietnamese and Chinese American who has split her time both in the North + Southern United States. I grew up enjoying my parents cooking pho, making spring rolls and banh mi, or eating steamed buns! Pho Viet is a little bit of home cooking for me— with dishes that rival even my mother’s! Be sure to check out their pho, spring rolls or any of the bubble teas to get your Viet fix.
I’ve enjoyed getting to know so many local AAPI business owners here in Columbia. Some of my favorites include Fit Columbia, Canvas Nails, MyKim Collection, The Corner Blend, Kao Thai, Freshe Poké, Bodhi Thai, Pho Viet, 929 Kitchen.
I buy my ingredients from Hyundai Asian grocery on Decker Blvd.
On their birthdays, Korean children eat “seaweed soup” in honor of their mothers who birthed them. I love how the focus is still on family, elders and love rather than exclusively the child’s day.
Seaweed soup, serves 2-3
- ½ ounce (16 grams) dried miyeok, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes
- 1 pound beef brisket or skirt steak, cut into thin and small pieces
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fish sauce (or salt and soy sauce to your taste)
- 2 teaspoon toasted toasted sesame oil
- Rinse and drain the miyeok (dried seaweed). Squeeze out excess water. Cut a few times into bite-size pieces
- Transfer the miyeok to a large and heavy pot. Add 8 cups of water. Cover and bring it to a boil for about 10 to 12 minutes.
- Turn down the heat to medium. Add the beef, cover, and cook for 40 minutes.
- Stir in garlic and fish sauce. Cook another 10 minutes, or until the beef is tender and the broth is savory.
- Stir-in the sesame oil. Ladle into bowls and serve. The soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.