Hi! Thank you for stopping my blog dedicated to food and family. “Hapa” means of mixed ethnic backgrounds, and usually refers to those of us who are of mixed Asian descent. I am a half-Korean, half-American woman married to a Turkish man. I love my hapa family, and believe our family is representative of the best of America – bringing different cultures, languages and faiths from across the globe harmoniously together under one roof.
As you can imagine, our home has a variety of dishes served up at mealtime. There’s small nuances that make our house a little bit different than that of a typical American family. For instance, my kids went through a phase where they wouldn’t eat chicken nuggets but gladly enjoyed octopus and dried anchovies. Don’t get me wrong, they love buttered noodles and frozen waffles as much as the next kid. But there’s certainly a lot of atypical options available in our home.
While my husband and I both worked in the restaurant business years ago, we picked up most of our cooking knowledge from our families, in particular, our mothers. Many of the recipes posted here come from these women, who have given me their blessing to share.
While I’ll be posting delicious recipes, I’ll also look at how the nutrients we get from whole food impacts our overall health and can even aid in disease prevention. As a PMS2 gene carrier (aka a form of Lynch Syndrome), this is near and dear to my heart. Hey: I am not a doctor or a nutritionist, but will share and cite my sources of information. Always talk to your doctor before you make major changes to your lifestyle, friends!
I hope the content you find here helps you in your own path to happiness and health, from my hapa family to yours.
PS – I always welcome feedback and would love to try beauty tips or recipes from your culture. Just contact me!
MEET THE MOMS
Chong Ok McDuffee
My beautiful mom first came to the U.S. from South Korea in 1978 after marrying my father, an American Air Force sergeant stationed in Osan.
Since then, she has hosted countless dinners and parties, and her food always receives well-deserved praise from mixed crowds. She has a knack for combining the best parts of Korean cuisine and flavors with Western food to delight even the most unadventurous eaters.
Aside from her most well-known crowd-pleasers (spring rolls, fried rice, bulgogi), she’s also quite versed in preparing seafood having worked as a seafood manager of a local grocery store. There she would dole out helpful preparation tips for a variety of fish and shellfish to her most loyal customers.
My generous mother-in-law lives in Gaziantep, Turkey where we visit every year. The eldest daughter in a family of six children, she has long been preparing meals to serve to family, extended family, and friends. She too is well-known in her circle for her culinary prowess – never taking shortcuts and making everything from scratch.
Not a fan of the bread here in the U.S., she makes fresh pita every morning when she visits our home. She also stockpiles our freezer with half-made Turkish staples to help me quickly prepare meals for my family while she is away.
I hope to one day also incorporate a section about herbal teas, where she is also very well-versed.