Fresh Off the Boat Quotes

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Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir by Eddie Huang
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Fresh Off the Boat Quotes (showing 1-30 of 105)
“To this day, I wake up at times, look in the mirror, and just stare, obsessed with the idea that the person I am in my head is something entirely different than what everyone else sees. That the way I look will prevent me from doing the things I want; that there really are sneetches with stars and I’m not one of them. I touch my face, I feel my skin, I check my color every day, and I swear it all feels right. But then someone says something and that sense of security and identity is gone before I know it.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir
“People ask me what my greatest strengths are and I say perspective. The best way to get that is to meet people that are polar opposites; you learn the most from them. There are pieces of you that are inherently yours, but everything else is a collection of the things you’ve seen and the people you’ve met.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir
“I think my mom is manic, but Chinese people don't believe in psychologists. We just drink more tea when things go bad. Sometimes I agree; I think we're all over diagnosed.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir
“Whether it's food or women, the ones on front street are supermodels. Big hair, big tits, big trouble, but the one you come home to is probably something like cavatelli and red sauce. She's not screaming for attention because she knows she's good enough even if your dumb ass hasn't figured it out yet.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir
“We play into the definitions and stereotypes others impose on us and accept the model-minority myth, thinking it's positive, but it's a trap just like any stereotype. They put a piece of model-minority cheese between the metal jaws of their mousetrap, but we're lactose intolerant anyway! We can't even eat the cheese.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir
“Good food makes me want to hit a punching bag like, Dat's right motherfucker. You done did it there.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir
“The easiest way for Americans to make sense of Chinese history is to compare everything to Jewish history. There's an analogue for everything. Torah: Analects. Curly sideburns: long ponytails. Mantou: bagels.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir
“they’d never see me as one of “them.” If they did try to see me as one of “them” it wasn’t in my true form; it was as a reformed, assimilated, apologetic version of myself that accepted the premise that my people were barbarians”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat
“My entire life, the single most interesting thing to me is race in America. How something so stupid as skin or eyes or stinky Chinese lunch has such an impact on a person’s identity, their mental state, and the possibility of their happiness. It was race. It was race. It was race.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat
“To Americans, this may seem sick, but to first- or second-generation Chinese, Korean, Jamaican, Dominican, Puerto Rican immigrants, whatever, if your parents are FOBs, this is just how it is. You don’t talk about it, you can’t escape it, and in a way it humbles you the rest of your life. There’s something about crawling on the floor with your pops tracking you down by whip that grounds you as a human being.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat
“Not only was I not white, to many people I wasn’t Asian either.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat
“From the ground up, I was going to detox my identity of any and everything that someone else put there without my blessing.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat
“Once they spent money on a problem, they never thought about it again.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir
“I don’t do coupons or Reeboks. Life is too short to half-step.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir
“People ask me what my greatest strengths are and I say perspective. The best way to get that is to meet people that are polar opposites; you learn the most from them.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat
“By that point, I was ready to convert. I wanted to be white so fucking bad. But then dinner happened.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat
“If you like our food, great, but don’t come tell me you’re gonna clean it up, refine it, or elevate it because it’s not necessary or possible. We don’t need fucking food missionaries to cleanse our palates.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat
“I think my mom is manic, but Chinese people don't believe in psychologists. We just drink more tea when things go bad.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir
“So … I did what every culture does when Americans can’t understand something: I put it on bread.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat
“He didn’t understand that I didn’t hate white people. I hated whiteness.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat
“Somehow, food has become a social equalizer.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat
“When foreigners cook our food, they want to infuse their identity into the dish, they have a need to be part of the story and take it over.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat
“Good food makes me want to hit a punching bag like, Dat’s right motherfucker. You done did it there.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat
“I didn’t allow America to sell me in a box with presets and neither should you. Take the things from America that speak to you, that excite you, that inspire you, and be the Americans we all want to know; then cook it up and sell it back to them for $28.99.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat
“Momma didn’t raise no fool. Chuck E. Cheese was for mouth breathers and kids with Velcro shoes.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat
“What they didn’t understand is that after you have the money and degrees, you can’t buy your identity back. I wasn’t worried about degrees, but I cared about my roots.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat
“Soup dumplings, sitcoms, one-night stands--good ones leave you wanting more.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir
“HERE ARE MY TEN BEEF NOODLE SOUP COMMANDMENTS: 1. Throw out the first: always flash-boil your bones and beef to get the “musk” out. I’ve gone back and forth on this a lot. I would sometimes brown the meat as opposed to boil, but decided in the end that for this soup, you gotta boil. If you brown, it’s overpowering. The lesson that beef noodle soup teaches you is restraint. Sometimes less is more if you want all the flavors in the dish to speak to you. 2. Make sure the oil is medium-high when the aromatics go down and get a slight caramelization. It’s a fine line. Too much caramelization and it becomes too heavy, but no caramelization and your stock is weak. 3. Rice wine can be tricky. Most people like to vaporize it so that all the alcohol is cooked off. I like to leave a little of the alcohol flavor ’cause it tends to cut through the grease a bit. 4. Absolutely no butter, lard, or duck fat. I’ve seen people in America try to “kick it up a notch” with animal fats and it ruins the soup. Peanut oil or die. 5. Don’t burn the chilis and peppercorns, not even a little bit. You want the spice and the numbness, but not the smokiness. 6. After sautéing the chilis/peppercorns, turn off the heat and let them sit in the oil to steep. This is another reason you want to turn the heat off early. 7. Strain your chilis/peppercorns out of the oil, put them in a muslin bag, and set them aside. Then add ginger/garlic/scallions to the oil in that order. Stage them. 8. I use tomatoes in my beef noodle soup, but I add them after the soup is finished and everything is strained. I let them hang out in the soup as it sits on the stove over the course of the day. I cut the tomatoes thin so they give off flavor without having to cook too long and so you can serve them still intact. 9. Always use either shank or chuck flap. Brisket is too tough. If you want to make it interesting, add pig’s foot or oxtail. 10. Do you. I don’t give you measurements with this because I gave you all the ingredients and the technique. The best part about beef noodle soup is that there are no rules. It just has to have beef, noodle, and soup. There are people that do clear broth beef noodle soup. Beef noodle soup with dairy. Beef noodle soup with pig’s blood. It would suck if you looked at my recipe and never made your own, ’cause everyone has a beef noodle soup in them. Show it to me.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat
“The most infuriating thing is the idea that ethnic food isn't already good enough because it goddamn is. We were fine before you came to visit and we'll be fine after. If you like our food, great, but don't come tell me you're gonna clean it up, refine it, or elevate it because it's not necessary or possible. We don't need fucking food missionaries to cleanse our palates.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir
“Of course, my pops put chili oil in it immediately, but I wanted to taste the broth: intense, deep, and mind-numbing. It was one of those bites that make you think maybe, just maybe, your taste buds carry a cognitive key that can open something in your mind. Like the first time I heard Lauryn Hill’s voice scratch over “Killing Me Softly,” I felt that I just had a mental breakthrough via sound; there has to be something like that with taste. It was then and there that I realized, you can tell a story without words, just soup.”
Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir

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