New York Times Op-Ed Denounces the Asian Salad as 'Racist'

April 28, 2017

A New York Times op-ed published Thursday night denounced the existence of Asian salad and called on restaurants to remove the "racist" dish from their menus.

"Why Is Asian Salad Still on the Menu?" asked Bonnie Tsui, complaining that the common offering was "something created in the name of Asians by non-Asians [and] has become a touchstone for non-Asians."

The impetus for the piece was when Tsui came across an "Asian Emperor Salad" on the menu at a San Francisco bar.

"I thought about its grand imprecision, which irritated me as a Chinese-American. And I wondered, who cooked up this thing," she recalled. "I was reasonably sure it wasn't anyone Asian."

Tsui admits that other cultures–like the Greeks–have a salad named after them.

"And yet the Asian salad is often the one that comes with a winky, jokey name: Oriental Chop Chop. Mr. Mao's. Secret Asian Man," she argued.

"Am I taking this too seriously?" Tsui asked, before braving on.

She continued to denounce the "casual racism of the Asian salad," saying that it treated Asians as something exotic.

"This use of 'Oriental' and 'Asian' is rooted in the wide-ranging, 'all look same' stereotypes of Asian culture that most people don't really perceive as being racist. It creates a kind of blind spot," Tsui concluded.

Published under: New York Times