A’misa Chiu


A'misa Chiu is an API zinester, artist, librarian, and inspired member of the Women of Color Zine Workshop. A'misa is the co-editor of Eyeball Burp, and is one of the organizers of the Portland Zine Symposium. www.amisachiu.com


One sentence to describe yourself: A Japanese American yonsei research librarian and zinester

What will you be presenting on? Why learning to make my own umeboshi (pickled plums with shiso) reconnected me with my late grandmother

Best piece of advice you ever got about cooking: Use your senses while you cook, taste as you go, smell as you go, and my grandmother Sue always said "Never make too big of a dish so people leave wanting more, that's how you keep them visiting you."

If you could only eat one meal forever, it would be: Bun be Hue. I recently have been introduced to this glorious noodle soup, and I crave it very often now.

Favorite food: Anything sour, spicy (very spicy), garlic-y! Pickled vegetables over hot rice and a cup of tea. I also will never turn down anything shiso or tamarind flavored.

Recommended reading: Heartbeat of the Struggle: The Revolutionary Life of Yuri Kochiyama, by Diane Fujino; this book changed my life.

Best meal(s): Sukiyaki while on vacation with family friends eaten in motel rooms, Teriyaki Chicken and Tempura combo plate at Gardena Bowl (a diner in my hometown inside a bowling alley), Matsushima family potluck spreads (the best!), homemade gyoza eaten with family.

Food you’d like to try: I generally like very intense flavors, and dislike very few foods. I want to try it all.

Additional comments: I love eating family-style. You are able to eat more of a variety, and the focus is in the center of the table, with everyone reaching in, and lots of interaction. My pet peeve is when everyone orders their own dish, or when people don't serve each other. I love conversation around the table. With good friends, I can sit at the dinner table for hours chatting and joking around. Some of my favorite memories are when friends and family visit from out of town, and we cook together and eat in instead of eating out.