Happy Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month!
Asian Heritage, as you may already know, is important to me: I recently spoke about how understanding our roots is an ongoing, complicated process that even I still don’t completely “get.” And that is OK- we all evolve and, slowly but surely, will appreciate our culture til we’re old and gray. 🙂
Here is one of two recipes I prepared in celebration for APIHM: a umami-filled roasted vegetable + honey-crusted tofu “plate lunch.” A few years back, I visited Hawaii for vacation and absolutely fell in love with the culture and cuisine there. (Hope to bring back travel soon!) In addition to the delicious acai bowls, poke, and fresh fruit plates, “plate lunches” was near the top of my list. Essentially, a “plate lunch” is a Hawaiian-style “meat-and-three.” A typical meal would include rice, macaroni salad, roasted pork, roasted corn: all the good stuff.
Here, I give it a signature “Emma Lovewell” twist and use miso gochujang-glazed vegetables. I also added honey-crusted tofu for the “meat” part of the plate. While everything’s delicious, I want to highlight one player: taro! Taro is a sweet, mild, nutty vegetable that’s found mostly in Oceanic and Asian cuisines- it’s the purple one in the picture. Think of it as an Eastern sweet potato.
Don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list: it looks like a lot, but it’s a really simple oven-and-done situation!