Even though my parents were born in Burma, my only real link I had to their past was through the food. I learned to cook from my mom. At a young age she taught me how to balance the flavors in the noodle salad. I worked hard to perfect the spices in the coconut curry chicken noodle and to capture the right consistency of the catfish chowder. In the kitchen it was our own little world, it’s where we bonded, where we argued, it was how we loved.
These are her recipes as I remember them. It wasn’t until I lived on my own that I started to miss certain dishes. I never had to make them on my own before and it was a challenge to recreate the food of my childhood, especially after she passed. But once I did, it gave me soul satisfaction. My belly was full and so was my heart. Everything that reminded me of home, of family was here inside this bowl. I only needed to eat. This isn’t just comfort food, this is soul food.