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Comfort through Japanese-Canadian Chow Mein

Posted on April 14, 2020
By Tamarack Institute

Kimber Family BrunchKimber Kunimoto from Toronto writes:

Japanese Canadian Chow Mein is one of those dishes that brings people together


Along with making it at every family gathering, my grandmother and the “church ladies” would prepare this dish for community meals and fundraisers at their Buddhist temple in Lethbridge, AB. While Chow Mein is not traditionally from Japan, the recipe developed as the first wave of Japanese Canadian immigrants tried to continue making Japanese-style dishes with ingredients that they had access to in the early 1900s. It reminds me of building community and adapting in a new environment. This comfort dish helps me feel connected to my family and community, in a time of social distancing.

Community building for me has always been centered around food. Cooking and sharing a meal together, helps us connect, share stories and care for each other. With the current state of the world, I’ve been trying to continue these traditions through virtual means. Regular meals over video calls, sharing recipes over e-mail or food adventures (and sometimes mishaps) over social media, has allowed me to stay in touch with friends and family, no matter where they are in the world.

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Community Building, Blog, COVID-19

Tamarack Institute

By Tamarack Institute

The Tamarack Institute is a connected force for community change. We work with leaders in non-profits, governments, businesses and the community to make work of advancing positive community change easier and more effective. We do this by teaching and writing about collective impact, community engagement, collaborative leadership, community development, and evaluating community impact. We host two learning communities Cities Reducing Poverty and Cities Deepening Community turning theory into action.

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