Food and Foodways in Asia: Resource, Tradition and Cooking, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Food and Foodways in Asia

Resource, Tradition and Cooking, 1st Edition

Edited by Sidney Cheung, Chee-Beng Tan


216 pages | 11 B/W Illus.

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Food is an important cultural marker of identity in contemporary Asian societies, and can provide a medium for the understanding of social relations, family and kinship, class and consumption, gender ideology, and cultural symbolism. However, a truly comprehensive view of food cannot neglect the politics of food production, in particular, how, when, from where and even why different kinds of food are produced, prepared and supplied.

Food and Foodways in Asia is an anthropological inquiry providing rich ethnographic description and analysis of food production as it interacts with social and political complexities in Asia’s diverse cultures. Prominent anthropologists examine how food is related to ethnic identity and boundary formation, consumerism and global food distribution, and the invention of local cuisine in the context of increasing cultural contact.

With chapters ranging from the invention of 'local food' for tourism development, to Asia's contribution to ‘world cuisine,’ Food and Foodways in Asia will be a fascinating read for anyone interested in the anthropology of food and/or Asian studies.

Table of Contents

I Ecology, Resources and Food Production; 1. Fermented Marine Food Products in Vietnam: Ecological basis and production; 2. Namako and Iriko: Historical overview on holothurian (sea cucumber) exploitation, utilization and trade in Japan; 3. Fish in the Marsh: A case study of freshwater fish farming in Hong Kong

II Tradition and Food Production; 4. Poonchoi: The production and popularity of a rural festive cuisine in urban and modern Hong Kong; 5. Convenient-Involvement Foods and Production of the Family Meal in South China; 6. Edible Mercy: Charity food production and fundraising activities in Hong Kong; 7. Estimating Rice, Agriculture, Global Trade, and National Culture in South Korea

III Restaurants and Food Production; 8. A Taste of the Past: Historically-themed restaurants and social memory in Singapore; 9. Indigenous Food and Foodways: Mapping the production of Ainu food in Tokyo; 10. Authenticity and Professionalism in Restaurant Kitchens

IV Asian Cooking and World Cuisine; 11. In Search of a Macanese Cookbook; 12. Nyonya Cuisine: Chinese, non-Chinese, and the making of a famous cuisine in Southeast Asia; 13. From Malacca to Adelaide… : Fragments towards a biography of cooking, yearning and laksa; 14. Asia’s Contributions to World Cuisine: a beginning inquiry

About the Editors

Sidney C.H. CHEUNG is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology in The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

TAN Chee-Beng is Professor in the Department of Anthropology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

About the Series

Anthropology of Asia

Asia today is one of the most dynamic regions of the world. The previously predominant image of ‘timeless peasants’ has given way to the image of fast-paced business people, mass consumerism and high-rise urban conglomerations. Yet much discourse remains entrenched in the polarities of East versus West’, ‘Tradition versus Change’. This series hopes to provide a forum for anthropological studies which break with such polarities. It will publish titles dealing with cosmopolitanism, cultural identity, representations, arts and performance. The complexities of urban Asia, its elites, its political rituals, and its families will also be explored.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
COOKING / Regional & Ethnic / Asian
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Customs & Traditions
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General