Audrey’s Top Ten Stories of 2014

 

While we’re more than excited to kick off this new year, let’s take a moment to look back on all the stories of style, beauty and inspiring Asian Americans of the previous year. Here’s Audrey’s Top Ten Stories of 2014! 

 


 

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1) 20 Asian Celebs You Didn’t Know Were Asian
“Not all Asians look the same. I repeat, not all Asians look the same. Even if they don’t necessarily “look it,” all of the following celebrities are Asian…” (click here) 

 


 

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2) Adorable Asian Babies Who Dress Better Than You
“Here are kids who make the playground their runway and lower our self-esteem by dressing way better than we ever did during our toddler years…” (click here)

 


 

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3) Marvel’s Newest Superhero Is An Asian American Woman
“It looks like Marvel is ready to put another Asian American woman on the superhero grid. Cindy Moon, who goes by the name Silk, will have her own comic book series by February 2015…” (click here)

 


 


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4) Even More Photos Of The Brazilian Man Who Got Surgery To Look Asian
“The newest internet sensation is undoubtedly Xiahn, a 25-year-old Brazilian man who had 10 surgical procedures to achieve an Asian appearance…” (click here)

 


 

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5) Cruel & Racist Statements Told To Asian Adoptee Children
“Adopting two daughters didn’t make Kelley-Wagner feel any less of a mother than the women who gave birth to their children. Being adopted didn’t make Liliana or Meika feel less like daughters. Unfortunately, many others didn’t seem to share their sentiments…” (click here)

 

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6) The Adorable Ye-bin is Back!
“This cutie became a viral sensation when her video “Mom Tries to Teach Adorable Girl Life Lesson” hit YouTube and gathered nearly 9 million views…” (click here)

 


 

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7) VOICES CARRY: Carissa Rae
“Filipino American singer Carissa Rae Alvarado, born and raised in Southern California, first started appearing in YouTube videos in 2008, crooning covers of Alicia Keys and Michelle Branch when she was still in high school…” (click here)

 


 

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8) 4 Ways The Korean “Ajumma” Is Becoming The New Style Influencer
“For some time now, the stereotypical Korean ajumma has long been thought of as the antithesis of style — something, as a young Korean woman, you never wanted to become. And yet, I’ve been noticing that ajumma style is slowly seeping out into the real world, the non-ajumma world of the rest of us…” (click here)

 


 

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9) 25 Asian YouTubers You Should Check Out This Summer

(click here)

 


 


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10) Michelle Phan, YouTube’s “Beauty Bestie,” Empowers Women From the Outside In
“Know this face? This is the face of a CEO, media exec, lifestyle guru, music producer, entrepreneur, author, multimedia artist, beauty expert and YouTube mega-star…” (click here)

Video of the Day: Daniel Kim’s 2014 Pop Danthology

 

Who doesn’t love a good round-up? Especially if it looks back on this year’s hits and crams a year’s worth of pop culture into about six minutes. Luckily for us, DJ and alchemist Daniel Kim is back with 2014’s “Pop Danthology” for your viewing pleasure.

http://danielkim.mixedinkey.com/portfolio/the-making-of-pop-danthology-2014

http://danielkim.mixedinkey.com/portfolio/the-making-of-pop-danthology-2014

How exactly is a Pop Danthology made? According to Kim, it is a lot of gathering, organizing, planning, arranging and finally – editing. All in all, approximately 180 hours were put into its making and the results are addicting. the 2014 Pop Danthology is a genuine celebration of music that influences a culture.

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There are 66 hit songs tied up in this video. Here’s the complete song list (in alphabetical order by artist):

A Great Big World, Christina Aguilera – Say Something
Afrojack feat. Wrabel – Ten Feet Tall
Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea – Problem
Ariana Grande feat. Zedd – Break Free
Beyoncé feat. Jay Z – Drunk In Love
Calvin Harris – Summer
Calvin Harris feat. John Newman – Blame
Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne, Tyga – Loyal
Chris Brown feat. Usher, Rick Ross – New Flame
Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne – Rather Be
Christina Perri – Human
David Guetta feat. Sam Martin – Dangerous
Deadmau5 feat. Colleen D’Agostino – Seeya
Dillon Francis, DJ Snake – Get Low
Disclosure feat. Sam Smith – Latch
DJ Snake, Lil Jon – Turn Down For What
Ed Sheeran – Don’t
Ed Sheeran – Sing
Enrique Iglesius feat. Pitbull – I’m A Freak
Idina Menzel – Let It Go
Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX – Fancy
Iggy Azalea feat. MØ – Beg For It
Iggy Azalea feat. Rita Ora – Black Widow
Jason Derulo feat. 2 Chainz – Talk Dirty
Jason Derulo feat. Snoop Dogg – Wiggle
Jennifer Lopez – First Love
Jennifer Lopez feat. Iggy Azalea – Booty
Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj – Bang Bang
John Legend – All Of Me
Justin Timberlake – Not A Bad Thing
Katy Perry – Birthday
Katy Perry – This Is How We Do
Katy Perry feat. Juicy J – Dark Horse
Keisza – Hideaway
Kid Ink feat. Usher, Tinashe – Body Language
Lilly Wood & The Prick and Robin Schulz – Prayer in C (Robin Schulz Remix)
Magic! – Rude
Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
Maroon 5 – Animals
Maroon 5 – Maps
Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass
Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake – Love Never Felt So Good
Miley Cyrus – Adore You
Mr. Probz – Waves (Robin Schulz Remix)
Nicki Minaj – Anaconda
Nico & Vinz – Am I Wrong
One Direction – Steal My Girl
Paramore – Ain’t It Fun
Pharrell Williams – Happy
Pharrell Williams – Happy (NEUS Remix)
Rita Ora – I Will Never Let You Down
Sam Smith – I’m Not The Only One
Sam Smith – Stay With Me
Shakira – Dare (La La La)
Shakira feat. Rihanna – Can’t Remember To Forget You
Sia – Chandelier
Stevie Wonder – Superstition (C2C Remix)
Taylor Swift – Blank Space
Taylor Swift – Shake It Off
Tiesto – Red Lights
Tove Lo – Habits (Stay High)
The Chainsmokers – #SELFIE
The Chainsmokers feat. Siren – Kanye
Usher – Good Kisser
Usher feat. Nicki Minaj – She Came To Give It To You
Zedd – Find You

“Pop Danthology 2012″ went viral in 2012, with over 10 million views within three days and a total of over 59 million views. Since then, these mashups have been going viral each year and have been featured on CNN and Huffington Post.

Even without the video, the mash-up is worth a listen. To download the mp3 for free and to find everything you could want to know about behind-the scenes processes and the effort that went into these six minutes, go to Daniel Kim’s website.

The Unforgettable 2014 Website is Finally Here

 

The official Unforgettable 2014 website is finally here! For updates on performers, award recipients, celebs and all the information you need, click here.


We are pleased to present
Audrey Magazine & KoreAm Journal’s 13th annual gala, Unforgettable. This high profile, celebrity-studded event is dedicated to honoring achievements within the past year and is an opportunity for talent to perform for distinguished and influential members of the community.

 

Sponsored by Royal Salute and presented by Duracoat, this year’s gala will honor and award four Asian Americans individuals for their outstanding achievements and contributions in the field of arts and entertainment. The award recipients include: John Cho (ABC’s Selfie, FOX’s Sleepy Hollow) – Royal Salute’s Mark of Respect Award and The Actor of the Year Award; Ming-Na Wen (ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) – The Actress of the Year Award; Ki Hong Lee (20th Century Fox film The Maze Runner) – The Male Breakout Star of the Year; Arden Cho (MTV’s Teen Wolf) – The Female Breakout Star of the Year.

 

Yoon Mi Rae, Korean American hip-hop and R&B royalty, returns this year to perform her No. 1 hit song in Korea. Other featured artists include K-Pop artist G.NA, winner of The Voice Tessanne Chin, beatbox champion KRNFX, along with collaboration performances from singer/songwriters Arden Cho and David Choi, and exciting dance performances by Mike Song and KINJAZ.

 

In addition to the award recipients and performers, global stars Lisa Ling (CNN’s This is Life with Lisa Ling host), Han Ji-min (TV Drama Rooftop Prince) and Koo Soo (Film Way Back Home) are among the confirmed list of high-profile celebrities attending the gala this year.

 

The event will take place at the legendary Park Plaza Hotel on Friday, December 5, 2014. An after party will immediately follow the black-tie event providing another chance to celebrate the year with celebrities and VIP guests at Feria.

 

 

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Get Your Greens On

Story & Photos Christina Ng. 

With the exception of bok choy, most people are not all that familiar with Asian greens. But with springtime just around the corner and perhaps the novelty of salad waning, maybe it’s worth looking into. Asian greens are chock full of vitamins and contain a wide variety of textures. Unlike their western salad cousins, Asian greens are rarely eaten raw and can be quite filling as a dish. The best thing is most of these greens can be prepared in minutes and can satisfy whatever flavor mood you’re in.


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SAVORY: YU CHOY 

Yu choy or choy sum is a favorite in Chinese households. Both its mild flavor and firm yet tender texture make it an extremely versatile green. Depending on how old the yu choy is, the stalks can become mildly bitter and usually require a slight trimming before cooking. It’s usually sautéed with oil and garlic and topped off with a dollop of oyster sauce, which really brings out the yu choy’s sweetness. Yu choy is packed with iron and vitamins A and C, and has been referred to as a super green.

Yu Choy with Oyster Sauce

-Blanch yu choy in boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute depending on how crunchy you want the greens.

-In a pan, heat oil with chopped garlic until fragrant.

-Toss in yu choy and turn off the heat.


-Top with 1-2 tablespoons of oyster sauce and serve. 

 

 


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SWEET: CHINESE WATERCRESS

Chinese watercress is very similar in flavor to western watercress. The juicy stalks and peppery leaves lend itself well to soups, which is how the Chinese love to prepare watercress. As the watercress cooks, the pepperiness mellows and the leaves become sweeter. Watercress is known to be an anti-cancer superfood and is high in vitamins A, B, C and K and also in minerals like iron and calcium.

Sweet Watercress Soup

-Simmer 1⁄2 pound of cubed pork, a small handful of goji berries and a small handful of jujubes or dates with a quart of water for about 1 hour.

-Add in watercress and some cubed tofu and continue to simmer for an additional 20 minutes.


-Add salt to taste. 

 


Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 12.24.02 PMBITTER: BITTER MELON 

Bitter melon is similar to a lumpy, bitter cucumber, so by no means does its appearance or taste seem appealing, but surprisingly, bitter melon is very widely eaten across Asia. It’s packed with vitamin C and is used regularly in herbal medicines for digestion and diabetes. It’s also good in pork dishes, and many people will cook the melon with sugar or a sauce to diffuse the bitterness. Do remember to scoop out the center of the melon, as the insides are quite tough.

Bitter Melon with Minced Pork

- In a pot of boiling water, cook two bitter melons cut into 1⁄4-inch slices for 2-3 minutes.


– In a frying pan, brown 1⁄4 pound of minced pork with a teaspoon of minced garlic, soy sauce and rice wine. Add salt, pepper and sugar to taste.


-Toss in bitter melon and sauté for 30 seconds. Remove onto a plate.


– Deglaze pan with several tablespoons of water mixed with a little bit of cornstarch. Cook for 30 seconds until sauce thickens.


– Toss sauce with the meat and bitter melon. Serve warm.

 


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SPICY: TONG CHOY

The Chinese also call this water spinach kong xin cai, which literally translates to “hollow vegetable.” Tong choy is known for its crunchy, straw-like stalks. In the past, the green has been known to grow in waterways and canals, giving it the reputation of an unclean or unhealthy green. However, today tong choy is grown in farms across the U.S. and is a good source of vitamins A and C, folate and other minerals like magnesium and iron. Tong choy is traditionally eaten with fermented tofu, which is slightly fishy, spicy and creamy, and can be found in your local Asian grocery store. Some quick tips when cooking tong choy is to wash the stalks thoroughly as it does get very sandy. Also when cooking, try to put in the stalks first because it takes a little longer to cook than the more delicate leaves on top.

Tong Choy with Fermented Tofu

- Wash stalks thoroughly and cut stalks in half so that the bottom stalks are separated from the top leaves.


– In a pot of boiling water, cook stalks for about 3 minutes. Then put in leaves and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.


– Drain and add several cubes of fermented tofu into the greens. Mix until cubes are creamy and well combined
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SOUR: SUAN CAI 

Sometimes referred to as the Chinese sauerkraut, suan cai is a lacto-fermented mustard green. Lacto-fermentation is different from pickling in that it doesn’t use vinegar, but instead uses the vegetable’s natural bacteria to ferment itself (like kimchi and sauerkraut). There are numerous health benefits associated with lacto-fermented foods, as it introduces good bacteria back into your body. The Chinese use it as a condiment, mixed with pork dishes or sprinkled on top of noodles. A word of caution: Although suan cai translates into “sour vegetable,” it is also very salty, so feel free to rinse the fermented greens prior to serving.

Minced Mustard Greens

-Chop packaged mustard greens into a fine dice.

-Put on top of noodles, mix with ground meat or use as a condiment. 

 

 

 

 

 

This story was originally published in our Spring 2014 issue. Get your copy here

‘PIONEER GIRL’ BY BICH MINH NGUYEN

Story by Susan Soon He Stanton.

Engaging, humorous and unexpectedly suspenseful, Bich Minh Nguyen’s Pioneer Girl is the story of Lee Lien’s literary pilgrimage to uncover a mystery that connects Rose Wilder, the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder, to Lee’s own family. Lee, the child of Vietnamese immigrants, grew up in the Midwest. Her perpetually dissatisfied widowed mother shuttles Lee, her brother Sam and her grandfather from town to town as they struggle to make a living running generic Asian-themed buffets catering to Americans. A gold pin that Lee’s grandfather received from a woman named Rose in Saigon causes Lee, a frustrated, out-of-work scholar, to speculate that the pin originally belonged to Laura Ingalls Wilder. Lee abandons her mother and their restaurant to embark on a cross-country adventure, discovering secrets hidden within Rose Wilder’s papers. Reappropriating the American classic Little House on the Prairie series to echo Lee’s transient upbringing in the heartland, Nguyen’s striking prose spins a multi-generational tale that investigates the narrative we use to create our family histories. Nguyen speaks with Audrey Magazine about her latest novel.

Q: Can you talk about your inspiration for intersecting the life of a young Vietnamese American woman with the Little House on the Prairie saga?

Bich Minh Nguyen: As a child, I strongly identified with Laura Ingalls Wilder. Her family was always looking for a home, a right home, where they wanted to be. In the back of my mind, it resonated with me as an immigrant story. I came to America in 1975, and I think what my family went through in resettling paralleled the Little House on the Prairie books I was reading.

I wanted to create a link between Lee’s family and the Ingalls. Both the Ingalls and the Liens are constantly moving. A phrase used in the Little House books is “itchy wandering foot.” The pioneer spirit is the belief that there’s got to be something better if we just keep moving — we just need to find out what’s beyond those hills, what’s beyond the visible horizon — and that feeling can be intoxicating.

Q: Lee is discriminated against for being an Asian American Wharton scholar. She’s constantly pushed towards ethnic lit. Is that something you’ve come up against while writing this book?

BMN: It can be difficult for writers of color to write about people who are not of their own background, without facing some kind of criticism. There’s a belief held by many people that if you are a person of color, you should only be writing about your own experience. When I began, many people were puzzled why an Asian American would be interested in writing a story involving Little House on the Prairie. The notion was that these books are so iconically American, why would an Asian American be interested? I wanted to question that questioning, to create a narrative of the Rose Wilder stories with the story of the protagonist, Lee.

Q: Lee makes some pretty juicy discoveries about Rose Wilder’s personal life. How much of it is true?

BMN: I took a ton of liberties. However, I did spend a lot of time reading Rose’s journals at the archives. But Lee’s theft of archival materials is made up. It’s not something that I would do myself, but I love imagining it. The Rose Wilder Lane papers in Iowa are cataloged in a fairly messy way. I was surprised there were so many souvenirs and trinkets jumbled together, and the thought crossed my mind, “Boy, you could just take one of these things.” Every once in a while a scholar will find a treasure trove of lost letters. I’ve always loved this idea. You’re an ordinary scholar, and you make an accidental and incredible discovery.

In Rose’s papers, I did find a photograph of a Vietnamese man that she took while in Saigon. The photo struck a chord. I thought, maybe she really did develop friendships there. It was the first connection I could make between something having to do with Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Vietnamese American experience.

 

Q: Your descriptions of the pseudo-Asian buffets in small Midwestern towns are appalling and fascinating. Did you have a lot of experience eating at those buffets growing up?

BMN: I did. And for research purposes, I had to go back. I went to the worst ones, the most grimy and rundown. For years it fascinated me that these restaurants are in the middle of nowhere but are somehow surviving and run by Asian people. They serve corn syrupy fast food. It’s really American food more than Asian.

Q: Lee’s brother, Sam, chooses to move to San Francisco to be around other Asians. You grew up in the Midwest, but you have recently moved to San Francisco. Can you speak more about your motivation to relocate Sam?

BMN: When I wrote Pioneer Girl, I was living in the Midwest. I had no idea that I would ever move to the Bay Area. Part of the Midwestern experience for me is conflicted. When I was growing up there, I always thought, this is where we are, this is our home. However, there’s a longing to see what the coasts are like because all you ever hear is that life is on the coasts, in California or New York, and the middle is just fly-over country. I wanted there to be a character who not only felt that way but did something about it. But it’s not a positive thing Sam does; it’s a selfish thing, and that’s what happens to a lot of Midwesterners who leave. It can feel like you are abandoning something. I wanted to get at that feeling.

Details Hardcover, $26.95, bichminhnguyen.com.

 

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This story was originally published in our Spring 2014 issue. Get your copy here

The Sacrifice of Skating: Martinez makes Olympic debut for the Philippines

Story by Olivia Ouyang.

After one of the strangest men’s short programs in the history of the Olympics, Michael Christian Martinez, finds himself in 19th place, thus fulfilling his goal to qualify for the men’s free skate. Martinez is the only athlete from the Philippines to compete at these Games as well as the first figure skater to represent a Southeast Asian country in the event. Only seventeen years of age, Martinez is the youngest men’s competitor. However, he is also one of the most hardworking.

Born in Paranaque City, Martinez skated for the first time at the age of eight when he went to a shopping mall in Manila. He essentially taught himself how to skate through watching videos and mastered his first few triple jumps all on his own. In 2010, he started making trips to Los Angeles to train with esteemed coaches John Nicks and Ilia Kulik. A month before this Olympics, he headed to Moscow to train with Viktor Kudriyavstev. In Sochi, Martinez was the very first skater to step foot in the practice rink.

Despite his visible potential, Martinez has questioned whether he should continue skating. Last year, his family’s farm in Luzon was devastated by the typhoons that hit the region. Had he not qualified for the Olympics at the 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy, Martinez would have quit skating. Now, he is hoping to garner enough support to continue to train for the 2018 Olympics in South Korea. In order to raise funds for this Olympics, Martinez’s family mortgaged their home. His friends and skating club have also been supportive, helping to pay for his training trips to Los Angeles. Because of the lack of facilities (Martinez still practices on public sessions) and coaching expertise in the Philippines, these trips are necessary for Martinez’s development as a skater. With a good showing in Sochi, he is hoping to garner more support from the government.

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Martinez started off his Olympic debut strong. Choreographed by Phillip Mills, Martinez’s short program to Romeo and Juliet exemplified his potential to be a threat in the sport. He skated an almost clean program, just botching his triple-triple jump combination. However, he has a knack for spins and a natural musicality that cannot be taught. Before Martinez finished his short program, the crowd was already cheering.

Having skated in the first warm-up group, Martinez had a long wait to find out whether or not he had made it to the long program. That wait was filled with a number of high, low, and strange moments. Four-time Olympic medalist and gold medal contender Yevgeny Plushenko from Russia withdrew after aggravating an injury in warm-up. U.S. Champion Jeremy Abbott came down hard on a quad toe attempt, slamming into the boards and requiring a substantial amount of time to recover. On the other hand, Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan became the first skater to ever break the 100-point mark in the short program, garnering a 101.45 for his clean skate.

The men’s free skate promises to be an exciting event. While the battle for gold will most likely be between Hanyu and Patrick Chan of Canada, only 3.5 points separates third and eleventh place currently. In that mix are Jason Brown from the U.S., Han Yan from China, Denis Ten from Kazakhstan, and two Japanese skaters, Daisuke Takahashi and Tatsuki Machida.

Already Broke Your New Year’s Resolutions? Feel Better With Wong Fu’s Resolution Fails

It’s hard to believe that its been two weeks since the Times Square Ball dropped and welcomed 2014.

And what comes along with every New Year? You guessed it- a handful of determined people making New Year’s resolutions. According to Statistic Brain, the top ten New Year’s resolutions of 2014 are as follows:
1) Lose weight.
2) Get organized.
3) Spend less and save more.
4) Enjoy life to the fullest.
5) Stay fit and healthy.
6) Learn something exciting.
7) Quit smoking.
8) Help others in their dreams.
9) Fall in love.
10) Spend more time with family.

Unfortunately, less than 10% of people admit to being successful with their New Year’s resolutions every year. Even though we’re only two weeks into 2014, many people have already given up on their resolutions, haven’t started yet, or say they’re “taking a break.”

So where do you fall?

If you seem to have already broken your New Year’s Resolutions, don’t worry! It’s time to bring back Wong Fu’s “Two Weeks Later: Resolution Fails” short to remind us that we’re not alone with our resolution fails. Check it out below.

 

Besides, who says New Years is the only time you can improve your life?

Hello Kitty x The Simpsons 2014 Collaboration

Here’s a collaboration we never saw coming. Although unexpected, we’re pretty excited to see Hello Kitty and The Simpsons come together.

Next year, the two very popular franchises are teaming up for a special line of products. Hello Kitty will be celebrating its 40th anniversary and The Simpsons will be celebrating its 25th making this quite a landmark year for both franchises.

This collaboration between Sanrio and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products will bring limited-edition collectibles and fans are already trying to guess what could be in this anticipated line of products. Some guess that because the release of the collaboration will  occur during the “back-to-school” season of 2014, it will be geared towards that.

The collaboration promises “a fun and unexpected take on The Simpsons‘ transformation within Hello Kitty’s super-cute world,” says Sanrio president Janet Hsu.

The first appearance of this collaboration will make its first appearance at Brand Licensing Europe in London on October 15-17 and available for purchase in the Fall.