Fresh Off the Boat

Fresh Off the Boat

A Memoir

Eddie Huang

Yong Kang Jie, where Din Tai Fung was founded. To this day, it is the single most famous restaurant in Taipei, the crown jewel of the pound-for-pound greatest eating island in the world.

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While the rest of America went to church, we learned how to read right to left.

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Teachers would try to ask us questions about science or math and we would answer back with news about Shaq coming to Orlando. It was an exciting time.

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When you washed your hands, they had hand towels so you didn’t have to wipe your face with the towel your brother wiped his balls with ten minutes ago. For real, if you are a broke-ass kid, you are wiping your face with your brother’s balls.

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Macaroni is to Chinamen as water is to gremlins, teeth are to blow jobs, and Asian is to American. It just didn’t fit.

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realized that day that anyone can be a parent; you just need live bullets.

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People ask me what my greatest strengths are and I say perspective. The best way to get that is to meet people that are polar opposites; you learn the most from them. There are pieces of you that are inherently yours, but everything else is a collection of the things you’ve seen and the people you’ve met.

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“A Modest Proposal”

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I saw how managers would give people manuals, train them, and write them up, but it was empty. If you really wanted good employees that would have your interests at heart, they needed to buy in. You needed people who wanted to grow with your business and see themselves as valuable members on the team.

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Style isn’t an excuse to cook without a standard. Style just determines the set of rules you choose.

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I’m convinced that frats are the beginning of the end for most of the people who end up running the world. It teaches them to give up individuality, independence, and even their paper for acceptance.

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Baos, birds, or bud, you do everything you can up front to get them in a habit, then just don’t do anything to disturb it. Set a pattern, get them into an expectation about how you gonna move, and everybody settles in. The key is not to run with people who can’t be consistent.

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Whether it’s cooking, basketball, or writing, I was like Latrell Sprewell. If I couldn’t go left, I just got really good at going right until someone stopped me.

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You figure getting a professional degree can’t possibly put you in a shittier place than you were in previously, but that’s a misconception. It’s like having kids. In theory they cool, but the motherfuckers will shit on your life mad quick if you’re not ready. It’s a gamble. If you don’t have a scholarship, you spend about $200K for three years’ tuition, room, board, and books. Most people take out loans so that’s another 7 to 13 percent interest over twenty to thirty years paying it all back. By the time you factor in three years of lost wages, you’re just glad New York City got free condoms and 3-1-1.

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People were so competitive and saw every job someone else got as a job that they lost. I didn’t agree and always told people what Cam’ron said: “Can’t get paid in a earth this big? You worthless kid!

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Our shirts became the Street CNN: Cotton News Network.

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If you want your voice to be heard, you have to fight. There’s no other way around it. You can’t expect people to seek you out; if you know you’re right and you have the answers, then it’s your duty to tell the world.

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Major Abshed and I would get high and go to Yemen Cafe in Brooklyn after work. Right off Atlantic near Court Street, it’s the best Middle Eastern food in New York. They’re known for one dish: yaneez.

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To this day, the only reality show that I’ve ever enjoyed watching was ego trip’s The (White) Rapper Show

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Tourists and cornballs love Joe’s Shanghai, but everyone knows it’s Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao holding down Flushing.

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Peter Luger’s in Williamsburg to Great N.Y. Noodletown on Bowery to Shopsin’s on Essex to Baohaus on Fourteenth to La Taza de Oro on Ninth Avenue to Sapporo on Forty-ninth to the golden elevator at Kuruma Zushi to Lechonera in Harlem to SriPraPhai in Woodside to Mario’s on Arthur Avenue,

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Kunjip in Koreatown. In the winter, I craved their kalbi tang

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