For Eddie Huang, selling Taiwanese gua bao has a special significance.
During a recent interview with “CBS Sunday Morning,” the restaurateur explained the impetus for launching his restaurant Baohaus, known for its gua bao, or Taiwanese steamed buns.
Huang had heard that gua bao was being branded “New American” cuisine, according to the outlet, despite the food’s deep roots in his culture. So he set out to reclaim the dish.
“This is a dish from the night market in Taiwan since the ’50s,” he told CBS. “It really upset me. No one even knows where Taiwan is. Like, when I was growing up, people thought we were from Thailand, you know? I just wanted to put it out and say, ‘Hey, this is our dish.’”
Huang ended up opening the restaurant in 2009 with his brother Evan. He’s previously explained that he was unwilling to cave to the expectation that immigrants’ food should be cheap when he charged customers for his Taiwanese fare.
“My name is Eddie Huang. I was born in America, my ancestors are from China, and my parents were born in Taiwan,” he said in a speech at the National Immigration Integration Conference back in 2017. “I sell Taiwanese gua bao for a full fucking price in America.”