Upscale magazine celebrates Hmong cuisine

Feb 25, 2010

A brief article in this month's issue of San Joaquin Magazine gave readers a glimpse of one of the more unusual research plantings at the UC Kearney Research and Extension Center by UC Cooperative Extension small farm advisor Richard Molinar and his assistant Michael Yang.

The publication, which the title page claims "is found in affluent homes of Stockton, Lodi, Tracy, Ripon, Manteca, and Mountain House," said "evocatively-named" herbs Siberian motherwort, Vietnamese coriander, Black nightshade and Jewels of Opar and others are grown in the UC "garden" to celebrate Hmong culture.

"We want to enlighten people about these herbs," Molinar was quoted in the story.

Yang, an immigrant from Laos, explained that the preparation of chicken soup has a special significance in Hmong kitchens.

"We prepare a bundle of at least five different herbs, usually including such herbs as koj liab and pawj quaib, and simmer in chicken soup stock. It is a common practicie for Hmong women to drink this soup for the first month after they give birth," Yang was quoted.

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By Jeannette E. Warnert
Author - Communications Specialist