TD Ameritrade Commercial Features Asian Americans

TD Ameritrade Commercial

There is currently a really cute television commercial by TD Ameritrade featuring two loving Asian grandparents taking care of their grandson. It’s a 30 second commercial  that indicates they want to help you be the best grandparents and believe that the best returns aren’t just measured in dollars.  It is a really cute spot because it shows scenes where the grandparents are putting a headset on the grandson so he won’t be startled while watching fireworks.  You can see the commercial by clicking on the following YouTube link:

Put Asian Lettuce Wraps on Your Asian Cuisine Menu

Asian Letuce Wraps II

Whether it is a formal event like a wedding or a casual snack at home, Asian lettuce wraps add a delicious nice touch to the meal. Asian lettuce wraps are a great idea for entertaining.  Each person can build their own fresh wrap with as much or as little filling as they desire.  Somehow the conversation seems to be more fun when everybody is participating in making something.  Asian lettuce wraps are tasty and refreshing with the crunchy texture of a cold iceberg lettuce leaf.

There are many ways to prepare Asian lettuce wraps. Many people like to serve minced chicken or pork wrapped up in fresh iceberg lettuce leaves served with hoisin dipping sauce.  Some serve sweet and salty ground beef that has been filled with crunchy water chestnuts.  At a really formal Chinese banquet I had had Asian lettuce wraps served with minced squab.  It was really elegant.  On less formal occasions I have seen Asian lettuce wraps served with multiple dipping sauces like hoisin sauce and sweet chili sauce.  The following is an excellent recipe for Asian lettuce wraps.


Ken Jeong Plays Guest Stint on “Fresh Off the Boat”

Ken Jeong


In an episode of “Fresh Off The Boat” to air in May, Ken Jeong will play the twin brother of louis, who arrives in town to personally invite Louis and Jessica to his wedding. “Fresh Off The Boat”, inspired by chef Eddie Huang’s memoir growing up in suburban Florida, stars Randall Park as Louis, Constance Wu as Jessica, Hudson Yang as Eddie, Forrest Wheeler as Emery and Ian Chen as Evan.  20th Century Fox TV is the studio.  See:

Tips for those born in the Year of the Rat

Tsu Tsu the Rat -copyright S

2016 is the year of the Fire Monkey and may have a profound effect on those born in the Year of the Rat. First, the Fire Monkey sign is on very good terms with those born in the Year of the Rat and should bring them exciting powerful opportunities this year.  In 2016 Rat people should enjoy good health.  2016 should also bring better quality energy to the relationships of Rat people, including romantic relationships.  2016 promises exciting and ever unfolding career opportunities, promises of travel and better quality relationships for the Rat Chinese zodiac sign people.  High energy, less hesitation and more planning are the keywords in 2016 for the Rat sign.  See:

The above oil painting “Tsu Tsu the Rat” is part of a series of oil paintings featuring the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac by award-winning Chinese American artist Tiffany Chang. Each of her paintings display humanized animals that illustrate the unique characteristics of each of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac.  Her “Tsu Tsu the Rat” painting, for example, illustrates a humanized rat carrying fruit to market.  One of the main attributes associated with the Chinese zodiac rat is wisdom and you can see this on the face of this rat.  All 12 paintings of the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac will be on display in art galleries in the Northeast this summer. The artist has also created a line of pillows and clothing based on her Chinese zodiac animals.  You can see these at:


What is the Best Skillet for Chinese Potstickers?


I love to eat Chinese potstickers and do so at least once a week. Not only do I like the way potstickers taste but I find them to be very easy to prepare. If you are not up to the effort of cooking a full-blown meal, potstickers are clearly the way to go. Because you can freeze potstickers, I keep them always on hand for easy meal preparation. They are my meal of choice when I don’t have the energy or imagination to prepare something more elaborate.

You don’t need a lot of equipment to prepare potstickers, but you will need a good non-stick, flat bottom skillet. You don’t want your potstickers sticking to the skillet and possibly burning. The big problem with nonstick pans is that they simply don’t last very long. Eventually the coating will start to wear off, scratch and dull. At that point the skillet will lose its nonstick properties. An excellent non-stick skillet for preparing potstickers is the T-fal 12 inch Fry Pan. Its non-stick surface releases the potstickers with ease. The silicone-coated handles are comfortable and its nonstick coating is surprisingly durable. You can purchase this skillet on Amazon for around $26.   See:

I found a great recipe on how to make Chinese potstickers on Julie Deily’s blog: The Little Kitchen. Not only does this blog post include a comprehensive recipe with photos, it even includes a great video where she provides a demonstration. What I like about this blog post is way it shows, as an alternative, how to make potstickers with ground turkey as well as with ground chicken. As you probably know traditional potstickers are made with ground pork. See:

Should You Start Your Own Business?

Chinese Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurialism could be your key to personal growth.  From restaurants to retailers and service businesses, there are many examples of entrepreneurial success in Asia and in the United States.  Individuals from all walks of life have turned a dream into a major accomplishment.  Some successes have happened overnight while others have happened through slow steady progress.  Of course there are risks involved but the rewards can be significant.

The Shanghai La Vie Hotel in China is a good example of how quickly growth can occur in an entrepreneurial venture.  In less than two years, the entrepreneur had been able to build a very successful business that includes four office buildings, a hotel and a series of restaurants.  The hotel itself has seventy six rooms and the overall business employs a total of one hundred and forty two people.  This type of growth is happening with thousands of businesses all over China.

Schlesinger Associates, a market research company, is an example of how an entrepreneur in the United States turned a home-based business into a global company. The company was started by a housewife in one of the bedrooms of her New Jersey home.  After a lot of initial hard work the business began to grow and moved into a formal office facility.  At that point the business really started to take off and expanded to multiple locations.  They now have twenty two facilities around the world and employ six hundred people.

If you are now in the process of thinking about your next move you may want to consider starting your own business.  A good place to start is to talk with people who have successfully started or expanded their own small businesses.  Their personal stories can be educational and just might give you the insight to propel yourself into an exciting new chapter of your life.


Yes, I Do Eat Chicken Feet

Chicken feet

I frequently bring my non-Asian friends to Chinese restaurants that serve chicken feet and their reaction is almost always the same. You want to order WHAT?  I then try to explain what is like to eat chicken feet.  First, I explain, it is similar to eating chicken wings except many people consider it a delicacy.  The taste can vary depending on how the chicken feet are prepared, but you can definitely acquire a taste for them.  I personally know many people that absolutely love eating chicken feet and will order them every chance they get.  In any event, I have found that ordering chicken feet when you are with non-Asians is one of the more attention-grabbing things you can do to liven up a meal in a Chinese restaurant.



Five Asian Customer Retention Techniques

Chinese businessmen

As any successful entrepreneur knows, it can be hard work learning how to retain customers and keep them coming back. In Asia, retaining customers is not only important to profits, it is also important in maintaining status in the community. The following are five of the more interesting customer retention techniques being used in Asia:

  1. Inexpensive Repair – To foster customer loyalty, the owner of an Atunas sporting goods store in Taipei, Taiwan tells his customers that he will stand by them if something goes wrong with a product. He wants to create the image that Atunas is a famous brand with excellent service. If a product is broken, he will never charge more than $5.00 (150 NT) to correct the problem. He feels that this is a service his customers can get that they cannot get from other sporting goods retailers. He tells the story of one customer who had owned an Atunas backpack for 7 or 8 years and brought it back to his store with a damaged front. He only charged this customer $5.00 (150 NT) to fix the backpack, which was really not even enough to pay for the shipping charge to the repair facility. He is charging a minimum service charge to build loyalty.
  2. Changing Scenery – One strategy for keeping long-term hotel customers is to periodically modify the design of the hotel rooms. The management of the Shanghai La Vie Hotel has found it to be fairly inexpensive and quick to update the rooms in their hotel. Currently for $8,000 (50,000 RMB) they can change the design of a room. In approximately 2 months they can change the design of 10 rooms in their hotel. To maintain strong customer satisfaction, the rooms in this hotel are kept fresh and modern. In some cases the entire theme of the rooms are periodically changed.
  3. Changing Menu – The owner of the Ding Jen Fong restaurant in Taipei, Taiwan decided that he would constantly evolve his menu by periodically adding new items. His goal was to have many repeat customers and he felt that they expect to see new dishes from time to time. In June of this year, for example, he will be adding more than a dozen new dishes. He is concerned that without new dishes customers will get tired of the old dishes and they won’t keep coming back. This successful restaurant owner is convinced that his constantly changing menu is one of the reasons his customers come back and bring their friends.
  4. Fast Service – One of the ways the Liu family retains customers for their strawberry farm in Shanghai, China is by providing extremely fast service. They can do this because their bakery customers are dealing directly with their farm rather than with a wholesaler. The Liu’s have found that the bakeries in Shanghai are frequently faced with rush orders due to changing customer requirements. Normally the Liu’s will go out on their truck at 5:30 in the morning to deliver strawberries. When a customer calls up for immediate delivery, however, the Liu’s can accomplish that because they have their own delivery truck. In only a couple of hours they can deliver an emergency order. Most other strawberry farmers cannot do this because they only sell to wholesalers.
  5. Listen to Customers – Many businesses in Asia spend time listening to their customers and carefully observing their actions. As relationship building is the key to doing business in Asia, many try to establish personal relationships with each of their customers.

During this period of global uncertainty it is more important than ever for businesses to retain their customers. Tracking customer loyalty is a process that all organizations should do on a continuous basis. As businesses grow, however, it is difficult to maintain personal relationships. Nevertheless, many entrepreneurs in Asia have made it a priority to keep in touch with their customers. From inexpensive repair services to fast service and ever-changing menus and hotel décor, these entrepreneurs have figured out clever ways to keep their customers coming back.


Chinese Airlines Move to Conserve Fuel

China Airlines

Not only is China now the 21st century’s second largest economy, it is also one of the fastest growing segments of the global airline industry. Every year more and more Chinese people travel by air rather than by train or other modes of transportation. The impressive growth of the Chinese airline industry has been one of the key factors in propelling China into a global position of leadership. Easy access to markets throughout China has enabled China’s economy to grow faster than would have been possible without a modern airline network.

Retiring old non fuel-efficient aircraft is one of the major things the airlines in China are doing to reduce fuel consumption. Some of the more fuel-efficient aircraft sold today can get mileage comparable to that of most small cars when calculated on a per passenger per kilometer basis. The next time you are traveling by airline look out your window at the end of the wing. You may notice that the tip of the wing looks like an upturned flap rather than just a straight wing. That curve at the end of the wing is called a “winglet” and represents one of the other major things the airlines are doing to conserve fuel.  The airlines in China are paying serious attention to energy conservation and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.


Asian American Blog


Face of pig

Are you interested in news that specifically affects the Asian American community? is a great blog for Asian Americans.  It includes timely articles and commentary about the Asian American lifestyle, Asian cooking and current events in the Asian American community.  Reviews are included about cookware for Asian cooking, Asian beauty products and other products of interest to Asians living in America.  Lifestyle reports are included about what it is like to be an Asian living, eating and working in the United States.  This is an interactive blog that welcomes comments about any of the topics discussed.