Asian American Families Celebrate Thanksgiving Unique Ways

CAMBRIDGE − Beef with peppercorns, star anise, chilis, garlic, ginger and vegetables on Thanksgiving? “My mom couldn’t imagine it,” Carlie Ni, 28, said.   “But that’s what Taiwan beef noodle soup is for Thanksgiving dinner,” added her husband, Li-Kuan Ni. For many multicultural families, Thanksgiving is a time of blended […]

CAMBRIDGE − Beef with peppercorns, star anise, chilis, garlic, ginger and vegetables on Thanksgiving?

“My mom couldn’t imagine it,” Carlie Ni, 28, said.  

“But that’s what Taiwan beef noodle soup is for Thanksgiving dinner,” added her husband, Li-Kuan Ni.

For many multicultural families, Thanksgiving is a time of blended tradition and an excuse to gather and eat foods from around the world with family and friends.

For the Nis, who live in Cambridge with their two children, it’s been a give and take. Carlie is originally from Utah and Li-Kuan was born in Hsinchu, Taiwan. They got married in May 2017 and moved to the Boston area in 2021.

Li-Kuan said he relished the few years he got to help his parents provide Thanksgiving dinner in Taiwan for their American friends, mostly young missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who spent the holiday overseas for the first time.

“It was a hodgepodge from beef noodle soup to sweet potato casserole, but we never cooked a turkey,” Li-Kuan said. “We never knew where to get it or how to prepare it.”

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