Hackney duo release 'recipes against racism'

Claire Sachiko (left) and Lex Shu (right) have collected Recipes for Racism

Claire Sachiko (left) and Lex Shu (right) have collected Recipes for Racism in aid of two charities supporting the Asian and South East Asian communities - Credit: Terry Vietheer

A Hackney duo have launched a cookbook of Asian dishes from the capital's top chefs in a bid to battle racism.

Claire Sachiko from Haggerston and Lex Shu from Dalston hope to raise £20,000 for two charities supporting the East and South-East Asian communities, with their downloadable Recipes Against Racism.

The lawyers, who have run supper clubs and music events, collected more than 20 recipes for the likes of Kung Pao chicken, Taiwanese minced pork, and salmon and cod green curry balls from London's leading Asian restaurants and chefs including Chinese Laundry, Farang, Kiln, Lucky & Joy, and Atsuko Ikeda who runs “Atsuko’s Kitchen” on Columbia Road.

The scheme is a direct response to the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes since the start of the pandemic. Parts of the UK saw a near threefold increase, with Stop Hate UK reporting that the Met Police recorded a 173 per cent increase in offences towards 'people of East Asian ethnic appearance' in March 2020 compared to March 2019.

In their introduction to the book, the pair said the project started "as a reflection on what we could do to challenge 'yellow peril' stereotypes and fight for racial equity for the Asian community."

"This cookbook is a response to the racial injustices witnessed since the start of the pandemic, from anti-Asian hate crime springing up in the UK and North America due to the geographic provenance of Covid-19, to the March 2021 mass
shootings in Atlanta in the US."

They added: "We were horrified by the growing anti-ESEA race crimes during the pandemic and wanted to help drive awareness and change. We know that activism can come in many forms, and food can be a vehicle to challenge "othering" stereotypes and celebrate multi-ethnic and multi-cultural identities and heritage."

A recipe from the cookbook donated by Atsuko Ikeda who runs “Atsuko’s Kitchen” on Columbia Road.

A recipe for Oyaku Donburi donated by Atsuko Ikeda who runs “Atsuko’s Kitchen” on Columbia Road. - Credit: Courtesy of Atsuko's Kitchen

They believe "the power of food" can open minds beyond personal cultural identities.

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"Food can be a vehicle for positive storytelling and cultural exchange."

All proceeds from the cookbook go to End The Virus of Racism which focuses on mental health, support and legal aid for people of East and Southeast Asian Heritage experiencing racism , and Stop Hate UK which runs a 24-hour hate crime reporting hotline.

Oyaku Donburi donated by Atsuko Ikeda who runs “Atsuko’s Kitchen”

Oyaku Donburi recipe donated by Atsuko Ikeda who runs “Atsuko’s Kitchen” - Credit: Courtesy of Atsuko's Kitchen

Order Recipes Against Racism at https://sachikoandshu.squarespace.com 

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