Ask an Asian: Is there an Asian Equivalent to Chili?

Every so often, we here at 8Asians get e-mails asking for advice. Here is one such e-mail received last week asked for the Asian equivalent of a chili cook-off:

Hi. I am on the social committee for our local swim team. We have a large Asian population (Chinese and Vietnamese) that we would like to feel included in family events. One of our largest fundraisers is a Chili Cook-off. We have a great turnout from our Asian friends for the tasting portion. I am wondering if there is an Asian version of what Americans refer to as Chili that I could reference as a familiar comparison. There is a bit of a language barrier as I have tried to ask a group of the Chinese woman that I am friendly with but they did not understand what I was saying and started to talk about shopping. Nice but a bit off topic. If anyone has any feedback, I would greatly appreciate it.

So between the editors and I, we collectively have NO IDEA — you, on the other hand, may be able to help her out: Is there an Asian equivalent of chili, or is this all TexMex, all the way?

(Flickr photo credit: Martijn Munneke)

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About Ernie

I'm the creator of 8 Asians and one of the editors. While I'm a regular blogger to the site as well, think of my role as Barbara Walters on "The View," except without the weird white hair. During the day, I'm a Developer for a major Internet company and live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I've also been writing in my blog,, for seven years.
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