In all the fields and
hillsides there is an
abundance of wild onion
or soap-root (amole),
the size of our onion,
with a long, round head.
Batches of these are
covered with earth, a
fire is kept burning
over them three or four
days and when they are
well done they are taken
out and eaten, and are
as sweet and tasty as
jam. Another variety of
this plant is not eaten,
for it is not sweet, but
it serves as soap,
making a lather and
taking out spots the
same as soap of Castile.
Francisco Palou, priest
at the San Francisco
Del otro lado del arroyo
encontramos una bonita Barbecued Soaproot Bulbs
ranchería de gentiles…y nos Gather soaproot bulbs. Leave the
dieron diferentes bateas de husks on.
unas como sebollitas Cover with dirt.
tatemadas, que gusté, y
tenían un agridulce mui
Build a fire over them; keep it
sabroso…Nos quadraron mucho
esta gentilidad; y parecen going for three or four days.
unos españoles. Remove the fire, dirt and husks.
The soaproot will be sweet, tender
We met with a fine little and ready to eat.
village at the other side
of the stream...they gave
us several bowls full of
sort of barbecued small
onions, which I tasted and
found to have a very
flavor...We were greatly
pleased with this heathen
folk; they are just like so
Father Crespí, Spanish
through the East Bay
ACORNS and MOONS
Throughout the year the people held
Every day, my various feasts, festivals and
ancestors would religious dances, many of them tied
to the biological rhythms of the oak
pound acorns to
trees. Time itself was measured by
make into a hot the oaks. The acorn harvest marked
mush to eat. I do the beginning of the new year.
this once a year Winter was spoken of as so many
at the Ohlone months (moons) after the acorn
harvest, summer as so many months
gathering. before the next acorn harvest. The
- Ruth Orta,
rhythm of the oak trees marked the
passage of the year and defined the
rhythms of Ohlone life.
from The Ohlone Way
by Malcolm Margolin
They have acorns, ACORN MUSH
too, that they
Pick tan oak acorns in late October or early
grind and make
Discard acorns with wormholes.
balls. Put acorns in containers and set next to heat.
Father Palou, After two weeks, crack open and remove meat.
S.F. Mission, Let dry until reddish fibers fall off.
1776 Remove fibers and let meat dry.
Grind or pound into flour.
The whole of this cookery consists Cover a sieve with cloth and put flour over the
in roasting the grain before it is cloth.
cooked. As the Indian women have Fill a sieve twice with lukewarm water and
no clay or metallic vessels for strain.
this operation, they use baskets Cover flour with cold water and soak for two
into which they put small burning days, stirring often.
coals. They turn these vessels When the flour is no longer bitter or water-
with such dexterity that they soaked, the flour is ready
succeed in causing the grain to To cook, put flour in boiling water and let boil
swell and burst without burning until desired thickness or cook with black
the basket. (We can affirm that
rocks in a tightly woven basket as the
our best coffee is far from being
roasted with equal skill.)
Wrapped in thick alder leaves, the acorn mush
It is distributed to them every can be baked into bread.
morning, and the slightest
embezzlement is punished by the
whip, though it seldom happens
that they expose themselves to the
Count Galaud de la Pérouse,
French visitor, writing on
food in the missions, 1786
The Indians...live on CHIA
the seeds of the wild from an
grasses which it falls Ohlone Story
to the lot of the
women to gather when Kaknu, Peregrine
they are in season.
These they grind and
make flour for their Hero of the Early
porridge (atole). People,
Among the seeds they killed Body of
gather is a black Stone,
variety and from its Lord of the
flour they make a sort Underworld,
of dumpling, ball- making the world
shaped and the size of safe. Kaknu
an orange, which are
very rich and savory,
almonds.... They have “This is for the
acorns, too, that they People to eat,” he
grind and make into said, throwing it
their porridge or from his nose. From
balls. then on, there were
Francisco Palou, San patches of chia to
Francisco Mission, harvest.
colonists used a Chia Cakes
teaspoonful of seeds plus Gather and roast the
a little sugar and lemon seeds.
in water to make a Grind or pound into flour.
refreshing drink. One Soak in water and shape
teaspoonful was said to into round balls or patties.
be sufficient to sustain Cook and eat.
an individual going on a
forced march for
They also derive
sustenance from fish of
many kinds, all very
healthful, that they catch
Fish in the rivers and
on the coasts..., and from
streams provided the the various mussels and
Ohlone with delicious other shellfish that
protein. Francisco Palóu always abound. They hunt
enthuses about the fish and deer, rabbits, geese,
meat, 1776: ducks, quail, and thrush.
When a whale chances to
strand on the shore they
always make the most of it
and celebrate the occasion
with a great feast, for
they are extremely fond of
whale meat, which is all
fat and blubber. They cut
it in strips, roast it
underground and hang it in
the trees, and when they
want to eat cut off a
piece and eat it together
with their other foods.
They do likewise with sea-
lion, of which they are no
less fond than of the
whale, for it also is all
Farm Saechow’s Noodle Salad
1 package Chinese Rice Noodles
3 tablespoons Italian and Ranch-style Finh Luang’s Noodle Salad
bottled dressing, combined
1 tablespoon mayonnaise Rice noodles, cooked
1/3 cup peanuts, fried Hard boiled egg
5 lettuce leaves, torn up Peanuts
3 Eggs, boiled, 3 without yolks Cilantro
2 tomatoes, cut in sections Cucumber
Combine all ingredients. Serve cold. Lemon, a little
“They use noodles at home, but no Dried red pepper, a little
Combine all ingredients, serve
Nae Sieuw’s Noodle Salad
Add tiny bits of cooked and
seasoned chicken and small fresh
lettuce leaves to cooked warm rice
Muong’s Cabbage and Pork
Cabbabe Yien’s Dried Mushrooms
Onion Buy a package of dried
Oil mushrooms of the
Pork: Use a cut of like Soak and wash.
bacon, but thicker. Cut up Add salt and oil.
in small pieces and fry until Serve with just rice, or add fish
crunchy. or meat.
Cabbage: Slice into small
pieces. Cook in oil with 2
garlic cloves and a bit of
Mix pork and cabbage
together and serve.
Nai Siew’s Broccoli Raab, Lai Buah
Nai Sieuw, Farm and Ying Fu’s
Garden Greens Oil
Garlic, 2 cloves
Pick fresh greens and place aside. Thai chili peppers
Put into a large pot: Broccoli raab
1/4 cu. Chicken fat Salt
2 cloves chopped garlic
salt Pick fresh broccoli raab with the green
couple small whole hot peppers flowers left on.
Heat oil well.
Cook together until fragrant. Put in pressed garlic.
Pour in water, several inches deep. Add whole hot red or green pepper. Pour a
Put greens into the water, tearing them into couple of quarts of water in the mixture.
smaller pieces as you do so. Wait for it to boil.
Bring to the boil, cook to taste until tender, Drop the fresh-picked broccoli raab into the
strain off the water and serve. water.
Add salt to taste.
Boil about 5 minutes. If it’s soft, it’s ready.
Finh’s Geen La Meng (Mustard with
Yien’s Lai Papiú—Seed Pods
Pick young mustard plants with bright
yellow flowers left on. (Pod from a variety of mustard with
Heat up water. white lavender flowers. The pod is
Drop in the mustard and boil a few about 3/4ths of an inch long with a
minutes. pointed tip and tastes somewhat like
Boil it again, whenever you want to a radish.)
eat it, adding vegetable oil, salt.
Wash them and take off the little
“In Laos we wouldn’t have used pointed tip.
vegetable oil. We would kill a pig and Heat oil in a frying pan.
save the fat, or if we didn’t have Fry them quickly—about 2 minutes.
that, we would just use water. We Add salt and serve.
grow mustard greens because they
grow for such a long season.”
Yien’s Egg Rolls Ying Fu’s Chicken—Che Kyie
Filling Chicken legs and thighs
Cabbage, one head Sugar, salt, flour
Rice noodles, a package Sprinkle the chicken with sugar
Carrot, 2 or 3 and salt.
Bell Pepper, 2 Dredge in rice flour.
Salt Deep fry in 2 inches of oil, 15-20
Buy wrappers in the store.
“We make this just the same in
Chop ingredients and mix. Scoop Laos.”
filing with wrappers and fold
closed. Deep fry, serve hot.