What’s Chinese Islamic cuisine? This talk (and dinner) can explain

bread at China Islamic Cuisine
One of the specialties at the China Islamic restaurant in Rosemead is the sesame bread with green onions shown by Sofia Ma.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Perhaps, curiosity piqued by Jonathan Gold’s mention of China Islamic Restaurant in Rosemead, you’ve tried some of the dishes there and wanted to know more about Chinese halal cuisine.  Now’s your chance. This Sunday, the Chinese American museum is sponsoring an event called “Chinese Islamic Cuisine: A Delectable Discussion.”

For the event, the museum has arranged for a special prix fixe menu at the Rosemead restaurant. Those attending will be able to sample a variety of dishes, including home-style roast chicken, cold ox tendon and jellyfish, sesame bread with green onion, lamb stew hot pot, sliced fish with black mushrooms and bamboo shoots, beef with dry bean curd and eggplant with spicy sauce. And that’s not even the entire menu.

Here’s what’s interesting: Before dinner, Wang Daiyu (whose real name is Muhammad Ahmad), editor of the blog Islam in China, will speak about the history of Chinese American Muslims for about 20 minutes. Ahmad’s nom de plume is an homage to the 14th century scholar Wang Daiyu.

By day, Ahmad is a research scientist at the University of Minnesota and has started the first systematic study project on Chinese American Muslims. Islam in China is a website and resource for the intersection of all things Chinese, Islamic and everything in between. Its focus is the culture, history, philosophy and traditions of Chinese Muslims, regardless of their origin or background. According to Ahmad, Chinese Muslims have been an ethnic minority in China since the 7th century and their number is estimated at 20 million, primarily in the northwest.


The event is part of the Los Angeles/Islam Arts Initiative (LA/IAI), which is bringing together nearly 30 cultural institutions throughout Los Angeles to tell various stories of traditional and contemporary art from multiple Muslim regions and their significant global diasporas.

The cost of the dinner, which will be served family-style, is $20 ($18 for Chinese American Museum members). China Islamic Restaurant is at 7727 Garvey Avenue in Rosemead (626) 288-4246; Space is limited, so please reserve a seat by emailing

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