Kenji Yee

his is a picture of Kenji holding out a plate of food. The picture is blurry because it is taken through a window with a screen."

Photo: Ryan Stopera

One evening, a couple days after social distancing went into effect, I got hungry and thought about Singapore noodles. I’d never made them so I perused my Chinese cookbooks for ideas. I questionably substituted the traditional rice sticks for Chinese wheat noodles from my last public event and gathered some random vegetables and curry powder. It was super easy to make and surprisingly tasty. With about five more orders of noodles left, I decided to reach out and see if anyone in my neighborhood wanted some. My plan was to set them in my foyer and have a zero-contact pickup on a donation basis. I sold out my first night and made a few new neighborhood acquaintances. It was exhilarating, and with some tinkering and planning, I launched Hand Out. Thank you, Singapore noodles!

Click here to download Kenji’s recipe for Singapore noodles, his first social-distancing takeout special.

Kenji Yee is the dishwasher, chef, vegetable caretaker, in-line skating delivery team, and social media manager of the shui project. Kenji started the shui project out of frustration with the restaurant industry. He wanted to find a different and more loving way to make food a profession. The project’s ongoing donation-based events—Family Meal, Stir Friday, and Breakfast & cartoons—have all been manifestations of this purpose. None of this would have been possible without the community of volunteers, artists, farmers, and friends who have supported the shui project. Since Covid-19, the shui project has focused on “Hand Out,” which provides custom, donation-based, nourishing and delicious takeout meals for essential workers and delivers them by in-line skate to Loring Park and nearby.

Learn more by visiting the shui project on Instagram: @theshuiproject.