Malee’s Kitchen: Hmong food truck in Fresno shares traditional dishes

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — For the last two years, Malee’s Kitchen has been sharing Hmong culture with Fresno.

Malee Vang opened the food truck in the middle of the pandemic in 2020.

She used to cook for her friends, and they gave her the idea of sharing her skills with a larger population.

“I love cooking, I love cooking so much and all my friends inspire me, they love my food.” says Malee.

Malee came to the US at the age of 7 and was raised by a single mother. Her father passed away when she was just 15 days old.

Malee describes her home country, Thailand, as a place rich in street food culture and says her food truck takes her back.

“It feels like you are home in your country too,” says Malee.

She offers customers over a dozen options, but one of the most popular dishes is the papaya salad.

Malee’s son, Chue Vang, helps in the kitchen and seems to have inherited his mother’s talent.

“A lot of people say I make it pretty good too, so it actually makes me pretty happy,” says Chue.

Malee says opening during the pandemic was not easy. But through hard work, her business is still up and running.

Her daughter in law, Nancy Jong, says she’s proud and appreciative of all the family has achieved.

“It is amazing because they really are the backbone of not just theirs but our success also,” says Nancy.

She also mentions through their food truck, they have been able to donate to local community groups and hopes the community can turn to them if they ever need help.

The food truck is truly a family affair. Next door is a food stand her relatives run, and next to that is a building where Malee hopes to open a restaurant.

“We will see how this is going to go first. If this goes pretty good, then I will open one soon,” says Malee.

Malee and Nancy tell Action News they hope to keep the food truck open for many generations.

Malee’s Kitchen is open six days a week, Monday through Saturday 11am to 8pm. They are located at 7064 E Belmont Ave B, Fresno, CA 93737.

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