Dear Dumplings

Back when I was spending my time at home, I took home-cooked Chinese food for granted. I realize that now and I am terribly sorry. I cultivated my love for Chinese cuisine after I moved out from home and started living on my own. Food from home, you were always there when I needed you, warmth on a bitter cold rainy day, a tasty delicious meal in between painfully long days of ‘being English’ and my standby when I could recognize nothing else on the restaurants menu.

I hated going into Chinese restaurants because they provide only Chinese written menu (mostly). And only restaurants with a pure Chinese menu come up with the best Chinese food!

From the simple ready-made plates served up on the street corners all across the cities, to the fancy restaurants with countless options for delicious fillings, you are and always will be my favourite Chinese dish.

I love you in all of your different states – boiled, steamed and fried. I even love your split personalities – wonton soup and Shanghai-styled ‘siao long pao’.

When a steaming hot plate of you arrives on the table, I excitedly mix up a bowl of chilli oil, black vinegar and thinly shredded ginger to soak you in.

I have always admired those who know how to make you. One of these days, I promise I will learn. Until one day, my Chinese friend from Wuhan, he had a live demo of you. He showed us step-by-step to mould you.

One year later, one day, I tried my hand at this legendary culinary art. I had a lot of trial and error throughout the process. After several times, I did it. Although I never quite mastered the art, I will dream of that glorious moment when I get to mould you perfectly.

From our parents, my brother and I since young learnt the importance of family gathering around a table together for a meal or a topic. And from my early age, I often helped my popo (grandmother) and my mother in the kitchen.

Now, I think that clearly explains how I gained those fats since I young (laughs).

Ching Yee

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