Tina Yao is a Chinese immigrant I had the great honor of cooking with recently. We met through her daughter-in-law, Katrina, who like me, feels it’s important to preserve family traditions and culture. One morning, I headed over to learn how to make dumplings, a northern Chinese staple. Tina graciously showed me how to make thin dough with two ingredients, flour and water, and a savory pork filling that she mixes up with chopsticks and quickly stuffs into the rolled out dough. In a blink of an eye, she seals each one in perfect, identical pleats. Needless to say, I still need some practice!
I loved making dumplings with her and listening to her tell stories about her village and how the woman would sit for hours in preparation for the New Year, making these dumplings all day long, eating and gossiping as they worked. People coming in and out to chat and eat.
With Chinese New Year approaching, try Tina’s dumplings. They can be steamed, boiled or pan-fried. I know I’ll be practicing my pleats and eating some delicious dumplings as I go!Read More