Monthly Archives: January 2010

Eating at home

A month ago, I was interviewed and observed by a journalist of the Dutch newspaper Het Parool about making dumplings (饺子jiǎo zi) for the column “Thuiseten” (eating at home) of the Saturday Edition. I got this opportunity from the manager of Dun Yong supermarket, which is the oldest Chinese family business in Amsterdam’s China Town.

Making dumplings is not very complicated unless you make the dough. I’ve never really had a chance to learn how to make dumpling dough because my mother always did it as she is efficient and my father kneaded the dough. So I bought the dough from the package at the Chinese supermarket when I settled the time with the journalist for the interview. The dumpling pastry from package is well made, but they need to be defrosted before being used and need to be pressed hard while folding. The rest I made by myself including the forcemeat and the spicy sauce. The journalist watched the whole making and cooking processes, and we ate together at the end. We talked a lot while making those dumplings such as the life here and in China. She was curious and surprised to hear my stories, and thought I’ve experienced a lot in my entire life. Yes, it’s true.

At the end of the interview, I had some leftovers. Of course, she took a doggy bag when she left my place. This whole interview, talking and making dumplings reminded me my parents who are still living in China, reminded me my joyful childhood. We used to fold the dumplings together with three of us after the doughs are made by my mother. The funny thing is that each of us has our own style. I didn’t learn my way of folding dumplings from neither my mother nor my father. I learned a complicated way of making dumplings from the father of my childhood friend when I stayed overnight at her place.

I didn’t receive the draft of this article before it’s published on last Saturday, January 2 because the journalist was too busy so that she forgot the whole thing. There are actually type mistakes about the name jiǎo zi, but it’s now too late to correct them.  Anyway, I think it’s a worthwhile article to be read.

Click here to read the article (in Dutch).