01 June 2009

Too late for dumplings?

Last Thurs was the dumpling festival (端午节). It was only on the Sun of the week that I impromptuly decided to make dumplings this year. One of the main reasons was for my mum. Mum used to make dumplings which were raved by all who've tasted them. Due to her health, she hasn't been making them since a few years ago. I was quite determined to pass down her knowledge and skills, although unfortunately, I haven't quite mastered them yet.

This was the 3rd year I was attempting on her popular Nonya dumplings, but sadly, the standard is still not quite there. My mum does not have a well documented recipe. Much of it was in her head. It was pretty difficult to get the correct gauge on the taste of the meat which was the essence of the whole dumpling. I'll probably have to wait till next year to try again.

There were quite a few hiccups this year. The shallots were not crispy. I was trying to multi-task and chose to turn on medium-small fire from the beginning which probably had caused the flop. Next, I had to throw away half of the cooked ingredients (one big pot) as I only managed to keep one pot in the fridge. The other pot was left in room temperature, thinking that I would be using them to wrap the dumplings 6 hours later, which I didn't. It had turned bad by the time I was finally ready to do the wrapping. Super demoralising! Perhaps the dampened mood resulted in a vicious cycle. Some of the leaves split open in the midst of cooking, which resulted in rice falling into the boiling water. Hence my last batch of dumplings had bits of rice sticking on the outside, something which hasn't happened in the last two years.

This year I also attempted the yellow dumpling (碱水粽). My mum has made it sound so easy that I really thought it would be fail proofed. But I was wrong again. The dumplings didn't turned out quite like hers. I had added yam paste into the dumplings. The yam paste tasted bland in the dumplings although it was ok on its own.

So you see, this year hasn't been really successful for my dumpling journey. Hopefully by next year I would have achieved the perfect dumpling.


Family First said...

It was a good try though. Dont give up as I know you have the talent in cooking & baking and am sure you will get it right!

Edith said...

My mother was coaxing me to learn this from her, telling me that I have to master it so that I can do it for my kids should she no longer here but after one try many years ago, I gave up. Perhaps I am not cut out of it.

KWF said...

Family first, thanks for your encouragement. I hope I can really master this to my mum's standard and pass it on to the next generation. I find it a pity if such skills are lost.

Edith, doing this alone is really no joke! I started my preparation from Mon and finish the whole process on Fri! Lots of work to be done, esp the cutting of ingredients.

WendyinKK said...

I think u need to make the yam filling much sweeter. If it tasted ok, it'll be bland after the boiling. I always make my red bean filling much sweeter than usual, they tasted alright when the dumplings were cooked.

Orinskitchen said...

Don't be so sad, last week I made the dumplings alone too. And yours...not bad at all! After my mum passed away, I tried to make them for my family. She did not teach me too, just saw and helped when she made the dumplings.

Linda said...

Keep your interest going, WF. You don't need to wait for a year to try making the dumplings! I'm sure you'll be successful next time! :-D

Blessed Homemaker said...

I don't have the courage to do this yet :P I think you did great!

KWF said...

Wendyywy, if I do make them again in future, I may want to omit the fillings (thinking of the amount of sugar that goes into it...lol...).

Orinskitchen, I'm trying hard to master it as well as my mum when she's still ard. I don't want to end up regretting later not able to get the skills right.

Linda, you want to volunteer your help the next round? ;)

Blessed Homemaker, I think they're not that difficult, just super tedious!