Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dumplings 饺子 & Hotpot 火锅: My kinda comfort food

What do you usually crave for when English skies send down the most annoying feathery raindrops, the type that doesn't stop you in your tracks but frizzes up the hairdo you worked so hard at getting right? This week I've had serious craving for hotpot huoguo 火锅 and my favourite thing to cook in them, home-made dumplings jiaozi 饺子.

Making dumplings in Chinese households is very much a communal and social activity. Many hands make light work, so my family always divides the labour: assigning dough making, rolling wrappers to the younger in the family tree and dumpling filling to the gossipy aunties. Dumplings can be filled with anything - I personally love pork & Chinese Chive jiucai 韭菜, Chinese Chive & Egg and prawn & pork.

But everyone always cooks together, laying out the fruits of our work on platters waiting to be dunked into a bubbling broth called a hotpot, steamboat or Asian fondue.

"They're ready! They're ready!", the kids scream when the dumplings float to the top and ready to be fished out with a little metal net. Dumplings almost always come with a dipping sauce: we love traditional ginger, vinegar & soy sauce or a good Chinese chilli oil.

Comfort foods are always hearty, based around simple ingredients cooked well and remind you of loved ones. And ones that make frizzy hair bearable. 

What comfort foods do you long for?


The Yum List said...

Those dumplings are making me hungry. Time for lunch!

Sean said...

this reminds me of my aunts making those fried sui-kow dumplings at the kitchen table at home in malacca. i think i might have helped stuff the minced meat into the dumplings! :D

Hungry Female said...

Yum: well I'm glad even in Malaysia where dumplings are at the ready it still makes you hungry!
Sean: Very nostalgic eh? Love making them:)

Mr Noodles said...

Two of my favourite things, too. But I must confess that I prefer my dumplings pan-fried (wor-tip/guotie) rather than boiled.

Baby Sumo said...

I kinda liked the gyoza u can eat in Wagamama.

Hungry Female said...

Mr Noodles/Yen: Very Southern Chinese! I love fried too. Think the fierce winter in Beijing made me love the boiled ones as well!!