Back in 2013 I went to China. There I lived and worked for 6 weeks…. and more importantly, ATE.
Oh how I would go back just for the food.
It should be re-inforced that as a vegetarian travelling isn’t always easy. Samoa meant that basically I ate a lot of fresh fruit. New Caledonia and France meant translating menu items. London, well… that was a dream…. so many vegetarian and ethnic food options.
However, China was amazing. I was mainly in Northern China, in Jilin, up in Changchun…. in winter. I was blown away by large scale horticultural greenhouses and the food. SUCH GOOD FOOD. Meat was popular, but never the main ingredient of a meal. I expected a lot of rice and noodles. I was wrong to suspect. The food was so much better.
Anyway, last week I was in Wellington, and decided to take the students I was with to a Dumpling making workshop, as I was enamored with dumplings. So tasty. The take away for me was that essentially while I had made dumplings before, I was putting too many ingredients in the dough, not using boiling water, and overfilling the damn things.
Also, I had forgotten to absolutely season the ingredients.
Essentially Chinese food is all about fresh, flavour, and seasons. Did I mention flavour?
So last Sunday I made peanut and cabbage dumplings. Thursday I did Beef and Cabbage, and Leek and Egg. Today I am going for a cashew and cabbage. (I love cabbage).
NOM NOM NOM.
All this has meant a revival in trying to find good recipes for the flavours I had in China. And a desire to make the laobing pancakes, with their potato and eggy fillings. Such good food. So light and filling. Perfect lunch food in my mind.