Xiao Long Bao

Yesterday I attended what will be the last of my Chinese cooking classes here. I go to the Chinese Cooking Workshop occasionally and learn how to make dim sum and other dishes. This time, it was Xiao Long Bao.

Xiao Long Bao are dumplings that have soup inside them. They are well-known as being from Shanghai, even if versions of them are made elsewhere. I have always wondered how they got the soup in there! But it turns out that the soup is in a gel state when it is added to the dumplings, in the form of pork fat. It melt and makes soup inside the wrapping when they are steamed.

I love working with the Ayis the best at the CCW. They don’t speak very much English at all, but holy shit do they have great knowledge. My Mandarin and my cooking skills get to improve at the same time!

I am not sure what her name is, but the ayi who does the dim sum classes is absolutely wonderful. With her tutelage, I was able to make Xiao Long Bao yesterday. She even brought out some beer when it was time to eat them. She has the practiced hands of someone who has been cooking her whole life, which is something that I seek out when learning a new cuisine. In Italy, I took cooking classes from a ‘gnocchi mamma.’ This dim sum mamma is absolutely wonderful. 老师,谢谢!

I now know how to make a few types of dim sum from scratch, and I can’t wait to try them out in the USA! I return on May 6 to my native tierra. It’s time.

Keep following this blog, because my trip ‘home’ is not permanent. I will be going with my husband to Iceland this summer to live on a campsite and volunteer with the Scouts. This nomadic life is the one I choose!

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