Reporter Challenge with a taste of Asia
Amelia ChristensenRose makes dumplings as part of our series.
Walking into the Hamilton Mandarin Church I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I’m a bit of a fussy eater so I was a little nervous. I was there to make dumplings - one of the cuisines on display at this year’s Taste of Asia food festival.
I was greeted warmly by three Chinese people, Huazhuo ‘‘Ling’’ Lin, Xiufang Wang and Limin Lu.
They gave me an apron and a funky hat and we got to work making pork and prawn dumplings. My favourite!
First, I was put to work on the fillings. Putting the meat in the middle of the casing and pinching it together. Being firm, but gentle.
Mine didn’t look as good as theirs.
‘‘It’s better than my first try,’’ Ling assured me.
Next, I moved on to a job I could actually do – flattening the dough. Although I wasn’t as fast as Ling, he said it looked alright.
When it came time to taste the boiled dumplings, I took a bite and all the juices dribbled out and down my hand. The flavours of the pork and the prawns mixed with soy sauce, herbs, garlic and onion exploded in my mouth.
They were delicious. I couldn’t stop eating them. Each one tasted a little different to the last.
Xiufang Wang and Limin Lu fried a bunch of dumplings which they’ve found better suited Kiwi’s taste buds.
They also cooked up some chicken Taiwanese style, garnished with fried basil leaves.
After we ate lunch, there was still around 50 dumplings left on various plates.
Xiufang Wang and Limin Lu got plastic containers and filled them up for us. We came back to the office completely stuffed and well prepared for dinner.
This weekend, the Rainbow Chinese Community Centre will open its doors to give everyone a taste of Asian cuisine.
There will be 30 stalls with 49 different kinds of food from five cultures.
Ling said they weren’t hosting the festival to make money, but to promote integration and help Hamiltonians broaden their taste buds.
Taste of Asia festival, Saturday, October 14, 10am-2pm at Hamilton Mandarin Church, 15 Kowhai St. Free entry.