Re­porter Chal­lenge with a taste of Asia

Amelia Chris­tensenRose makes dumplings as part of our se­ries.

Hamilton Press - - OUT & ABOUT -

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.

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