Friday, June 26, 2009

Chicken & Dumplings

We went to lunch at a restaurant that specializes in "Southern" cooking -- chicken fried steak, smothered pork chops, mashed potatoes, fried okra, etc. I was reading the menu to Maya, expecting her to get the fried catfish as usual. But when I said "chicken and dumplings," her face lit up and she insisted that's what she wanted.

When her chicken and dumplings came, she poked about in it and asked, "Where are the dumplings?" To her puzzlement, I showed her the lumpy dollops of cooked dough. And it hit me -- she was expecting CHINESE dumplings (jiaozi)! I had thought it funny that she wanted chicken and dumplings, since I'm not sure she'd ever had them before. Ah well, she was disappointed in the southern version.

But I did make jiaozi for dinner (the store-bought frozen kind, as if you didn't know!).

(p.s. I took the picture in a market in Chengdu in 2007. I know they are not jiaozi, but they are dumplings, and pretty as can be in their uncooked state!)


Anonymous said...

I had the same experience with my daughter adopted at age 10 from China. Once she gave Southern dumplings a chance, though, she liked them.

One of our favorite activities is to make jiaozi or huan duan together. They're actually quite easy to make and the whole family loves them.


Mei-Ling said...

I wonder what the difference is between jiao zi and shui jiao?

malinda said...

Is the difference the method of cooking? Shui jiao are "water dumplings," right? Jiaozi can be boiled in water, but they are more commonly steamed or pan-fried.

At least that's my imperfect understanding!