A Taste Of Home

So after our Washington trip, we were back long enough to clear up the cobwebs in our home and do our laundry so that we could have fresh clean clothes to pack for another road trip down South
About a week later, we are finally back
All the traveling is fun but it’s tiring me out
We spent hours under the hot sun and ate out everyday

We had this on the night we reached home
It was total bliss
I didn’t realize how much I missed my own cooking

Which perhaps explain why I plunged into another hasty and rash decision
I decided to make rice dumplings a.k.a Bak Zhang for a couple of friends who were coming over for dinner
I thought I could prepare everything a day before and still have them taste very nice on the day itself
Wasn’t that brilliant

I did my Maths in my head, I needed 20
How difficult can it be to make 20 Bak Zhang ?

I had my bamboo leaves and chestnuts sitting in the pantry, all I needed was to slice up the pork, dice the mushrooms, cut some garlic and shallots, stir fry them and I am set
I had to estimate though as I was clueless as to exactly how much ingredient I need to make 20 dumplings

I soon found out that dicing 300 g of mushrooms is very different from dicing 150 g
And I could be setting myself up if my estimations were wrong

It took me a morning to cut, slice and dice
Then I was caught between whether to add 5 spice powder and had to message my mom, who was already fast asleep on the other side of the world
In the end how the ingredient was mixed and cooked was purely by hunch and gut feel

By the time when I had everything ready and set aside, it was already 5 in the evening
Thankfully, wrapping the dumpling, which was the most daunting part to some, was a breeze
By the time I fished out my last batch of dumplings, it was past midnight
I was exhausted
I made 30, used up most of the ingredient and left 1/3 of the rice

As I sat down today to savour the fruits of my labour
I thought of my new Korean friends’ look of disbelief when I asked them whether they knew how to make kimchi
They uttered a harmonious no and politely told me that only their moms know how to make them
They bought their kimchi off the shelves in Korean supermarket just like me

I realised my question might have been rude suggesting they were old
And so, if the same logic holds, this might be a dead give away

Can you tell a woman’s age by the food she cooks ?

Linking up with Dino Family’s Foodie Fridays



  1. The Kam Family says:

    Very nice looking and I bet it tastes yummylicious! Great effort!

    When I made this a few months back, I had to do it in 2 days, 1 day for the preparation and the other for the wrapping and cooking.

    Yes! I do think I cook differently at different stages of my life 🙂 At this stage, I want to learn to cook more traditional food and to learn more from my mum.

    • malmal says:

      I think it looks greater than it taste.
      This was my 2nd time making it…the first time was more than 5 years ago and I totally forgot the amount of effort required.
      I guess we are after all our mothers’ daughters 🙂

    • malmal says:

      thanks Diana ! I wouldn’t have made them if not for those bamboo leaves that I lugged home from the Asian supermarket, while on the way back from the airport, usually a 2 hours drive from where we live… It was the beginning of a craving that needed to be fixed

  2. pc says:

    The answer is no. These days many young ladies cook traditional food fabulously compare to me!

    I always admire people who can make rice dumpling. Always.

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