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reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine
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reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine
reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine
reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine
reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine
reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine
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reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine
reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine
reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine
reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine chefmo@chopstixhouston.com
Chef Mo is an internationally traveling retired chef from Hong Kong, China. His many experiences in life has given him plenty of metaphors to cooking. He specializes in Chinese dishes, but he also prepares dishes from other cultures as well. Chef Mo resides with his wife, lovely daughter and loyal dog in Hong Kong.
reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine
reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine Upon taking our annual trip to Taiwan earlier this month, my wife and I had learned of the tragic news that a close friend involved himself in a car accident. The accident took place in South Korea. From what we had heard, a drunken driver had struck the side of his vehicle and my dear friend was holding on to the threads of life. Not only did this bring great sadness to my wife and I, but it also reminded us that each day was not promised. Throughout our trip, we felt helpless. It was then that my wife and I had made the tough decision to enjoy the rest of our stay in Taiwan. We did not want to spread our sadness to the others we were with.

The trip involved seeing several places and events famous in Taiwan. We had seen all of them before, but they were places we liked to go again and again. At our advanced age, we enjoy seeing familiar things. During one of the last destinations, we attended the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival. We liked Pingxi because it was a quiet part of Taipei, and the nightskys are usually very clear there. The Sky Lantern Festival is where thousands of people gather together and write words and prayers into paper lanterns. These lanterns are then released into the night sky. It is a beautiful thing that my wife and I have gone here to do many times since we were young.

reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine

This time, however, was a special moment for us.

We wrote our friend's name onto the paper lantern and put our thoughts for a recovery. It was such a slim chance. The doctor had mentioned there was a 10% of survival, and only a 5% chance of a full recovery. The moment had come when the crowd of thousands watched their lanterns float away into the sky. Something became clear to us. We were not as helpless as we thought, because within our power we have within us hope. It was hope floating amongst an army of other hopes. Some hopes were about puppy love. Some hopes were about doing well in school. A child next to us hoped to be better at video games. And then there were the ones who hoped for health, prosperity, world peace and the well-being for others.

For this cooking entry, I have decided on teaching the simplest and most common of all Chinese dishes: the dumpling. The dumpling has long been a Chinese symbol for luck, particularly in prosperity with wealth. However, for many centuries before modern times, the dumplings represented something else in ancient China: hope. Dumplings were used to treat winter sickness and legend has it that they were often used for hopeful recovery. The dumpling became known as a symbol for mythical healing before it became a popular modern day Chinese dish.

Let us journey to the kitchen and create our own dumpling dish...

reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine

Creating actual dumpling skin from scratch is a bit too tedious for home use. In a restaurant, they will use dough and that dough is created by a perfect balance of water and flour. However, a very good and convenient substitute is packaged wonton skin from your local Asian supermarket. They are cheap and easy to find. They make great skin for home-cooked dumplings.

1. CREATING THE INSIDE

  • Ground Pork
  • Shrimp
  • Black fungus
  • Napa leaves
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • White Pepper
  • Sesame Oil

We first begin by mixing the pork, shrimp, black fungus and napa leaf together. Make sure the pork is properly chopped into small pieces. Add the salt and sugar in there along with the white pepper and a little bit of sesame oil. For the fungus, be sure it is soaked in hot water for about 15 minutes so that it becomes soft. Mix these up together so that they are one. You will put this inside the dumpling.

reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine

2. WRAPPING EVERYTHING TOGETHER

  • Packet of wonton skins
  • Egg

Creating actual dumpling skin from scratch is a bit too tedious for home use. In a restaurant, they will use dough and that dough is created by a perfect balance of water and flour. However, a very good and convenient substitute is packaged wonton skin from your local Asian supermarket. They are cheap and easy to find. They make great skin for home-cooked dumplings.

With the inside contents created from Step 1, put them inside the middle of each wonton skin and use the raw egg to seal them shut. The egg will serve like a glue. Close the skin around it to create the dumpling shape.

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3. BOILING THE DUMPLINGS

Set up a pot of boiling water on your stove. Be sure it is boiling before you put your dumplings in. Slowly place each dumpling into the pot. Do not throw them in, the splashing hot water will burn you! With a large wooden spoon, stir the dumplings around and around so that they do not stick together. There is an easy way to tell when the dumplings are ready to eat. You put a small of bowl of cold water every once in awhile. If the dumplings begin to float, that means they are ready.

Okay, you are done.

Please note that dumplings are normally eaten with black vinegar and a dish of hot sauce with some slices of garlic and ginger. Without them, the dumplings will taste plain. I tell you the truth.

reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine

When we arrived back in Hong Kong, we were greeted with a surprising email. It was from the person who was staying with our injured friend in South Korea. There had become a miraculous recovery. I called him to have my friend on the phone right away. Together, we joked about the healing powers of kim chi. "You know I like kim chi a lot, Brother Mo, but if I can be serious, it was almost like the people who cared for me wished me back to life. Hope is a strong thing. It may be the most powerful thing of all...and the second most powerful thing of all? That is your wonderful cooking! Ha ha ha!"

We all had a good and long laughter. He soon came back to Hong Kong and we celebrated with dim sum and dumplings. Somewhere in heaven there is a storage room for those floating lanterns. In one of those mystical storage rooms, there is my friend's name. I am thankful it was not his time or perhaps as he said, we wished him back for some more years with us in our lifetime.


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reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine
reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine
reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine - 1 lb. ground pork
- 1/4 lb. shrimp
- 5-6 pieces of black fungus
- 4 pieces of napa leaves
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon sugar
- White pepper
- Sesame oil
- Packet of wonton skins
- 1 raw egg
reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine
reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine
reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine
A Sinful Dish
While sneaking to the nightlife of Macau in his young teenage days, Chef Mo encountered the fast life of casinos and gentlemen's club. He ties this in with a famous Macau dish called White Wine Cod Fish. Chef Mo warns against the dangers of alcohol.

reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine
Simple Kung Pao Chicken
Chef Mo talks about the his childhood visiting rural villages in Mainland China and how it ties in to his lesson in the famous dish Kung Pao Chicken. Learn how to make Kung Pao Chicken by reading this article! It's another classic Chef Mo tale.

reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine
Sweet Mango Pudding
Chef Mo recalls the days as a principal of a primary school in Hong Kong. He dedicates the recipe for a sweet mango pudding dessert to an exceptional student. What does one have to relate to another? Read more to find out.

reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine
The Challenge of Unagi Don
The journey where Chef Mo obtains a black belt in Japan began with an interest of conquering his own fears. By accepting challenges, Chef Mo tackles on a difficult task: creating unagi don from scratch!

reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine
The Duck and My Dog
Chef Mo's best friend is his dog, Xing Xing. For Xing Xing's special occasion, he prepares a dish with the dog's favorite meat: duck! Chef Mo shows you how to make Braised Duck with Ginger and Plum Sauce!

reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine
An Indian Chinese Twist
Curry is a big part of Hong Kong culture even though its from India. Chef Mo recalls a young Indian colleague who was also distinctively a fabric of Hong Kong culture...

reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine
Making Dumplings and Hope
Dumplings are a staple in Chinese cuisine. They are eaten for food as well as for luck. Though the symbolize prosperity, in ancient days they were a symbol for hope. Chef Mo discusses how hope is important in his life and why it may be the most powerful force.

reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine
A Pineapple Boat Love Story
The year was 1967. Chef Mo was skinny, 16-years-old and a man in love. But he also had a rival named Kelvin. Read about the origins of Chef Mo and how he first develped interest in cooking. His suggestion for Pineapple Boat Fried Rice dish is a love potion he can share with all generations!

reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine
Buddah's New Year Delight
The vegetarian dish Buddah's Delight is important in symbolism for Chinese New Year's. Each ingredient represents an aspect of good fortune. Together, they create a dish full of purity and meaning. It's also extremely healthy, light, and full of fiber.

reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine
The Passion of Sweet and Sour Pork
Chef Mo declares the secret to a woman's heart is not with roses, but with food. After a brief argument with his wife, he decides to head to the Hong Kong street markets to make her their favorite dish, Sweet and Sour Pork.

reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine
Holiday Hot Pot!
Holidays are the best time for hot pot, a very popular activity in Asian culture. Let Chef Mo recommend to you some home hot pot activities and a personal story which hot pot reminds him of!

reviews restaurants asian chopstix houston chinatown food foodie online magazine
Pepper Steaks Made Easy
Pepper Steak is one classic traditional dish that is both delicious and easy to cook. Chef Mo explains it is so easy that people often complicate things.

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