Back home, I am always celebrating the Chinese New Year with my family. But since I am now away from my family, I am very happy to find out about this Dumpling cooking event.
I am also very pleased to know that this event was handled by the Campus’ Global Community. It makes me feel that the institution always does their best to make us, international student feel the spark of our home country.
This event took place 4 days after Chinese New Year and was held in the Refectory (a canteen in the University). When I first arrived at the event, I was welcomed by friendly Global Community teams, and can see an excited Chinese chef preparing the dumpling dough for the demonstration. The event was also attended by a lot of foodie international students who seems eager and cannot wait to taste the dumplings.
The chef then introduced herself and told us that her name is Ellen. She comes from the Northern part of China and is a Business School employee who is passionate about cooking. She also works at the Refectory and loves to link Chinese and western food.
As she demonstrates the dumpling making, she told us that the filling of the dumpling represents good prosperity which then are wrapped in one place. Dumplings are also prepared before midnight by the whole family. So, they also represent the unity of family. Finally, the dumpling has a shape of a moon. So, it represents the Lunar New Year. That is why dumpling is a must-be-there food during Chinese New Year.
I was pleased to hear these fun facts because I never knew that dumplings have such deep meaning.
Ellen then taught us that a successful dumpling is a dumpling where the dough is not too soft nor too hard. Too soft dough will break when being boiled while really hard dough will mean that they do not cook through properly.
When it is our turn to fill the dumpling, most of us were struggling to make a good shape. I couldn’t make nice curves and always overfilled the dumpling (well don’t blame me if I want good prosperity 😊). But it was still a fun activity. In fact, it was so fun that the photographers stopped taking pictures and joined us instead.
And the best part is…. We can eat our dumpling! (and they are free… so yay free lunch!)
When we are waiting for the dumpling to be cooked, the refectory chefs were demonstrating another Chinese cuisine, chicken and sweetcorn soup, and mushroom and tofu soup for vegetarian option.
I even participated in the cooking of the chicken and sweetcorn soup by separating the egg yolk and egg white. I was separating it by using my hand to contain the egg yolk and let the egg white drip through my fingers. But, the chefs dislike my method because they have another method that is more practical. Which is…. By cracking the egg and use their shell to contain the egg yolk and dispose the white egg at the same time.
Oh boy! I learn so many things today.
Next, when we were finally able to enjoy our food, everyone was rushing towards it with excitement. We tasted the soup first as it was ready faster and then the dumplings.
The soups were good and made me feel warm in this cold winter season; and the dumplings tasted extraordinary. I would say it was the best proper Chinese dumpling I have ever tasted! Everyone might feel the same too as they are all taking the leftover dumplings home.
The whole event was fun as it was also filled with energetic songs, little games, and jokes. Even though I was busy on my University work, I felt joy when attending this event. It was a great break from my study session. I also can meet new people and be friends with them 😊. I want to thank the Global Community and Great Food at Leeds who organized this whole event, past events and upcoming events.
Yes, there are more fun activities going on in the future by the Global Communities! If you are interested, you can checked them here: https://students.leeds.ac.uk/eatglobal.
Finally, I just want to say happy Chinese New Year everybody! Welcome to the year of Rat.