This blog is just about 1 year old! Can you believe it? I didn't think I could keep going for so long. Nor did I expect that I'd have as many visitors, so a big thank you to my readers. If you'll remember my first bento was based off Chinese home cooking, well, we will be revisiting Chinese home cooking for this blog's 1st birthday.
Growing up my sister and I had two different views of getting lunch. She opted for a sandwich, I on the other hand didn't mind the gawking, curious stares, and occasional requests for a nibble on my more exotic lunches. At some point my mom had to send me with more just to accommodate the nibble factor. I can only hope that my future kids would be as adventurous. Today's bento is a typical lunch that my mother would put together for me when I was a kid.
To begin we have my father's famous dumplings. Granted I didn't re-create these, my father tends to send me home with bags of dumplings every time I go to visit. He's really well known for the dumplings and has often been urged to open a dumpling shop after he retired from our family restaurant. A lot of time and technique go into making these bundles of yummy, I'm glad my father has passed that knowledge on to my sister and I so we never lack for dumplings. Here I opted for my favorite preparation which is a pan fried dumpling, my sister prefers the boiled variety.
Next we have Hsin Tsu Mei Fun, which is a rice noodle dish my mom makes. This particular dish is a famous recipe specifically from my mother's home town of Hsin Tsu. Only one other city in Taiwan is known for their noodles (Pu-Li). The cooking processes is fairly quick although the prep is a little more involved. You need plenty of chicken stock/broth heated on hand as the noodles are really able to absorb liquid, resulting in a nice tender rice noodle.
For our second side, I decided to stretch my eater's taste boundaries with a Jellyfish salad. I know, I know, a bit out there but I did promise an eating adventure. My wife loves this dish, it's a cold marinated salad with cucumbers, carrots with a heavy dose of garlic. The vinegar, salt and sugar really round out the taste to hit a lot of the major taste components of salty, sweet, sour the only one missing is hot. This salad is a great representation of a lot of Chinese cooking, where an emphasis on texture is placed as more important than "sauce". In case you're wondering, the jellyfish (when prepared correctly) has a good crunch to it despite it's rubbery appearance.
Finally, dessert consists of a favorite coconut cookie-cracker that my sister and I grew up on. Nothing fancy there.
As always it was a joy to put together lunch. If you're reading this, thanks again for stopping by, watching the visits count and reading your comments makes keeping this blog going fun and enjoyable. Here's to another year! Cheers!
- Pan Fried Pork Dumplings
- Hsin Tsu Mei Fun
- Jellyfish Salad
- Coconut cracker-cookies