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My Seattle Bites: Home Cooking

January 8, 2012

The unequivocally best thing about going home is my parents’ cooking.  Weeks before my flight, my parents would ask what I would like to eat.  Sometimes, I know exactly which dishes I want.  A small bowl of mini taro in a sweet broth spiced with osmanthus flower jam is a classic from my dad’s hometown that I requested.  Baking soda is the secret ingredient in this dish.  A rinse in baking soda water adds not only a beautiful berry hue to the broth and the taro but also the most unique flavor to the taro.

And other times, I don’t know what I want to eat for dinner.  So we leave it up to the markets to dictate what’s for dinner.  My parents came back one night with a bagful of plump Maryland blue crabs.  A quick prep in the kitchen and a toss in a hot wok with ginger, scallions and jalapenos, we were ready to dig in right from the pot.  Each piece is coated with the fragrant spicy sauce and I can’t help but lick my fingers clean even when I am completely stuffed.

And the best part about letting my parents pick the menu?  My mother flexed her culinary skills and whipped out three batches of homemade soup dumplings with pork and crab.  This has taken quite a few tries to perfect as soup dumplings are not easy.  Look at how precious they are before taking a steam on the stove.  The skin need to be just thin enough to see the broth inside but also thick enough to not tear when lifted from the steamer.  These spent less than 20 seconds between the steamer and my mouth, not losing a second of heat or broth.  Homemade is just so much better.

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