Even before becoming a chef and blogger, food has always been a gathering point in my life. From growing winter melons and Chinese chives in the yard with my grandfather to feasting at the best dim sum restaurants in Toronto, I learned at a young age that food has immense power to bring people together. One of my favorite memories from my childhood was when my mom would gather my sisters and me to fold dumplings with her. She habitually bought pre-made wrappers at the store and had the other ingredients and filling ready to go—a mixture of ground pork, blanched watercress, white pepper, oyster and soy sauce, bound with egg whites. Mom never measured any of the quantities, and somehow it tasted the same every time.
We would hover over our circular dining table—the shape best suited for sharing dishes family-style—folding and chuckling over the flimsiest looking sui gao. Mom would boil them as we went and we watched each bundle float to the top of the pot, a sign that they were ready to eat. We would pop the hot dumplings into our mouths far too quickly, and after a symphony of huffs and puffs, they would settle into our bellies and warm us from the inside out.