Butternut Squash and Turkey Dumplings 南瓜火雞水餃

Having lived in the West for more than half of my life, strangely, Chinese New Year seems less and less significant for me these days, not to mention that I'm already not someone who's very accustomed to celebrating holidays. Also, you don't get days off like they do in Taiwan (somewhere around 6-8 days). Here, I feel lucky if the Chinese New Year's Eve is on the weekend!

As I was growing up, my parents used to take us back to their families' homes in the southern part of Taiwan every Chinese New Year. It's the tradition for family to get together on this major holiday. We would first worship and give offerings to our ancestors to ask for their blessings and protection for the New Year. Then, all the women would be in the kitchen preparing for the feast, while the men talked and the kids played. Frankly, because of all the firecrackers that used to scare me, I never really cared much about the Chinese New Year, except that I was happy to get the days off and to get to eat a lot of delicious food.


Homemade Whole Wheat Dumpling Wrappers 全麥水餃皮


Despite that my mom always made her own dumplings when I was growing up, she has actually never tried to make her own dumpling wrappers. Can't say that I blame her, since in Taiwan you can easily buy very good homemade dumpling wrappers from farmer's markets. They're fresh, soft, and chewy. I used to love the feel of it when I helped my mom make dumplings.

Nowadays, you can buy dumpling wrappers almost anywhere, even in a small place like Quebec! But homemade ones like the one my mom buys? Nope, not unless you live in Asia. A traditional dumpling wrapper should be made with just flour, water and salt. Sadly, if you look at the store bought ones, some of them have preservatives or other chemicals added. 


Three-Cup Chicken with King Oyster Mushrooms Taiwanese Style 三杯杏鮑菇雞

Three-Cup Chicken is perhaps one of the signature dishes of Taiwanese cuisine. It was a typical dish on our dinner table, and my all-time favourite from my mom!! I don't know any Taiwanese person who doesn't like this dish. With lots of ginger, rice wine, and dark sesame oil, it is supposed to be very warming for the body, and therefore is a must in the fall and winter. The dish gets it's name from the three key ingredients: 1 cup dark sesame oil, 1 cup soy sauce, and 1 cup rice cooking wine.