Monday, February 15, 2010

Too Many Cooks

"I beg you not to entrust these dishes to your cook unless he is an artist. Cook them yourself, and only for an occasion that is worthy of them. They are items for an epicure, but are neither finicky nor pretentious; you and your guests will find them as satisfying to the appetite as they are pleasing to the palate. None is beyond your abilities if you have the necessary respect for the art of fine cooking - and are willing to spend the time and care which an excellent dish deserves and must have. Good appetite!", "Too Many Cooks"

Although I had asked the question several times this week, I didn't get to hear to answer till after it was all over, but apparently it is custom to eat gyouza at Chinese New Years because they are similar to the gold ingots used in the past in China. So eating gyouza at New Year means receiving a lot of fortune this year. Or something. And therefore we were to eat gyouza on Sunday.

And apparently you should also make them yourselves. From fillings till skin. So under the guidance of several Chinese students we started up a gyouza factory practically in front of my room, which is not a bad thing because the reader might have noticed I like gyouza.

The preparation of gyouza takes some time though, and involves a lot of knives and chopping. And chopping. And some more chopping. When to stop chopping? When there is more water volume than vegetable left. Add in the meat, spices and the filling is ready. And around the same time the dough was finished, so we could begin wrapping.

As visible in the above, some people are a lot more skilled in wrapping gyouza than others. The ones that look a bit strange? Yeah, all made by non-Chinese, and me. Who always is a wild card when counting Asians. Anyway, most of us just tried to make things that at least beared a resemblance to gyouza. Somewhere.

And the result was delicious. Self-made gyouza are better. The Japanese gyouza have a thin skin and almost always the same not too strongly flavoured fillings (though I think most Japanese food is rather blandly flavoured and don't get me started on the overall gyouza level in Fukuoka), so the Chinese gyouza with thicker skins and strongly flavored fillings were fantastic. We kept the factory running for 6 hours with people popping in and out all the time, till everything we had was made into gyouza, resulting also in some freak kimchi gyouza. And dino-gyouza.

1 comment :

  1. I love the Dino Gyouza!!
    You should have made some gyouza with cheese in them. Everything tastes better with cheese!