Saturday, 13 February 2010

Chinese Cookery

It all started when I sent my friend Annie a text to tell her about the wonderful Asian shop I'd found. When I say found, that's a slight exaggeration. It's about 2 minutes from my house. The thing is, at the end of my road, I turn left to go into town (on my bike, I should mention), and this shop requires turning right. So I never go past it. And when you are on a bike, which I always am, it's harder to just wonder in to a shop, because there's the whole hassle of finding a bike rack, chaining it up etc etc. So although I knew it was there, I never really went in.

Annie is from New York. She is used to slightly more variation in food than can be found in Oxford. Don't get me wrong, I love Oxford, and I do think we have great restaurants. The centre is dominated by chains that vary from the mediocre (Fire & Stone) to the amazing (Jamie's Italian), but if you are willing to venture slightly further afield, into Jericho and Cowley, there's huge amounts of curry to start with, plus countless other cuisines. Even on the other side of the bridge (and almost in the centre of town) there are few interesting places. But anyway, Annie misses New York and she misses Asian food. So she was excited about my shop.

So Annie decided that she and I should cook an Asian feast at my house (she lives in halls/dorms), and I supported that idea. We invited another friend and my housemate, and then my boyfriend decided that he would eat with us after all. So Annie and I had to factor in one hungry boyfriend, one over-excited Annie, and Anna who is a vegetarian. And Annie was determined to make dumplings.

So we bought a mountain of dumplings, and a steamer to steam them on! And then because there was a poor variety of vegetarian dumplings, we also made a veggie stir-fry with fried tofu in it, which was also lovely. It was a pretty costly venture, but it was really good. Sadly I forgot to take any photos, but when I cook the left-overs, I'll be sure to post them for you! I loved the veggie dumplings, but the char sui / bbq pork buns are probably my favourite! We made so much food that we couldn't manage the red bean dumplings that we had bought for dessert.

The following night I headed home for dinner, and mum was making roast duck and pancakes, as a farewell dinner for a traveling sister. So I took the left-over veggie dumplings and the red bean dumplings home with me. The former went down really well, the latter less so....

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