Well, I DO!!! Growing up, my mother would make dishes from “the old country”. One of my favorites is Fahn-Soa Tay. It is also my daughter’s favorite dumpling. My mother-in-law had many friends who would make delicacies such as those dumplings and doong (think of it as a Chinese rice tamale) and share them with her. In turn, she would divide them and call all her children to come home so she could parcel them out equally. What a wonderful memory!
I just started another YouTube channel, “AChineseLife”, to keep my Chinese traditions alive. It will highlight videos of authentic Chinese dishes, how-to’s on Chinese culture and things like interviews with Chinese that I find interesting.
This is the first video I created with a friend of my mother-in-law’s who was kind enough to show a group of ABCs (American Born Chinese) and a few foreign born Chinese how to make a basic dumpling from the area of Toi-San, China. My parents were from a village there and many of the senior Chinese ladies at my church are from that region.
Our language is considered similar to Cantonese, as both are in the same branch of Chinese spoken in southern China. Some of the words are very close in sound, but Cantonese is quite different to me. I grew up pronouncing the county my parents came from as “Hoi-San”, but it’s more commonly referred to as “Toi-San” or “Tai-Shan”, the Cantonese or Mandarin pronunciations. Years ago, I saw a map that showed Hoi-San as a province. In fact, according to the National Geographic, a district is also considered a province. Still, as I’ve gathered from Wikipedia and other sources, Hoi-san is one of four original districts in the Guangdong Province. It’s said that over 90% of overseas born North American Chinese were from Hoi-San, and I believe it! We have visited many Chinatowns in the U.S. and Canada over the years and could usually find a Hoi-San speaker. Nowadays, they are predominately Cantonese speaking. There is one Chinese restaurant near southwest Houston’s “Chinatown” that has a Hoi-San speaking owner. We always enjoy our conversations with Michelle at Golden Dim Sum!
During WWII, one-fourth of the Flying Tigers came from Hoi-San. My father was living in the U.S. at the time. He was inducted into the Army and later signed up as support crew to the Flying Tigers. He was very proud of his Flying Tiger pin!
More about my father in another post. On to the dumplings! These are the very basic ones as I assume the villagers didn’t have shrimp and mushrooms or other wonderful ingredients that really shine in these dumplings. Still, we enjoyed these!