Hello dumpling lovers, I am Lou Wong, culinary teacher and Director of Dumpling Mania. My dumpling making lessons began in my childhood in early morning assembly lines made up of my siblings and me, directed by my mother. My father, on his rare days off, would sometimes make wontons for the family on the TV tray set in front of him, while he watched a baseball game.
The making of dumplings in my family was also an act of gratitude. As newlyweds, my parents had been assisted by a couple in countless ways. Years later, an intensive day of dumpling making would take place so that many types of dumplings would be brought to this couple whose kindness was unforgettable to my parents.
You will find my various dumpling classes at the South Melbourne Market Cooking School, Relish Mama, Centre for Adult Education (in the heart of the city), Trupp Cooking School (near Prahran Market) and pop up workshops at Made in Japan Homewares store in South Melbourne.
This is my maternal great-grandmother, my mother’s grandmother. My mother says she was a gentle woman who was affectionate with her in contrast to her strict mother. She was a weaver of fabrics and baskets, a master at knitting, sewing and crochet. She taught my mother about choosing foods for yin and yang balance and to make medicinal soups from herbs and roots.
My paternal grandmother Mar Toy Hong was the matriarch in charge of the household. Everyone deferred to her. She was authoritative, illiterate, and an accomplished cook. People from neighboring villages would ask her to oversee the cooking for feasts celebrating weddings, births, and homecomings. She taught my mother how to make the translucent dough.