What is a traditional Foochow breakfast? Or what did my mother and her siblings have for breakfast apart from buns and porridge?
We inherited from her a very well loved recipe which we would always cook during the holidays when we feel light,happy and blessed. And especially on a rainy day.
It is just delicious in the simplest of terms: a farm dish with egg and flour which would have been ever ready in the days when we called the house by the river our home.
For a mum with four children, only a little is needed. A simple batter is made from one egg only with 6 tablespoons of flour, a dash of salt and some pepper. Add two small bowls of water to the mixture and mix well. Let the batter stand for a while. For a better, cholesterol filled soup, use chicken stock, or pork bone stock. A few slivers of dried squid would be heavenly.
The batter consistency should be runny like pancake batter.
Prepare sliced bombay onions and saute them well in a heated saucepan. Then add four bowls of water and allow it to come to a full boil.
Drop spoonfuls of the batter into the boiling hot soup ( one bowl of water for each person ) and wait till the dumpling coagulate and float. Then add another few spoonful of the batter.
In an early morning,especially on a wet and cold rainy day,a mother would make mah wong for her children as it would be more convenient. It is also a treat for the family as the broth is savoury and hot. It fills the stomachs well.
Chopped spring onions and a bit of parsley from the garden would be great garnish. Sometimes we would squirt a bit of fish gravy to add to the taste.
This is our homemade dumpling soup and goes well with my own children who get tired of KFC and pizza. This is grandma's cooking and it is ever more meaningful be it in London, Glasgow or Venice. It is so simple that you can cry when you make it. Eating it in the morning with a loving family is heaven on earth. You don't have to be a gourmet cook to get this dish going.
We cannot forget how much our mother loves us when we share this simple dish . Give it a try.
(For a bigger family, use more eggs and more flour.)