When I eat chun-bing, I think of my grandfather. Grandpa was a famous chef — before the Revolution he cooked for one of the richest merchant families in the Tangshan area, east of Beijing. He started out as a kitchen boy at age 14, and eventually became so skilled that he was called upon to prepare banquets whenever any of the family’s six brothers hosted important guests. When I was little, living in the countryside, my grandpa, who’d long since retired, would cook us chun-bing every year after New Year’s. I’ll always remember the scene: him standing over the giant wok frying chun-bing wrappers while my mom worked the bellows and fed firewood into the stove. We kids stood around and watched, our mouths watering from the smell. It was a tough time, and we were very poor, so the ingredients were simple: shredded cabbage, bamboo shoots, a little bit of meat, sometimes homemade sweet-potato noodles that we made ourselves. But Grandpa’s chun-bing were unforgettable. Nowadays I go to chun-bing restaurants whenever I get the chance, even try making them myself, hoping to recapture that taste – but nothing compares with Grandpa’s cooking. So it’s a really special thing that my son is working to bring the taste of chun-bing to people in the U.S. His great-grandpa would be proud!”  

ying wang, mother of yong, first believer of junzi team

ying wang, mother of yong, first believer of junzi team

Comment