Nana’s Dumplings

"Would you help me with these dumplings?"

My grandma's dumplings are the best and no one can beat them.
The pure glory when I bite into them is so hard to explain. During the summer school holidays, I sometimes go back to Korea to visit my relatives. And of course, I'm always thrilled to have my favourite dish – my grandma's dumpling soup.

"I'd love to help you to make dumplings, Grandma. As always."
The coat for the dumpling is important – it's basically pastry that holds the fillings together. It's covered with flour, so my hands become white and powdery.

It's fun to spoon out the stuffing carefully and put it in the coat.
"Make sure you don't put too much stuffing, or the coat will break apart and ruin the soup."
"Okay, Grandma. I prefer clean soup as you do."
My favourite part is watching my grandma's hands skilfully move around the bench tops.

Dumpling soup is a popular winter dish. Since winter is freezing, dumplings are the perfect meal for celebrating.

Every time I eat my grandma's dumplings, I devour them hungrily. The coat is smooth but chewy, and the stuffing has a nice strong taste. Grandma's dumplings are like no other – they're unforgettably stunning and you can feel the different flavours.

There is a reason why we eat dumplings on many occasions, especially when we are celebrating. My grandfather escaped from North Korea to the south part of Korea with my great-grandmother during the Korean war. My grandpa was the one to teach my grandma the family recipe.

When I eat my grandma's dumplings, I know she hasn't just put stuffing, egg whites and a coat. She's put in everything – her love, her care, her heart and our family history. I always know she wants to perfect her dumplings otherwise my grandpa will complain instantly on his first bite.

I've always loved dumplings, but my grandma's are extraordinary. When she tells me that we are going to eat dumplings, I get ecstatic and I jump around, making her shake her head in exasperation. When I taste the dumplings, I feel like all my wishes have come true. I smile and tell my grandma that they are so delicious, and I vigorously scrape the very last bit.

The dumplings always raise my spirits. My grandma cooks them so many times that I feel like I have never had worries. I especially like eating her dumplings when it is cold, because it seems a bit more appetising.

The reason I love making dumplings is because, yes, it's exciting. But I love it because my family gathers round the table and we share our endless stories.

When my grandparents ask me what I want to do the next time I visit Korea, I always say that I want to make and eat Grandma's perfect dumplings.

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