video

How old do you think this is? I would say at leasthundreds of years old. Look at the wood andthe– what do you call it– patina on this thing. It's crazy.- OK. I think we're ready.- There we go. I think you're ready. Oh god. Oh my god, please come out.

It will. It will. Wow. It's nice. That looks good. SARAH (VOICEOVER):We're the Leung family. And in 2013, we started a foodblog called The Woks of Life. KAITLIN (VOICEOVER): It beganas a family side project. BILL (VOICEOVER): Andeventually evolved.

Into a journey of documentingour culinary genealogy for readers from around the world. SARAH (VOICEOVER):The blog has gathered a wonderful virtualcommunity and been recognized as theonline authority for Chinese cooking in English. Is it spicy? – I mean, it's spicy.- It is. It's not too spicy, but–.

It's spicy. BILL (VOICEOVER): You could saysometimes there are too many Leung cooks in the kitchen. JUDY (VOICEOVER): But wewouldn't have it any other way. JUDY: The autumn festival, it isa tradition that has been going on for thousands of years. When I think aboutmy childhood and sort of the Chinese traditionsthat were kept alive, it's like makingdumplings with grandma.

And we're going to make thesefoods that are, you know, maybe a bit morelabor intensive. Yeah, that's the oil. SARAH: As a kid,that's kind of the time where you learn like those– what those traditions areand what they look like. BILL: Do you actuallyremember that, when the fish were jumping whenyou were in the lotus roots? Yeah, I have like thefish jumping in my head.

While they werelike actually– Big carps. –in the mud takingthe lotus roots out? Yeah, becausethe water level was so low that all the fishwas like, what's happening, you know? BILL: Wow. The stuffed lotus rootis actually very regional. It's from Hubei.

It's really, really very tasty. It's kind of labor-intensive,but it's worth it. You make this meat mixtureby whipping the meat with the different sauces and stuff. And you have to stirit in one direction. So what happens if youserved in both directions? Will anything bad really happen? You know what? I read it one time.

If you stir it in one direction,the meat absorbs the water. And if you start todo the other way, the meat will spit out water. I'm like, I never try that. I'm afraid to try it. It sounds likeone of those Chinese like grandma, mom, oldwives tale things– Yes, yes, yes. –where you're like, is that–.

Yeah, it's like,how real is that? Might have to try it. Regardless, I don'twant to find out. Then you cut a halfinch of the lotus root. And then you slice thehalf inch in the middle without cutting it through. Do that too. Yeah, that's easier. Do you want me toput the meat now?.

Yes. You do that. I think my mom takes on alot of like the responsibility of making those supertraditional recipes that are honestly a lotmore complicated too. I can't believe we makeour own mooncakes now. Yeah. You know, it's just goodfor the younger generations to have a helping hand in that.

So you can see how mucheffort it takes, you know? I think like my mom'salways talking about that. When somebody cooks for you,like it's so important to be aware of like how muchcare and time and effort goes into it so that youcan really appreciate it and, you know, alsolearn something too. Nice. OK, so you do it. – OK.- You do it.

– Oh my goodness.- Press it in. Press it hard. I can't believe I'mbeing entrusted with this. Oh, wow. Perfect. You see? You trusted the right person. So you know what you do inthis case, you kind of just jam the egg yolk in there?.

Just like that– that's right. That's right. Yes. So the salted duckeggs, it's slightly salty, but it has a niceeggy and umami flavor. I feel like salted duck eggyolk in China is like chili oil here. Yeah, it's crazy. Everybody loves it.

Yes. OK, I feel good about this. What do you think? Should be rounder. You got it.You got it. Yes. Is this OK? Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm getting it.

I'm getting it. Yes, very nice. OK, perfect. Very nice. I usually try to listen towhat my mother tells me to do. And so I feel likeI was very attentive during the cookingprocess to make sure I didn't get anything wrong. This dough is–now you make sure you.

Press out all the air bubbles. Yeah, let's do this first. Whoa, OK, this isthe moment, OK? OK. And then you press it. [whispers] This is the moment. This piece comes out very easy. That– oh my god,it looks pretty. I think it's a good one.

Please come out. Oh. Oh, that's so cute. This is the best mold. Can I make one? [crickets] Yes, you can. OK, how about– howabout I prep it for you? So much hesitation.

I know. KAITLIN (VOICEOVER):As with anything, there are, you know,trial and error. OK, that's it. KAITLIN (VOICEOVER): But I thinkI got through it pretty good. [inaudible] I don't feel confident. You want me to do this? OK, let me do it.

Let me do it. OK. Yeah, OK, very nice. This is literallythe first time you've ever let me do this. Yeah, OK, both hands, gently. – Oh.- It's OK. It's OK.It's OK. It's OK.

KAITLIN (VOICEOVER): We gotsome pretty mooncakes out of it. I thought you guysdid an awesome job. Well, I just say I'mgoing to hold it down. You're like, you'remessing up my moon cake. Oh. That's good. I think they turnedout really nice. OK, very good. KAITLIN: Nice.

It's always alsogood for me and Sarah to help out thosekinds of recipes. Because I think we alsobring like a little bit of a different perspective too. So what are the origins ofthis ketchup shrimp recipe? Ketchup shrimp, mymom's ketchup shrimp, your Mawmaw's ketchup shrimp. You know, the beautyof it is it's one of those simple dishes,but very good that you.

Can serve at a fancy meal. It's interesting that you sayfancy because it is literally called ketchup shrimp. Like what are the origins ofit like using ketchup for it? You know, that'sa good question. I mean, ketchupshrimp is like a thing because we have it on the blogand people are like, oh yeah, my mom used to cook that too. So, you know, it'skind of a homey meal.

You peel the shrimp,butterfly them a little bit, and sear them in hot oil. And then we put in the sauce. And it coats it. That crispness of theshrimp on the outside just soaks in all that sauce. And it's on the table. Probably behindChinese New Year, this is the most importantdinner of the year.

And it's family, about familyand, you know, the harvest time and time to be thankful. JUDY: It's very much likeThanksgiving, you know? Hi. Hello. JUDY: Family allcome back together and I guess you can'tcelebrate without food. Perfect. Perfect.

Excellent. I think that holidaysare one of those things that help people preservetraditions across generations. [interposing voices, laughter] I just wanted to say a toast. Happy mid-autumnfestival to everybody. Thank you. Thanks for having us. Thank you for having us.

Cheers. Cheers. Cheers. Pass your bowls,pass your bowls. On a project likethe Woks of Life, working with your family,it can be challenging. But it's particularlyrewarding because it's about sharing not just recipes,but also stories and memories. This is great, guys.

Yes. And it's also for us tolook back on when we get older or the next generation comes. I think the blog actuallyreally is a place we lock in our memories. [GUESTS CHATTERING, KIDSSHOUTING] What I think is in thebackground is very, very big is that it keeps ourfamily really close. And I think that's very good.

Yes, it does. [music playing]

20 Comments

Leave a Comment