Archives for posts with tag: dumpling

Soup Dumpling Mould

W60xL330xD20mm, China

In the book Dream of the Red Chamber (Chapter 35), the young Pao Yu described a soup he had, one with young lotus leaves and lotus flower.  These leaves and flowers are little ornamental dumplings placed inside the soup.  The book went on to describe the moulds for their making.  A set of 4 silver moulds, each just over a foot long and an inch thick.  The moulds are the size of beans, of chrysanthemums, plum blossom, lotus seed, water chestnut.  The Red Chamber is a family of culture and wealth and for the ordinary folks the moulds are made of wood instead of silver.  With the pace of modern living, this delicate soup has now become the 疙瘩汤 … soup with comes from a stock cube and dumpling simply squeeze out of a plastic bag.

Isn’t this sad …

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W20xL150xH100mm, China

Today, lunar 5th May, is the Duan Wu Festival, better know as the Dragon Boat festival.  It is a day to commemorate the death of the Chinese hero Qu Yuan.  Qu Yuan was poet from the Warrings State Period,(278 BC), he was a close aid to the emperor helping the Chu Guo state becoming a strong state.  Being loyal to his country he refused to collaborate with the corrupted higher ranking officers and empress, for this they kept him away from the emperor.  Despite his advice and objection for a treaty with the Qin Guo state, the emperor was lured to visit the Qin, was held captive and died there .  When the son of the emperor took over Qu Yuan was sent into exile.  Qin attacked and conquered the Chu; Qu Yuan, heart broken that his country was lost committed suicide in the river Mi Luo Jiang.  Hearing the news the folks steer boats to rescue him but neither him nor his body could be found, fearing that the fish would eat away his body, they beat drums to scare the fish away and throw in dumplings to keep the hungry fish away.

Fish L200xW100mm, China

These ceramic moulds are for making Guo.  The guo is a Chaozhou dumplings made with a thin rice flour dough with fillings of different types vegetable, nuts or beans that can be savory or sweet.   Guo is made for Chinese New Year, all other festivals, harvests and all events in life (birth, adulthood, marriage, death).  Different guo are made for different events;  the red peach guo for new year, vegetable guo for spring and autumn festivals, rice plant guo for harvest.  The moulds are made of different patterns  for this purpose;  the turtle and the peach for birthday – represents longevity, the fish is synonymous with excess (to have more than enough), bat synonymous with blessing, etc.  These moulds can be of wood or ceramics.