Archive for August, 2010

Superwoman by E J Catering

August 5, 2010

Drawn by the mountains and images of wonderful prayer wheels, big bells and goats I  flew off to Nepal for four months.
Kathmandu was more amazing than I could possibly have imagined – the smells, the colours, the woodwork, the noise, the craft, the people, the monks, the flowers, the crazy driving, the wandering goats, cows, sheep, they all added to the magic.
I had got a job teaching English in a boarding school just outside Kathmandu that was not quite so magical!  It was just off a main road where trucks thundered by, there was dust, dirt and stagnant water.  But the school itself was full of happy, hungry to learn, polite kids.
I struggled a bit with the four hours of teaching each day but the bit the kids and I both enjoyed was in the bunk house.  The kids stayed in small dorms and I sewed dolls’ clothes with the girls, built Wendy houses out of boxes and played backgammon with the boys. We all learnt to juggle, play French cricket and stick the tail on the donkey, we made one for each door of the house!
I spent my afternoons with the school cook, an uneducated, hard working man and I think he learnt the most English out of everyone!  We all took our meals on the flat roof with the Himalayas in the distance. Together we made momos, a dumpling, steamed or fried with any meat or vegetable filling flavoured with spices.  Here is my version.

Fresh wanton papers ( available in the fridge section of the Chinese supermarket in Neville Street, Cardiff)
Vegetarian filling:
Onion, carrot, cabbage, fresh ginger, fresh red chilli, lime,  a tablespoon kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), coriander
Grate the onion, carrot, cabbage ginger and mix with the chopped chilli, squeezed  lime, Kecap manis and chopped coriander.  Season and taste
Pork filling:
8oz minced pork
One inch fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic
2 spring onions
1 green chilli
1 stem of lemon grass
1 tbsp sesame seed oil
1 tbsp oyster sauce
Whizz the ginger, garlic, spring onions, chilli and  lemongrass with the sesame seed oil and oyster sauce.  Mix with your hands into the minced pork

Lightly egg the edges of the wanton papers and place small teaspoons of either mixture into the middle, pull the edges up into little money bag shapes, twisting the tops

Either steam for 5 mins or deep fry and finish in the oven.  Just make sure the filling is cooked through

Serve with lightly wilted bok  choy best bought at the Chinese super market.

I spent my last month climbing the Himalayas. Walking  into the most beautiful horizons each day was breathtaking.  Each day the mountains became bigger and bigger until at last at 4am we reached the Annapurna base camp.  We were there in the snow and surrounded by ice capped summits of the most beautiful mountains in the world.  Eat momos and climb mountains became my mantra.