Inspired Recipe: Chicken Mandu Dumplings and a Trio of Dipping Sauces

What is a mother if not the heart and soul of a family? She is a nourisher, a provider, a caretaker, a comforter. Her family turns to her for love and support. In Please Look After Mom, the titular character is a source of comfort, an anchor for her family, strong on the outside but full of love. As the point of view changes with each passing chapter, so does the way we see Mom. She changes, you see, in the context of her daughter, her son, and her husband. That’s why I put together this dish—with the soft, plump mandu dumpling representing Mom, and each of the dipping sauces representing her daughter, son and husband.

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In which I poke fun at my inadequacies in the kitchen and idolize my mother

“Amina, yanh ao!”

What is wrong with this woman? She wants me to go over there? 

Jaldi se!”

Quickly? Okay, okay. Ten seconds to rinse my hands, 20 to the family room and…five full minutes to hear what she has to say? No, this is impossible.

As I’m standing there, trying to figure out how to stir my frying onions in the kitchen before inevitably receiving instructions from my mother in the family room, the fragrant cloud enveloping me turns suddenly bitter. I look down. What was a golden glowing nest a moment ago is now a charred tangle of slop.

Ruined. Again.

Read more: Cooking With My Pakistani Mother…And Losing