Image Description: A title reads “Mandu + Tamales, Cooking Rituals” at the top center of the piece. It has four watercolors, including one tamal, three mandu, and illustrations of how to make both tamales and mandu. There is text between the watercolors which read “making tamales alongside great aunties + mi bisabuela at christmastime, bridging the gap created by my inability to speak spanish.” and “making mandu with my mama’s fam for the new year, bridging the gap between us diasporic, mixed koreans and the homeland left generations ago.”
I have a longstanding appreciation for the humble dumpling. While ingredients and appearance may change, the dumpling is one of the most simple and ubiquitous food forms across the globe: a flavorful filling enveloped by a warm dough.