Cooking With a Hint of Culture

One of the biggest silver-linings from last year was the new found time I had for baking and cooking. Although I’ve always enjoyed making food, I now have a new found appreciation for being able to make food that is from your own culture.

A person’s cultural identity is something that forms when they’re in adolescence and continues to grow or develop throughout the rest of their lives. It follows the same stages that a person can have in their journey of identity development and many people will continue to feel lost during transitional periods such as university. I know I am.

Having grown up in Canada predominantly, I always wondered about the Chinese culture (which is also my background). There are times where I feel connected to the traditions and practises but most of the time, I don’t understand the reasoning and meanings. However, food is one of the aspects of the culture that I always try my best to understand.

I had more time last year to talk to my mom and watch her in the kitchen. Thus, we decided to make one of my favourite Taiwanese street foods this past month. It was such a delicacy in my childhood and making the dish together allowed me to appreciate the food in a different light.

Ultimately, I was so excited that I now knew how to make a dish from my culture and look forward to sharing its origins and flavours with my friends.

Ingredients needed (if you decide to make these with me!)


  • 1 and 1/4 cups of flour
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • 100 ml of milk
  • 20 ml of warm water
  • 15 g of sugar
  • 2 g of yeast

Pork Belly Filling

  • Pork belly
  • Mei gan vegetables – you should be able to find these in the Asian aisle of your grocery store
  • Peanut powder + Powdered sugar – this makes up the “sauce” for the bun and is a great combo of salty and sweet!
  • Both light and dark soy sauce
  • Cooking wine
  • Water
  • Rock sugar

For the bao recipe, I followed this video and for the filling, here is a similar one I found!

Next time, look towards your family to learn a little more about different aspects of your culture! Cooking is a great way to bond with people and it’s really fun as well 🙂

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