When I met John Ong at last year’s ASPA awards I was super-impressed that his family was tight with the Lims of Lim’s Supermarket and Lim Chhour foodcourt. This meant that he was famous. The Lims people, the Lims. Not to mention that John’s sister was Mrs Fong from Karateparty’s ‘Ask Mrs Fong’ column.
This year, Mr Ong became even more famous for leaving the delights of a 9-5 grownup government job to edit Critic, choosing the life of a Keith Ng student media survivalist once more. No wonder they gave him a prize. You better believe that when the Chinese Cambodian refugees started getting airlifted into Auckland a quarter century ago that they’d never let their kids edit student magazines unless that magazine avoided angering Chinese people with confusing use of irony or unprofessional use of photoshop, and of course, unless their magazine was officially the best one and got a prize for it. A belated congratulations to all the ASPA entrants and winners, thanks to Ben Thomas and the Listener for the free booze, and of course, congratulations John - you’re top of the class. Now get back to work.
With the help of the Lims, this post is now fleeing to the kitchen, because I'm making jiaozi for my artist friend Kah Bee Chow, soon to be part of a group show at the Auckland Triennal along with Mainland Chinese conceptual art-collective behemoth The Long March.
Because Keith’s ‘parsnip and fish green Thai curry’ freaked me out so much, here’s my vegetarian dumpling filling recipe:
1 bunch finely chopped chives (sprinkle salt and drain if you have time, which gets rid of drippy dumpling syndrome)
1 egg, scramble-fried and crumbled
3 chinese mushrooms, soaked in soy sauce solution and chopped finely
about half an inch of ginger, chopped finely
salt and soy sauce to taste
with another raw egg and a little corn starch to combine
Wrap with the yellow label jiaozi pi made in Otahuhu you can always get at Lims Mt Albert or Soung Yueen on Hobson St, but for some reason not at Lim Chhour K’Road which sells this pallid Taiwanese one sometimes that I don’t like so much.
And last geeky gasp: there are countless reasons not to like Robert Kaplan or disagree with his 'South Korea will align with China against Japan' bet, but at least the man knows more about North Korea than the insights revealed by the ‘I’m so rone-ry’ song.