Eat Drink Man Woman (1994) – Inspired Dumplings

A Culinary Journey Through Family and Culture

Eat Drink Man Woman” is a 1994 Taiwanese film directed by Ang Lee that tells the story of an ageing chef and his three daughters living in Taipei. The film explores the relationships between the characters, the conflicts between traditional Confucian ideals and modern society, and the role of food in bringing people together. In this article, we will take a closer look at the plot of the movie and some of the recipes featured in it.

The movie revolves around the character of Mr. Chu, a widowed master chef who has lost his sense of taste and smell. He lives with his three daughters, each of whom is struggling with her own personal issues. Jia-Jen, the eldest daughter, is a devout Christian who has given up on love. Jia-Chien, the middle daughter, is a successful executive who is having an affair with her boss. Jia-Ning, the youngest daughter, is a high school student who is discovering her sexuality.

The family’s weekly Sunday dinners are the centerpiece of the movie, where Mr. Chu prepares elaborate feasts for his daughters and their friends. The meals are a metaphor for the family’s relationships, with each dish representing a different emotion or issue. Through the meals, the family members learn to communicate and understand each other better.

Food plays a central role in “Eat Drink Man Woman,” and the movie features several mouth-watering recipes. Here are some of the most notable ones:

Inspired Dumplings

One of the most memorable scenes in the movie is when Jia-Jen prepares Inspired Dumplings for her crush, a single father who attends her church. The dumplings are filled with shrimp, pork, and water chestnuts, and they are served with a spicy dipping sauce. The scene is a testament to the power of food to bring people together and to express one’s feelings.

Lion’s Head Meatballs

Lion’s Head Meatballs are a traditional Chinese dish made with ground pork and cabbage. In the movie, Mr. Chu prepares this dish for Jia-Ning’s birthday dinner. The meatballs are large and fluffy, and they are served in a savory broth.

Steamed Fish

Steamed Fish is a simple yet elegant dish that is a staple in Chinese cuisine. In the movie, Mr. Chu prepares this dish for Jia-Chien’s boss, who is coming over for dinner. The fish is steamed with ginger and scallions, and it is served with a soy sauce and sesame oil dressing.

Shrimp with Lobster Sauce

Shrimp with Lobster Sauce is a popular Chinese-American dish that is not actually made with lobster. In the movie, Jia-Chien prepares this dish for her lover, who is coming over for dinner. The dish is made with shrimp, ground pork, and a savory sauce made with chicken broth, soy sauce, and eggs.

“Eat Drink Man Woman” is a beautiful movie that explores the complexities of family relationships and the role of food in bringing people together. The movie’s recipes are a testament to the richness and diversity of Chinese cuisine, and they are sure to inspire foodies and home cooks alike. Whether you are a fan of drama, comedy, or food, “Eat Drink Man Woman” is a must-see movie that will leave you satisfied in every way.

How to make the delicious Inspired Dumplings


500 grams of silken tofu
1 large thumb of ginger
2 cloves of garlic
500 grams of vegetables – either roasted pumpkin, sauteed mushrooms or courgette
Light soy sauce
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
3 spring onions
1 tablespoon of rice flour
250 grams of water chestnuts
One pack of dumpling wrappers
Vegetable oil
Chilli oil to serve


  1. If you’re using pumpkin either steam or roast it, if mushrooms or courgette saute them in a pan with a little oil. In a bowl combine the tofu, water chestnuts, grated ginger and garlic, chopped spring onions and the vegetables.

2. To taste add in the soy sauce and sesame oil until it is perfect.

3. Add enough rice flour to absorb the extra water in the mixture. Let the mix sit for a while.

4. Start forming them into little dumpling shapes, they won’t be perfect but they’ll taste amazing.

5. Once all formed and sitting pretty heat up a pan of oil.

6. Lightly fry one side of the dumplings before adding a little water to the pan and putting on the lid so the other side can steam.

7. Serve with chilli oil.