您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 风尚 >> 正文

每一盘番茄炒鸡蛋都是一个华裔移民的怀乡故事

更新时间:2017-2-10 11:53:36 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The Stir-Fried Tomatoes and Eggs My Chinese Mother Made
每一盘番茄炒鸡蛋都是一个华裔移民的怀乡故事

Over the past two years of writing this column about immigrants and their food, I’ve cooked with a Filipina nurse who used scalpels to debone chicken; a Senegalese family that eats out of the same dish to emphasize everyone’s responsibility to one another; a Mexican Popsicle maker who tried to heal the ache of her divorce by sharing literal sweetness. There was a Slovakian pierogi master whose last act before leaving for the United States was opening the barn doors to set her animals free; a Polish vegetarian who learned to make bigos, a meatfest of a stew, just so she could share her mother’s recipe; and a Palestinian family that lives the American dream by hosting a Thanksgiving every night.

过去两年,我一直在撰写这个有关移民及其食物的专栏。在此期间,我和许多人一起做过饭,有用解剖刀给鸡肉去骨的菲律宾护士;在同一个盘子里吃饭、以强调对彼此责任的一家塞内加尔人;一位试图通过分享实打实的甜美滋味来减轻离婚痛苦的墨西哥冰棒制造商。还有一位制作pierogi(一种类似饺子的半圆馅饼——译注)的斯洛伐克大师,在动身去美国前所做的最后一件事是打开畜栏的大门,将她的动物放生;一名波兰素食主义者学习如何做bigos炖肉,只为分享母亲的菜谱;一个巴勒斯坦家庭通过每晚吃感恩节食物实现自己的美国梦。

As a writer, I wrote this column feeling honored to be entrusted with their stories. And as the child of Chinese immigrants, I wrote this column looking up to my subjects — as I do to my own parents — for carrying the burden of living between two worlds. For finding their footing while having to bridge where they’re from with where they are.

作为一名作者,在撰写这些专栏时,我为他们能将这些故事托付给我而感到荣幸。而作为中国移民的后代,我写这个专栏也是在向自己的写作对象致敬——就像我对自己的父母那样——因为他们承受着在两个世界之间生活的负累,在找到立足点的同时,还不得不在自己的过去和现在之间搭起桥梁。

I’ve been thinking about this because this is my last column for the magazine — another dream project beckons, which I hope you’ll hear more about soon — but also because of tomatoes and eggs.

我一直在思考这点,因为这将是我为这个杂志撰写的最后一篇专栏文章——另一个梦想计划在向我招手,我希望你们会很快听到它的更多消息——同时也和番茄鸡蛋有关。

A few weeks ago, I felt a sudden, irresistible craving for Chinese stir-fried tomatoes and eggs. A dish of savory, sweet-tart tomato sauce folded around soft-scrambled eggs, it hits every pleasure center in the brain and makes it easy to scarf down a lot of rice, fast. When I worked in Chinatown, it was a staple of every $4 buffet in the neighborhood. A version of it with beef was my younger brother’s favorite food when we were growing up, and by “favorite food,” I mean it was basically the only thing he would eat for the first eight years of his life. (So much so that once, for some reason clear only to jerk older brothers, I squirted ketchup into his apple juice to make fun of him. We fought, he won, I drank the juice.)

几周前,我突然特别想吃中餐里的番茄炒蛋。这道菜肴有酸甜美味的番茄汁液裹着轻炒的鸡蛋,会激发全身的愉悦感,让你很容易就快速吞咽下许多米饭。我在唐人街工作的时候,这是那个社区的4美元餐车售卖的主打产品。再往里面加入牛肉,就是小时候我弟弟最喜欢的一道菜。这里的“最喜欢的一道菜”是指在他在人生的头八年里,这基本是他唯一会吃的食物。(以至于有一次,为了某种显然只有混蛋哥哥们才会知道的原因,我把番茄酱挤到了他的苹果汁里,就为捉弄他。我们打了一架,他赢了,我喝了那杯果汁。)

It’s the kind of dish that people say is the first thing they learned to cook, that fed them when they left home, that inspires sudden and irresistible cravings. But when my hunger struck, I had no idea how to make it. I looked in my Chinese cookbooks, but it appeared in exactly none of them. Calling up my mother to ask her, I knew, would be like asking her to describe how to tie shoelaces: almost impossible to articulate, buried so deep in her muscle memory. In Chinese cooking, this dish is like air, present and invisible.

人们提起它的时候,会说那是自己学会的第一道菜,在他们离家以后让自己填饱肚子的菜,会激发突如其来又不可抗拒的渴望的菜。但是当我突然想吃这道菜时,却不知道怎么做。我查阅了自己的中文烹饪书,发现没有一本收有这个菜谱。我知道如果打电话给我母亲询问这道菜,就跟让她描述如何系鞋带一样:几乎是不可能讲清楚的,这东西已经完全变成了她的肌肉记忆。在中餐里,这道菜就像是空气,时刻存在,却不可见。

I knew that I wasn’t going to figure out a recipe for it, because I realized that my not knowing how to make this dish was akin to my Cantonese getting rusty, to not knowing when Chinese New Year is every year. It’s because I’m not an immigrant, only a son of immigrants, and so I know only the frayed facsimile of the world that my parents grew up in. Being part of a culture without living in it is like being in a long-distance relationship. You can make it work with grand displays of affection and splendid visits, but you don’t get to have coffee together on a Sunday morning — the little things, the stuff daily life is built on. I knew that if I were to have this recipe, it would have to come to me through my people or not at all.

我知道我自己整不出这个菜谱,因为我意识到我不知道怎么做这道菜,就跟我的广东话越来越生,跟我每年都不知道什么时候是农历新年是一样的。那是因为我本身不是一个移民,只是两个移民的儿子,所以我对父母长大的那个世界只有已经磨损的二道传输的认知。作为一种文化的一部分却不生活在其中,就像是处在一段异地恋情里。通过大肆表白感情和偶尔华丽现身,它也能维持,但你无法在周日早上一起喝杯咖啡——做那些小事,那些让日常生活得以建立的事。我知道我要想知道这个菜谱,就得从我的同胞那里获取它,没有其他方法。

So I went online and found recipe after recipe, with an eye toward cobbling together my own. I read the cookbook author Genevieve Ko’s version and took from it the idea of just lightly cooking the eggs before finishing them in the tomatoes. I read Chichi Wang’s version, on Serious Eats, and lifted her brilliant use of fragrant rice wine in the eggs and ketchup in the sauce. I read dozens of blog posts, mostly relating the same story over and over again — a story of nostalgia, of Mom’s cooking, of home. I read the comments, also telling the same: Thank you, thank you, I’ve missed this dish, thank you, thank you. And after all this reading, I started to realize what I was really seeing: people, just like me, missing a knowledge that they felt should be in their bones, coming to someone else’s recipes to connect them to where they came from while being rooted in where they are.

所以我上网一个接一个地找,同时也留心拼凑自己的版本。我看到了烹饪书作者吉纳维芙·柯(Genevieve Ko)的做法,从中学到在把鸡蛋倒入番茄里之前,只需轻轻翻炒一下鸡蛋。我还看了希希·王(Chichi Wang)在“严肃饮食”(Serious Eats)网站上的版本,也从里面学到了一些很棒的点子,比如在鸡蛋中加入米酒,在酱汁中加入番茄酱。我读了几十篇博客文章,它们大多数都是在一遍遍讲述着同样的故事——一个怀乡的故事,想念母亲做的饭,想家。我读了下面的评论,也是一样的调调:谢谢你,谢谢你,我很怀念这道菜,谢谢,谢谢。读完所有这些后,我开始意识到自己究竟看到了什么:我看到了和我一样的人,他们想念一种自觉应该深入自身骨髓的知识,于是找到别人的菜谱,以便在植根于如今所在之地的同时,将自己和自己的来处建立起连接。

“全文请访问纽约时报中文网,本文发表于纽约时报中文网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅纽约时报中文网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相关文章列表