Behind the pans with Lulu is Vegan - mum and daughter from Shanghai sizzling mum-made potstickers, steamed dumplings, and buns green and sweet. Mimi's a construction engineer consultant, her mum used to be an accountant but moved to England in 2005, learned English, and now has her own vegan Chinese food blog (getting big) and street food business. Lulu turned vegan three years ago after being diagnosed with diabetes; she became determined to keep eating amazing Chinese food and share with others so they could eat that way too - "It makes me so happy". This lady's not just a brilliant cook - she makes ceramics, cushions out of old jumpers and her signature chilli oil raked with sesame and peanuts (soon to be bottled) is going to be a Christmas cupboard craver, with @routesandfroots telling the story on :)
Currently trading at Wimbledon Farmers Market on Sundays plus home delivery to the Wimbledon area.
Roots: "We were born in Shanghai, and a lot of the inspo for cooking comes from the street food there and things we both learnt from Lulu’s mother - I learnt how to make dumplings when I was a kid from my grandma and my mum, (how to wrap a dumpling delicately so you have enough fillings but not too much to cause any seepage). A lot of it is also through us testing as some ingredients aren't readily available over here. I've turned vegan to support my mum and finding intriguingly more ingredients and creations to suit the new lifestyle choices. Dumplings has always been one of my favourite foods, and making it often involved get togethers with family and friends. We stuff our dumplings with what's in season (look out for the pan-fried Chinese chive bamboo shoot and vermicelli that pack a punch like wild garlic), and make our own tofu from organic soya beans bought from a zero waste shop locally and fruit and veg to support British farmer and producers. Having lived in London for almost 20yrs I'm just as British as I am Chinese, I love both cultures, and would like my food to reflect local British produce, but to still inherit my Chinese heritage”.
Routes: "We moved to London in 2005 for family reasons. My mum had to learn English. She was an account for over 20 years for one of the biggest banks in China. Now - she’s passionate about healing! After being diagnosed with diabetes she changed her diet, is off the medication and wants to share this with others too. I was trained as a Structural Engineer, and worked on projects like Crossrail (Farringdon Station) and underground projects in Doha, Qatar, as well as other infrastructure projects such as the new Jeddah airport in Saudi. During the week, I do my day job and help with the prep, weekends we do markets and I'm trying to cut my hours so we can expand to do more markets! Look out for us at Fleet Place Christmas market 16th to 20th of December".
Fruits: "We set up Lulu's in Feb 2018, had our first Sunday pop up near Southfields tube station just selling smoothies, from all natural ingredients. In March we started selling vegan dumplings and trading at Wimbledon Village Farmer's market and been there most Sundays since. Although it's a very hard business to be in - in terms of physical work especially as neither of us are used to it, it also means she gets to meet a lot more people, making friends with customers and we're thinking about starting dumpling masterclasses to teach people how to make dumplings. The culture interactions to involve people and integrate with people from different cultures always makes my mum very happy. She enjoys the Sunday markets as well as introducing vegan food to others who may not even contemplate to try it before. Aim for the future? To have a non alcoholic bar with vegan dumplings and other small eats / tapas style food / healthy snacks, serving Pu'er (high altitude Chinese BlackTea) infused sparking drink (Champagne like) in a self build eco restaurant that's zero carbon or even carbon negative if possible. It'll integrate my passion for buildings as well. In the long run we want to have our own organic farm and mushroom huts where we can grow what we make and have a retreat maybe not too far from London, as an Eco Weekend away day venue where people can camp or stay in one of our Eco pods furnished with my mum's up-cycled crafts. We may have diabetes recovery camps on offer as well. Pick your own veg, make it into a dumpling if you like, fill it with the seasonal pickings and your imaginations".