ck - Chinese New Year Menu
A platter of succulent stir-fried orange-pink shrimp symbolizes gold coins (wealth) and good fortune for the coming year. Order fresh shrimp from the fishmonger; have it peeled and deveined while you shop for the rest of the menu.
1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.
2. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add canola oil to pan. Add shrimp to pan; stir-fry 1 minute or until shrimp begin to turn pink. Add garlic, ginger, and jalapeño; stir-fry 1 minute. Stir in broth mixture; cook 1 minute or until shrimp are done and sauce is thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in onions and sesame oil. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.
Any type of noodle—thin chow mein noodles to broad rice noodles to the thicker Shanghai wheat noodles—is a must at Chinese New Year's. However, long noodles represent a long unbroken life (so cutting them into shorter strands would symbolically shorten your life). Pull out your largest skillet or wok because this Asian recipe creates a full pan.
1. Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting fat and salt. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain. Set aside.
2. Combine wine, hoisin sauce, and cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add pork; stir to coat. Cover and let stand 10 minutes.
3. Combine dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, low-sodium soy sauce, and sugar in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk; set mixture aside.
4. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add cabbage to pan; stir-fry 2 minutes. Transfer cabbage to a bowl.
5. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in pan. Add garlic; stir-fry 10 seconds or until fragrant. Add pork mixture; stir-fry 3 minutes or until done. Add pork mixture to bowl with cabbage.
6. Wipe pan clean with paper towels; return to heat. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add reserved noodles; stir-fry 1 minute. Add onions and soy sauce mixture to pan; stir-fry 1 minute. Add pork mixture; stir to combine. Cook 1 minute or until hot.
The lettuce represents growing wealth for the coming year, as the Cantonese word for lettuce is saang choy, which sounds like "increasing fortune."
1. Combine 1 cup boiling water and shiitake mushrooms in a bowl; cover and let stand 20 minutes. Drain mushrooms in a colander over a bowl, reserving liquid. Rinse mushrooms. Remove and discard stems; cut each cap into quarters. Set aside.
2. Combine soy sauce, wine, and sugar in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.
3. Heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil and ginger to pan; sauté 30 seconds. Add reserved mushrooms; sauté 1 minute. Add reserved mushroom liquid and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
4. Combine oyster sauce and cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk; stir into mushroom mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from heat; keep warm.
5. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Add garlic; stir-fry 10 seconds. Add bok choy; stir-fry 2 minutes or until bok choy begins to soften. Add lettuce; stir-fry 2 minutes or until lettuce wilts. Stir in mushroom mixture and soy sauce mixture; cook 3 minutes or until bok choy is tender.
Variations of these little dumplings are popular throughout China. They symbolize abundance and wealth for the coming year, as they are made in large amounts and, when fried golden, represent coins. In northern China they are served in the hours between the old and new year. These may take some time to prepare, but gather a few friends to help assemble the potstickers. Cook two dozen for your party, and freeze the extras for future snacks or meals. Simply pop the extra, uncooked dumplings in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag.
1. To prepare dumplings, cook cabbage in boiling water 1 minute or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain. Cool; chop.
2. Place mushrooms in a small bowl; cover with boiling water. Cover and let stand 30 minutes or until tender. Drain mushrooms; chop.
3. Combine cabbage, mushrooms, 1/4 cup green onions, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, and next 7 ingredients (through egg white) in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours.
4. Working with 1 gyoza skin at a time (cover remaining gyoza skins to prevent drying), spoon 2 teaspoons pork mixture into center of each skin. Moisten edges of gyoza skin with water. Fold in half, pinching edges together to seal. Place dumpling, seam side up, on a baking sheet sprinkled with remaining 1 teaspoon cornstarch (cover loosely with a towel to prevent drying). Repeat procedure with remaining gyoza skins and filling.
5. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 12 dumplings to pan; cook 3 minutes. Add 1/3 cup water. Reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until water evaporates. Repeat procedure with remaining canola oil, dumplings, and water.
6. To prepare the sauce, combine 3 tablespoons chopped ginger and remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Serve sauce with dumplings.
This home-style sweet-and-sour chicken has a lighter, fresher-tasting sauce than typical restaurant versions. And because the color red is considered lucky, the dish's crimson hue will bring good fortune for the Year of the Ox.
1. Combine 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce, and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) in a medium bowl. Add chicken; stir well to coat. Set aside.
2. Combine chicken broth, remaining 2 teaspoons cornstarch, brown sugar, remaining 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, chile paste, and sesame oil.
3. Heat 1/2 teaspoon canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced onion, bell peppers, and green onions to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Transfer to a bowl.
4. Heat remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons canola oil in pan. Add chicken mixture to pan, and spread in an even layer; cook, without stirring, 1 minute. Sauté an additional 3 minutes or until chicken is done.
5. Return vegetable mixture to pan. Add soy sauce mixture and pineapple, stirring well to combine. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute or until thickened, stirring constantly.
Traditionally, this recipe uses a whole chicken, marinated, wrapped in lotus leaves, immersed in a bed of hot rock salt in a wok, and cooked on a stovetop. The modern convenience of an oven makes it much easier to control the cooking temperature. Allowing the chicken to stand at room temperature for an hour before cooking creates succulent results. The golden color of the roasted bird also represents wealth, and serving a whole chicken is thought to ensure good luck for the coming year. Garlic chives make a memorable garnish.
1. Combine 2 1/2 cups boiling water and tangerine peel in a bowl; cover and let stand 30 minutes. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving liquid.
2. Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Rub 1 tablespoon salt under skin; let stand 5 minutes. Rinse chicken under cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Place chicken on the rack of a roasting pan; let stand 1 hour at room temperature.
3. Preheat oven to 425°.
4. Transfer chicken to a work surface. Combine remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, shallots, ginger, wine, soy sauce, oil, and honey in a small bowl. Rub 3 tablespoons shallot mixture inside cavity of chicken. Place onions and tangerine peel inside cavity. Rub remaining shallot mixture under loosened skin.
5. Place chicken, breast side up, on the rack of a roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Pour reserved tangerine soaking liquid into a shallow roasting pan; place rack in pan. Bake at 425° for 1 hour or until a meat thermometer registers 165° and skin has turned a dark golden brown color. Let stand 15 minutes. Discard skin, and slice.
The golden carrots represent prosperity in this spicy-hot, make-ahead condiment.
1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Add 2 teaspoons salt; toss well. Let stand 20 minutes. Transfer vegetable mixture to a colander. Rinse well with cold water; drain well.
2. Combine remaining 2 teaspoons salt, sugar, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add vegetable mixture; stir well. Transfer to an airtight container, and refrigerate for at least 2 days before serving.
Stir-Fried Shrimp with Garlic and Chile Sauce
Long Life Noodles
Stir-Fried Bok Choy and Lettuce with Mushrooms
Spicy Sweet-and-Sour Chicken
Pickled Spiced Cucumber, Carrots, and Daikon
Join a top Chinese-Canadian cook as he rings in the Year of the Ox with a delicious menu featuring symbolic recipes. (Serves 8)
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