Lunar New Year Recipes
A big part of celebrating the Lunar New Year is abouthaving a big meal with your loved one. Here are some easy recipes to make your new year more festive.
Dumplings signify wealth and financial fortune, so they're a definite must on your New Year's dinner table. You could pick up frozen ones (we like Trader's Joes and Wei Chuan brands) but they're easy enough to make and you can make the fillings ahead so your guests can make their own.
1 lb greens of your choice (napa, regular cabbage, bok choy)
1 lb ground meat of your choice (beef, chicken, pork or even a mixture)
1 clove minced garlic (or put through a garlic press)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 packages dumpling wrappers
Small bowl of water to seal the dumplings Finely chop the vegetable and place into a mixing bowl. Add meat, garlic and soy sauce. Mix until well blended. Place a spoonful of filling in a wrapper, wet your finger and wet part of the edge of the wrapper, fold the wrapper over the filling and seal the edges together. Some like to crimp while others fold the sides in and pinch. There's no wrong way to do it as long as the filling is sealed in. Cook as desired--boiled, steamed or pan-fried.
Steamed Fish with Scallion, Ginger and Soy
Fish represent prosperity, so it's yet another must for your dinner table. You'll usually find a whole fish since who wants their prosperity cut up into pieces. It's not as intimidating as you think. Just go to your fish counter and the fish monger will be happy to help you pick your fish and even clean it for you. All you need to do is take it home and cook it.
1 whole fish about 1 1/2 lbs (firm fleshed ones like snapper, bass or flounder)
Salt and pepper
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, julienned
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine
3 scallions, julienned
3-4 cilantro sprigs, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
Place a large pot on the stove and add about two inches of water. Insert a steaming rack in the pot, cover and heat the water.
Rinse off the fish and pat dry. Season inside and out with salt and pepper. Place the fish on a heatproof platter or shallow baking dish that will fit inside your pot and then place on the steaming rack. Cover and steam for about 10 minutes or so. The meat will be opaque. Remove from the steamer.
While fish is cooking, heat oil in a pan, add ginger, soy sauce, half the scallions and water. Let simmer for a few minutes. Add the rest of the scallion as the end and pour over the fish. Top with some cilantro and serve.
Stir-fried Longevity Noodles
Their name says it all, these noodles are eaten to ensure long life. The longer the noodles the better and try to eat them without cutting or biting them in half as you're eating.
1 pack longevity noodles (or any long noodle will work)
1 carrot, julienned
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 cup cabbage, thinly sliced
1 scallion, julienned
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
Boil a pot of water and cook noodles until just done. Drain and set aside. Mix together soy sauce, water, rice vinegar and sesame oil. In a pan, heat half the oil. Add the garlic and then the carrots and stir-fry until barely cooked,. Add the cabbage and mushrooms. Remove from pan and heat remaining oil. Add the noodles to reheat, add the vegetables and scallions. While stirring, pour over the sauce mixture to coat the noodles and vegetables. Pepper to taste and serve.
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