Monday, February 11, 2013

Chinese New Year Feast!

Yesterday marked the start of the Chinese New Year. Happy New Year!! This year is the year of the Snake, which is said to symbolise wisdom, intelligence and beauty, but also sadly for all those born in the year of the snake (myself included), pride and anger! But I don't believe much in the zodiac, so I'll just ignore that! Nonetheless to celebrate the lunar new year Isaac and I had a huge feast of delicious homemade Chinese food. As neither of us have any Chinese heritage and being a totally veggie meal, these would not be considered very traditional dishes however this was our spin on it.

I made 2 kinds of dumplings to begin our feast. Delicious steamed parcels containing mushroom, spinach, coriander and ginger, along with irresistible potstickers with chive, quorn chicken and lots of chilli. They take a good bit of prep and are eaten in a flash but they are so worth it! I used bought dumpling wrappers just to save time, homemade really do taste better but as I knew I had a good bit to make I took the easy route.

After we finished the dumplings, we had crispy sesame tofu with lots of black pepper, ginger, garlic, chilli and spring onion. I love this dish and make it all the time. The longest part of it is getting the tofu done, making sure it's deliciously crispy on all sides. The rest is easy, just getting the balance between salty, sweet and savoury. And to accompany the tofu we had a side of sauteed spinach with lashings of garlic and a dash of dark soya sauce and fluffy jasmine rice. I have to admit the jasmine rice I have is a right pain, it requires about 5 washes before you can cook it and it's still not perfect, I think we need to invest in a good rice cooker. If anyone has any suggestions, do pass them on, they'd be much appreciated!

I was planning on making a lychee dessert but we were just too full and couldn't fit another bite. Instead some Jasmine tea and vegging out on the sofa watching the tv was all we could manage. Chinese New Year celebrations go on for a few days, so if you didn't have a chance to eat some yummy Chinese food you still have time, 新年快樂!