Easy Chinese New Year Recipes

This year, Chinese New Year will be a much more organized affair, since I have been researching easy Chinese New Year recipes BEFOREHAND, instead of having a having an “oh-shit-Chinese-New-Year-is-in-two-days-I-want-to-make-something-but-what???” moment. For me, celebration = lots of food so having my list means I’m ready to get my party on!

Here’s a roundup of easy Chinese New Year recipes for your celebration!

Shrimp

The word for shrimp sounds like the word for laughter in Chinese, and being the literal folk that we are, we believe eating shrimp will bring happiness in the new year.

Meatballs

Meatballs symbolize “reunion” in Chinese, perfect for celebrating Chinese New Year with family and friends.

Rice Cakes

Rice cakes (Nian Gao) are the quintessential dish to be eaten during Chinese New Year, as they represent increasing prosperity in the new year.

Chinese Tea Eggs

Tea eggs are pretty ubiquitous, people eat them as a snack (you can buy them at 7-Elevens in Asia!), they are served as part of lunch boxes, and of course, served during Chinese New Year as they signify prosperity and fertility. Good for anyone who wants more wealth (who doesn’t?) or trying to get knocked up.

Fish

Fish is an important dish to serve at Chinese New Year, birthday celebrations, and basically any special occasion since it symbolizes prosperity. Traditionally, it’s served whole but my cooking skills aren’t that advanced yet. Here’s a manageable, yummy option that doesn’t require wrangling a whole fish.

Noodles

Noodles represent longevity and are another mainstay of special occasion meals. Don’t cut the noodles or else you’re cutting your life short! Slurp away with this chicken noodle stir fry recipe.…

Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients:

-1 pound large mushrooms (18-20 mushrooms)
-6 tablespoons butter
-3 green onions, minced
-3 to 4 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
-4 ounces crab meat
-1 cup fresh fine bread crumbs
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning blend
-1/8 teaspoon pepper
-2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

1. Wash and trim the end of stems from mushrooms
2. Pop remaining stem out
3. Chop stems and set aside
4. Melt 2 tablespoons butter; brush over mushrooms
5. Spray a shallow baking dish with butter-flavored spray or grease with butter
6. Melt remaining butter in skillet; add reserved chopped stems, minced green onions and red bell pepper
7. Cook until vegetables are tender
8. Combine cooked ingredients with bread crumbs, crab meat, and seasonings
9. Fill each mushrooms
10. Sprinkle each mushroom with a little Parmesan cheese
11. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes, until hot and mushroom caps are tender…

General Tso’s Chicken

Ingredients:

For the sauce:
-1 tablespoon double-concentrate tomato paste, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
-½ teaspoon potato flour
-½ teaspoon dark soy sauce
-1½ teaspoons light soy sauce
-1 tablespoon rice vinegar
-3 tablespoons chicken stock or water

For the chicken:
-12 ounces (about 4 to 5) skinless, boneless chicken thighs
-½ teaspoon dark soy sauce
-2 teaspoons light soy sauce
-1 egg yolk
-2 tablespoons potato flour
-1 quart peanut oil, more as needed
-6 to 10 dried red chilies
-2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
-2 teaspoons minced garlic
-2 teaspoons sesame oil
-Scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish

1. Make the sauce by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside
2. To prepare the chicken, unfold the chicken thighs and lay them on a cutting board
3. Remove as much of the sinew as possible
4. Slice a few shallow crosshatches into the meat
5. Cut each thigh into roughly ¼ -inch slices and place in a large bowl
6. Add the soy sauces and egg yolk and mix well
7. Stir in the potato flour and 2 teaspoons peanut oil and set aside
8. Using scissors, snip the chilies into ¾ -inch pieces, discarding the seeds
9. Pour 3½ cups peanut oil into a large wok, or enough oil to rise 1½ inches from the bottom
10. Set over high heat until the oil reaches 350 to 400 degrees
11. Add half the chicken and fry until crisp and deep gold, 3 to 4 minutes
12. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate
13. Repeat with the second batch
14. Pour the oil into a heatproof container and wipe the wok clean
15. Place the wok over high heat
16. Add 2 tablespoons peanut oil
17. When hot, add the chilies and stir-fry for a few seconds, until they just start to change color
18. Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds longer, until fragrant
19. Add the sauce, stirring as it thickens
20. Return the chicken to the wok and stir vigorously to coat
21. Remove from the heat, stir in the sesame oil and top with scallions
22. Serve with sticky rice…

Fresh Fruit Tartlets

Ingredients:

-Pâte Sucrée (Sweet Shortcrust Pastry):
-1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
-1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
-2 egg yolks beaten with 2 tablespoons iced water and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Fruit for Tartlets:
-1 pound ripe small fruits (e.g. strawberries, raspberries, red currants, figs, grapes, etc.)

Glaze:
-4 tablespoons raspberry jam
-2 tablespoons fruit juice

Instructions:
Make Pâte Sucrée Pastry and Bake:

1. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process the flour, salt, sugar and butter until fine crumbs form
2. Pour in the beaten egg yolk and water mixture just until the dough begins to stick together
3. Do not allow the dough to form a ball or the pastry will be tough
4. Add water or flour depending on if the dough is too dry or too wet
5. Place dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours
6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
7. Lightly butter six 3 1/2-inch tartlet pans
8. Roll out the pastry to about a 1/8 inch thickness
9. Cut out six rounds, re-rolling trimmings as necessary
10. Place rounds into tartlet pans and cut off excess pastry (pastry that is hanging over the edge)
11. Prick the bases with a fork
12. Line the pastry cases with foil and add a layer of baking beans
13. Bake for 15 minutes until slightly dry and set, then remove the foil and beans and continue baking for 5 minutes more
14. Cool on a wire rack

Prepare the Fruit and Glaze:
1. Shortly before serving, melt the jam in a saucepan with the fruit juice over low heat
2. Strain the glaze if necessary

After tartlets have cooled, arrange the fruit inside each tartlet and brush with glaze…