On the auspicious occasion of Chinese New Year 16th Feb 2018, I am pleased to announce our latest section with the spotlight – Chinese Takeaway. Before I go on my rant about why I love Chinese Food and culture let me talk a little bit about the Year of the Dog.Popular tradition calls for a celebration with fireworks on Chinese new year.Then there are the red envelopes with money.Red is considered a sign of prosperity and most of the decor is done in red colour.An intensive cleaning before the new year is customary to get rid of ‘chen’ or bad luck.Dumplings are served at the sou shi , family dinner because dumplings resemble gold coins and symbol of good luck and fortune.
Xīnnián kuàilè! (新年快乐)
Chinese food has taken the world by storm which started when Chinese labourers, brought in to help build the first transcontinental railroads and to work in the gold mines, started their own food services for their compatriots on the American West Coast. The popularity of Chinese food in the US is unparalleled.Another factor may have been that—unlike, for instance, Indian food—many of the most important ingredients for Chinese cooking (e.g., garlic, scallions, cabbage, etc.) were readily available, or easily farmed, in the four-growing-season climate of California. Additionally, those ingredients which were not readily available in America (e.g., soy sauce, sesame oil, five-spice, etc.) could readily withstand Transpacific shipment without a serious loss of quality.Chinese food doesn’t have to be a takeaway treat, you can make simple authentic Chinese food at home. You need a few ingredients and you would be ready to go.
I would recommend some good quality spices- star anise, 5 spice mix , sichuan peppers, chilli oil, sesame seeds, ginger, scallions to keep stacked in your pantry.Chinese Nappa cabbage is readily available in most parts of the world and tastes quite good in stir fries over regular cabbage.Not a lot of us know (honest confession: I didn’t either until I started researching for this post) that there are eight different kinds of regional Chinese cuisines.Hunan cuisine is associated with chilli and garlic flavours and its famous crispy duck; Fujian cuisine is known for its umami (savoury) taste and seafood dishes. Other styles include Sichuan, Shandong and Jiangsu cuisines.
Country’sWorld’s most dominant ethnic cuisine
The West’s perception of Chinese food has gone from merely eating a Chinese takeaway dish each week to consumers experimenting themselves by using Oriental flavours in their kitchens. Every time you visit whole-foods or any supermarket you will find aisles packed with oriental sauces, noodles and seasonings.Popular Chinese tradition includes eating special food on family dinner for Chinese new year. Dumplings that resemble gold and noodles for long life and prosperity are amongst my favourite things about this holiday.
This Year of the dog we are making vegetable lo mein, a nappa cabbage stir fry and potstickers.I will also share a braised cucumber side dish that will be perfect to go with the spicy mains. braised Cucumber is a game changer and is a great pairing for barbecue.More on this in a later post. I will also share how to make your own quick and each sichuan chilli oil to toss in your dumplings.Coming back to Lo Mein, what is lo Mein? it is stir fried long noodles (remember from spotlight, long noodles signify long life) with vegetables and a protein of your choice. You can go vegan and chose tofu or chicken or beef if you like meat. Mushrooms go very well in this recipe and if you have soybean or mung bean sprouts its even healthier and tastier.Blanched Baby Spinach, Bokchouy goes really well too.
If you wish to connect with me or share any ideas or if there is a recipe you want me to recreate for you feel free to write to me at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.Once again,Happy Year of the Dog friends! May it be prosperous and healthy.
Wonton equals love!
Xīnnián kuàilè! (新年快乐)