Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Chinese New Year

Welcome Year of the Ox

To celebrate the New Year according to Chinese custom, a good spring clean, to rid the house of all old energy and adorn the house with spring flowers. I was out scouring my neighbourhood for any blossoms, to no avail. I asked my son to get some if he should see any, and he did, but he said some old classmates (girls) saw him gather the sprigs and felt really embarrassed and hid them in a book!!

Spring rolls are an auspicious food to cook for the New Years Eve meal. I was surprised at how economical these are. A small amount of rice noodles, grated carrot, Chinese mushrooms, bean sprouts, spring onion and oyster sauce, a bit of sugar, soya sauce, some spring roll wraps and sunflower oil. They are one of those fiddly foods which are hugely satisfying to make. There's something about the wrapping, rolling and deep frying which changes this collection of ingredients into something so different from what they started off as, it becomes magic.

We then had strips of beef (topside) marinaded in an improvised collection of the following:
A thumb of ginger grated
1 clove of garlic minced
1 stick of lemon grass finely sliced
Some chili flakes
1 Tbsp Sesame oil
Juice of a lime
a glug of soya sauce

The longer you leave the marinade, always the better.

This was stir fried in a wok at high heat and served with special fried rice.

Special Fried Rice
A cup of cooked rice (i used basmatti)
1 cup of peas
half a cup of cashews
3 spring onions
some random amount of ham cut up really small
a handful of coriander (i know it's not typical)
glug of sesame oil
glug of soya sauce
sunflower oil to stir fry the whole lot off in.

For our green offering I simply stir fried some brussel sprouts with garlic, ginger and lemon. Absolutely anything green will do here, some curly kale would work really well.

And so we toasted the New Year and enjoyed our feast.

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