Chinese New Year
Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái! Happy Chinese (Lunar) New Year! Earlier this month on February 10th, the Asian culture celebrated the New Year. The Lunar New Year, as the name suggests, is based on the moon. According to the Chinese Zodiac, it is now the year of the snake. Just as there are many European celebrations that go along with the Western New Year, there are also many Asian traditions that go along with the Lunar New Year celebration. Feasting with friends and family is a big part of the celebration. Popular dishes are dumplings, hot pot, and spring rolls.
Dumpling (jiǎo zi) making is a must if one is going to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
1. Buy circular or square wheat wrappers at the store.
2. Mix ground pork, finely chopped green beans, chopped green onions, and you favorite seasonings in a bowl.
3. Put about a tablespoon of your mixture in the middle of the wrapper.
4. Lightly, with your finger, wet the edges of the wrapper with water.
5. Seal the wrapper by placing the edges together and crimping them, sort of how one would make an edge on a pie.
6. Drop into hot boiling water.
7. When they are ready to be eaten, they will float to the top. You will know that you sealed them correctly if none of the dumplings open up in the water.
8. Serve and enjoy. We often have sauce with ours. It can be soy sauce with balsamic vinegar, hoisin sauce, or even your own creation of sauces.
Hot pot is also a fun meal to do as a family.
1. Take an electric skillet and fill it ¾ full of water and turn to a boiling temperature.
2. Place whatever food items you would like in the boiling water.
a. Meat-We have done thinly cut chicken and beef. We have also done bacon. It does not really matter what kind of meat it is as long as you leave it in the water long enough to thoroughly cook.
c. Vegetables-Any sort of vegetable can be placed in this dish. You can do lettuce, carrots, water chestnuts, or etc.
d. Shrimp and Fish balls (These can be found in the frozen food section of an Asian market. See below for information about 888-International Market).
e. Anything else that you would like to put in the water
3. Once you have cooked your items, take them out of the water and enjoy. Again you can put different sauces with your food to flavor it.
4. The broth left from cooking all these items becomes a flavorful soup.
1. Fill a large round pan about 1/8 high, with lukewarm water.
2. Take a round rice wrapper (found in an Asian market) and lay in the pan.
3. Let the wrapper soaks up the water, so that the wrapper turns soft. Then take it out and put on your plate. This process will most likely happen in about 10 seconds, depending on the temperature of the water.
4. Place your favorite vegetables and cooked meats in the wrap. Spread a sauce over the items.
5. Wrap it up like a burrito and enjoy! Do not forget to your favorite sauces for dipping too!
I love celebrating Chinese New Year. It is a time to celebrate and be together with my friends and family. Since I was adopted from China, it is a lot of fun to preserve my cultural heritage in this way. What about you? Do you celebrate any cultural holidays in your family? Maybe there are some that you could research and start a new tradition with your family and friends. Happy New Year! Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái!
Many of these items can be purchase in the local grocery stores. But if you would like to purchase them at an Asian store, check out 888-International Market. They have a myriad of different authentic Chinese food items and other Asian material goods. Go here for the website: http://www.888intlmarket.com/