Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Celebrating Chinese New Year 恭禧發財

Kung Hei Fat Choy everybody!  When it comes to New Year celebrations, we pale into comparison with the Chinese, who have it down to a fine art.  2015 is the Year of the Goat/Sheep and Chinese New Year begins on Thursday 19th February. With 15 days of holiday festivities, that means cooking a lot of food to feed friends and family, so I thought I'd cook a Chinese banquet for us in Maison Babaduck to celebrate (no goat or sheep though...).

First up, it was time for some serious cleaning and decluttering to sweep away any ill-fortune lurking around the house before we decorated the table with lucky red envelopes.  The colour red symbolises luck and wealth so here's hoping for a prosperous 2015.

We started off our New Year banquet with some Chicken Satay - loads of really tender chicken breast stirfried with some mangetout in satay sauce with some noodles and loads of chopped peanuts on top for a delicious salty crunch.  Next up with a spicy Green Thai Curry with prawns and baby sweetcorn.  The sweet and juicy prawns worked beautifully with the creamy coconut milk curry.

Our third dish was stirfried Pork in a Thai sweet chili sauce with some spring onions and cashews on some lightly steamed Chinese cabbage and we rounded off our feast with a bowl of Chicken Chow Mein on rice noodles, full of lovely aromatic ginger.

After so many delicious dishes, we only had room for a few fortune cookies for dessert.  I love the ritual of tearing open the little red and gold foil wrappers and snapping the cookie in half while trying not to tear the paper fortune inside.

Here's a few tips and tricks for your own Chinese New Year Banquet :

Never, ever cross your chopsticks.  It's considered to be very rude indeed.  Also, don't stick your chopsticks upright in your bowl of rice, spear food with a single chopstick or pass food from your chopstick to somebody else's chopstick.  That's really nasty.

If you want to join in the celebrations, there's festivals in Dublin, London, Manchester, Edinburgh & Glasgow.  How are you planning to celebrate - do let me know.

In association with Amoy

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