Red packets, sweet and savoury nibbles, mandarin oranges, delicious reunion dinner dishes – these are just some of our beloved Chinese New Year traditions! Regardless of how taxing it is to prepare for the occasion, the experience is always one that is extremely worthwhile.
Ignite the spirit of the occasion this New Year. Scroll through our list of four mouth-watering easy ideas below, and try them from the comfort of your home!
1. Har Gow
A great favourite for young and old alike, the har gow (or chinese dumplings) is customarily enjoyed during brunch as part of a dim sum meal, but there’s no reason not to enjoy this during your reunion dinner too! With only 30 minutes of preparation time, this can easily be a family bonding activity! Simply:
Form a smooth dough and knead it into a ball. Leave to rest for half an hour.
Prepare the meat filling.
Knead the dough and divide into 60 pieces, each about 3-inch diameters wide.
Place a tablespoon of filling in the middle of each dough piece. Fold the dough over and pinch the edges to seal tightly.
Bring a pot of water to boil, then add the dumplings in.
Add half a cup of cold water and bring to boil.
Drain, and serve!
2. Szechuan Shrimp
Amazing in taste with a slight dose of heat, this traditional dish from Szechuan carries an auspicious meaning in the Chinese culture. With the word ‘shrimp’ associated with ‘happiness’ and ‘laughter’ in Mandarin — due to its similar pronunciation — this dish is a must-have for every reunion dinner. Try this easy recipe that takes about 30 minutes:
For the sauce: whisk together vinegar, broth, soy sauce, tomato paste, cornstarch, crushed red pepper and sesame oil in a bowl and set aside.
Place the shrimp in a colander and rinse with cold water. Drain the shrimp and pat dry with paper towels.
Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat and swirl in a tablespoon of oil.
Add the ginger and garlic, and fry for 10 seconds. Add the rest of the oil along with the shrimp and fry until the shrimp starts changing colour.
Add the bell pepper and salt. Fry for 30 seconds.
Add the sauce in. Fry until the shrimp is cooked for 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Chinese Steamed Fish
No Chinese New Year is complete without a plate of steamed fish! Another auspicious dish known to bring an increase in prosperity, this steamed sea bass is a heartwarming cuisine that is sure to be a hit on your dinner table! Try this 40 minutes recipe:
Rinse a readily gutted fish and shake off any excess water. Transfer to a heatproof plate.
Assemble your steaming utensils such as a heat-proof plate or wok with a metal steam rack.
Place the fish in the steam dish and let it steam for 9 minutes. Turn off the heat and make sure the fish is cooked through.
Pour all the accumulated liquid and spread some ginger, cilantro and green portions of scallion over the fish.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and ginger in a saucepan. Once the ginger sizzles, add salt, water, white pepper and soy sauce. Heat until it simmers.
Add some oil and scallion. Stir until the liquid simmers.
Spoon the mixture over the fish and serve hot.
4. Chocolate Fortune Cookies
Give these traditional plain cookies a twist by dipping it in chocolate! Check out this 10 minutes no-bake recipe:
Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
Place some butter and chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Allow to melt while stirring occasionally.
Once the mixture is smooth, remove from heat.
Dip the rounded ends of the cookies into the chocolate mixture and let the excess chocolate drip off.
Arrange the cookies on a baking sheet and place in the fridge for 10 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened.
Excited to try these easy dinner ideas for Chinese New Year? Head on to your nearest Cold Storage store for more inspirations on easy meals for the entire family!