Chinese New Year Dinner 2010

Our Chinese New Year party lots of fun. With enough early prep. I was able to cook the dishes and enjoy the evening with good friends.

I had to modify the menu based on my grocery shopping and I had to cheat since I wanted ambitious dishes such as Pau.

I did want to set the stage for a cultural experience as well. I started with the Dining Table and the place settings – making it as traditional and festive as possible. Thanks to a wedding present 10 years ago from our friends Michael Loh, I have beautiful place settings for a full Chinese Dinner complete with Rice bowls, soup bowls, chopsticks holder, etc.

Here are a few dishes that I served for dinner:

Beautiful Chicken and Char Siew Pau and Shumai

I found frozen pau and Shumai at the local Chinese grocery store. I steamed them in my Bamboo Steamer which was attached to a large pot with water in it. (The packages of pau and shumai always give you directions to microwave it as an option. There is a marked difference when you steam it – it is much, much better). The pau was a hit even with Baby Amelia!

MIXED VEGETABLES

A mixed vegetable stir fried dish is always a must when serving dinner.

Ingredients:

– Prawns or Shrimp (shelled, cleaned and halved)

– 2 slices of Chicken tenderloin (sliced really thin)

– 1/2 lb pea pods (remove strings before cooking)

– A handful of broccoli florets

– Fried tofu (available at Asian Grocery stores – you can really use any tofu that you like)

– Fish cakes (available at Asian Grocery stores – once again, this is based on what you like)

– Shitake Mushrooms ( you can also add any other Chinese mushrooms available at the Asian grocery stores mostly in cans)

– Oyster Sauce ( 1/4 cup)

– Dark soy sauce (1 tablespoon)

– 1 large onion (sliced)

– 3 garlic cloves (sliced fine)

– vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS

Preheat wok and swirl 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in the wok.

Add the garlic and onions until they brown stir fry until it brown.

Add the chicken and mushrooms, then the oyster sauce, dark soy sauce and 1 – 2 table spoons of water or chicken broth.

Once the chicken is cooked, add the shrimp, broccoli and eventually the pea pods. If it dries out, add some water or chicken broth. Cook until the vegetable are soft ( 2 – 3 minutes) and serve immediately with steamed rice. It is important not to overcook the vegetables.

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