Chinese New Year - Celebrations and Recipes

Chinese New Year - Celebrations and Recipes

The Chinese New Year celebrates the beginning of a new year according to the lunar calendar. It is one of the most important holidays for Chinese families.

Celebrated with big family gatherings, the giving of gifts, eating symbolic foods and displaying festive decorations, the focus is on bringing good luck for the New Year and celebrating the coming of Spring.

In China the lunar calendar is still used to determine traditional holidays like Chinese New Year. The lunar calendar is based on the phases of the moon, which has a shorter cycle than the sun; so the Chinese New Year is never on the same day each year but falls somewhere between January 21st and February 20th.

Dates for the start of the Chinese New Year

Find out when your 'year' starts...

  • 2011 February 3 - Rabbit
  • 2012 January 23 - Dragon
  • 2013 February 10 - Snake
  • 2014 January 31 - Horse
  • 2015 February 19 - Goat
  • 2016 February 8 - Monkey
  • 2017 January 28 - Rooster
  • 2018 February 16 - Dog
  • 2019 February 5 - Pig
  • 2020 January 25 - Rat
  • 2021 February 12 - Ox
  • 2022 February 1 - Tiger

The celebrations last around fifteen days, so why not join in the beginning of this New Year and try out one or all of the delicious recipes below!

Although a lot of the recipes available are good for those of us with food intolerance and substitute ingredients can be used; if you cannot tolerate gluten, sulphites or dairy then why not try out our alternate recipe for a Stir Fry Delight.

I can personally recommend this one as I make it when I am feeling 'left out' on the nights we order in a take-away.

The Editor

Pork Dim Sum - Traditional Chinese Dumplings

Ingredients

  • 3 Chinese cabbage stalks
  • 2 Scallions
  • A splash of Soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of Cornstarch
  • 1lb of lean ground pork
  • Dumpling wraps

Procedure

  • Chop the Chinese cabbage and scallions into fine pieces and place them in a large bowl.
  • Add the salt, soy sauce, cornstarch and mix well with a spoon.
  • Add the pork and mix further.
  • Put approximately one spoonful of the mixture onto each dumpling wrap. These should then be carefully folded in half.
  • Brush the inside edges with water and press together to seal.
  • Half fill a pan with water and bring to the boil.
  • Place the dumplings into the pan and cover with a lid.
  • When the water starts to re-boil pour one cup of cold water into the pan and bring back to the boil.
  • You need to repeat this twice more. When the water has boiled for the third times your dumplings will be ready!

Sesame Chicken

Ingredients

  • 3 skinned and boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp of toasted Sesame seeds
  • 4 cups of oil for deep-frying (peanut oil is preferable)
  • 2 tbsp of Soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Cooking wine
  • Sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 2 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp Water
  • 1/4 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 tsp Vegetable oil

For The Sauce

  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 cup Chicken broth
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Sesame oil
  • Chilli paste – approx 1 tsp dependent on required strength
  • 1 clove of chopped garlic
  • Splash of vinegar

Procedure

  • Cut the chicken into small cubes about 1-inch in size.
  • Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade (oil, soy sauce, wine, sesame oil, flour, cornstarch, water baking powder, baking soda and veg oil).
  • Once mixed pour over the chicken and marinate for 20 – 30 minutes.
  • Whilst the chicken is marinating mix together all the sauce ingredients and place in a small pan.
  • Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.
  • Leave warming on a very low heat.
  • Next take your marinated chicken and either deep or shallow fry until the chicken is golden brown.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, bring the sauce back up to the boil, pour over the chicken pieces and sprinkle over the sesame seeds.
  • Serve with rice or noodles.

Spicy Pork

Ingredients

  • 8 oz Pork tenderloin
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tspn of Ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic – finely chopped
  • ½ tspn of ground Coriander seed
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tspn of cumin
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • ½ pint of Beef stock
  • Black Pepper
  • Lime juice

Procedure

  • Cut the pork into small pieces.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan and once it has reached temperature add the garlic and ginger and lightly fry.
  • Add the pork and fry until the pork is brown all over.
  • Stir in all the spices.
  • Add the stock.
  • Cook until the stock has reduced down slightly.
  • Finally just before serving add a little black pepper and s squirt of lime.

Egg Foo Yung

Ingredients

  • 8 eggs
  • 2 celery sticks finely chopped
  • ½ an onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup of bean sprouts
  • 4 mushrooms chopped
  • ½ chicken breast (cooked)
  • 1/3 cup cooked ground beef
  • 1/3 cup cooked pork cut into small pieces
  • Pinch of salt and ground black pepper to season

Foo Yung Sauce

  • 2 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 1 ½ cups of hot water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of sugar
  • Soy sauce
  • 6 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch

Procedure

  • Beat the eggs in a large bowl.
  • Add the celery, onion, bean sprouts, mushrooms, beef, chicken and pork.
  • Mix together and season.
  • Heat the oil in a wok (or large frying pan if you don’t have one).
  • Add the mixture and brown all over (This can be done as individual portions or as one big serving to be cut afterwards).
  • Once the egg is cooked through, remove from heat and leave to one side.
  • In a small saucepan dissolve your bouillon with the hot water.
  • Add the sugar and soy sauce and mix together on a moderate heat.
  • Slowly add the cold water to the cornstarch and pour into the sauce mix.
  • Stir until the mixture has thickened and pour over the Egg Foo Yung to serve.

Picture by aboutpixel.de / chinese food © Thomas Pieruschek

Chinese New Year - Celebrations and Recipes

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