Three recipes for your Lunar New Year Banquet

News| 30th January 2024
Three recipes for your Lunar New Year Banquet
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Welcome the Year of the Dragon with a banquet for good health, prosperity and abundance!

With a centre-piece main dish, a lucky side dish and a fortuitous dessert, this banquet meal by MasterChef’s Therese Lum is perfect for new year celebrations. See the full recipes for each dish below.

Side - Lucky 8 Stir Fry

This mixed vegetable dish can include any combination of ingredients, so long as there’s 8. The ingredients also should have contrasting, yet balanced flavours and textures.

Ingredients:

·       1 tbsp vegetable oil

·       1 cup bean sprouts

·       3 stalks celery, cut ¼ inch thick strips

·       4-6 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 30 mins

·       1 medium carrot, cut ¼ inch thick strips

·       ½ cup canned water chestnuts, cut in half

·       ½ cup canned bamboo shoots

·       1 cup sliced Chinese cabbage or bok choy

·       1 cup snow peas, trimmed and cut ½ inch wide

·       1 tbsp soy sauce

·       1 tbsp water

·       1 tsp Shaoxing wine

·       ½ tsp sesame oil

·       ¼ tsp white pepper

·       ¼  tsp salt (optional for taste)

Method:

  1. Heat a wok or non-stick pan over high heat until wisps of smoke rise from the surface. Coat the surface with vegetable oil and heat for a few seconds until it starts to shimmer.
  2. Add all the vegetables: bean sprouts, celery, shiitake mushrooms, carrot, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, Chinese cabbage/bok choy and snow peas. Stir-fry for about 90 seconds.
  3. Add the soy sauce, water, and Shaoxing wine. Stir-fry for about 1 minute.
  4. Add the sesame oil and white pepper powder. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds more to combine.
  5. Turn off the heat. Taste for seasoning. If you think it needs a pinch of salt, add the salt and stir to combine. Transfer to a serving dish.

Main - Steamed Whole Fish

Lunar New Year isn’t complete without a Steamed Whole Fish, to bring abundance and wealth into the new year.

Ingredients:

●       1 x 1kg whole snapper, cleaned & de-scaled

●       5 stalks spring onion, white and green parts separated

●       9 slices of ginger

●       3 tbsp vegetable oil

●       1 tbsp sesame oil

●       Coriander to garnish

Sauce:

●       2 tbsp light soy sauce

●       1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce

●       1/2 tbsp cooking wine

●       1/4 tsp white pepper

●       1 tbsp water

●       1/2 tsp white sugar

●       1/2 tsp salt

Method:

1.      Before steaming, rinse the fish under running water, then pat dry thoroughly using kitchen paper. Remove fins.

2.      Finely julienne 3 slices of ginger and the white parts of the spring onion stems for garnish. Set aside.

3.      Dress the fish with the green parts of the spring onion and 6 slices of ginger. Place them underneath and inside the fish cavity. Feel free to add extra for a bolder flavour.

4.      To steam the fish whole, you need a wok big enough to fit a plate with the fish on top. Bring water to a boil before lowering your fish (still on the plate) in. Cover the steamer with a lid and steam for 10 mins. Adjust cooking time based on fish size.

5.      While your fish is steaming, mix all the sauce ingredients together and set aside.

6.      Once the fish is cooked, remove it from the wok and drain the excess liquid. Place it on a new clean plate and scatter your julienned ginger & spring onion on top.

7.      Heat 3 tbsp of vegetable oil in a pan for 1 minute and pour directly onto the fish to cook ginger and spring onion to release their flavour.

8.      Drizzle 1 tbsp of sesame oil on top of the fish, followed by your sauce mixture. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Dessert – Fa Gao

Fa gao (also known as fortune cakes or steamed, smiling cakes), are fluffy rice cupcakes with tops that crack open like smiles or flowers. Fa means 'expanding' and 'prosperity', and gao means 'cake', so they’re considered a sign of fortune.

Ingredients:

·       300g rice flour

●       2 tsp baking powder

●       120 g brown sugar

●       1 to 1.5 cups water (this depends on the hydration of the rice flour)

Method:

1.      Grease 6 cupcake moulds with a neutral oil.

  1. Pre-heat a steamer on high heat and put the empty moulds into the steamer.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together with a large whisk and set aside. You want a slurry, so start with 1 cup of water and add more if needed – the batter should be the consistency of a thin-pancake batter. However, upon resting, it'll become thicker.
  3. Carefully pour the batter into the moulds so that they're about 90% full. Then, use a toothpick to make a cross on top, to encourage the cake tops to split.
  4. Steam the cupcakes on medium-high heat for at least 15 minutes. Do not open the lid during this time. If you are using a bamboo steamer, you should see the cakes rise and push the lid up.
  5. Rest for at least 10 minutes in the steamer with the lid on, then leave to cool.

Find everything you need to prepare a Lunar New Year feast at Eastlands.

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