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Gong Hey Fat Choy
Posted on: Monday, 27th January 2014
'Gong Hey Fat Choy (Happy Chinese New Year)' - this Friday 31st January marks the Chinese New Year (CNY) which means lots of eating, getting together with the family and celebration!
In China, traditionally, CNY is a 15 day holiday during which fire crackers are lit, drums can be heard on the street, children receive "lucky money" in red envelopes, people wear red clothes for luck, homes are cleaned from top to bottom ready for the New Year, and red lanterns glow at night. Food is also important when celebrating the New Year, families and friends would get together and have a feast, eating delicious traditional Chinese food.
My parents were originally born from Hong Kong and I was born in England. In England, me and my family try to keep most of that tradition when celebrating CNY. My mum would cook a banquet on the day. There would be seafood, stews, vegetables, rice and much more using key ingredients in Chinese cooking which include ginger, garlic, soya sauce, sesame oil and oyster sauce (I cannot wait). When I was a child, I always looked forward to receiving "lucky money” on CNY, which I am still hopeful that I will get some this weekend! The house is cleaned and we invite families and friends and together we celebrate, eat and be merry. Although the celebration here in England is on a much smaller scale than if we were in Hong Kong, we make the most of what we have here.
The Chinese Zodiac...
This year, it's the Year of the Horse. Each year the Chinese mark the year with a different animal which is a rotating cycle of 12 years from the Chinese Zodiac. Just like your horoscope, there is a meaning for each animal.
If you were born on the Year of the Horse, this is what they say about you:
'People born in the Year of the Horse are popular. They are cheerful, skillful with money, and perceptive, although they sometimes talk too much. The are wise, talented, good with their hands, and sometimes have a weakness for members of the opposite sex. They are impatient and hot-blooded about everything except their daily work. They like entertainment and large crowds. They are very independent and rarely listen to advice. They are most compatible with Tigers, Dogs, and Sheep' -
I've prepared a special Chinese recipe for this blog. It’s healthy and tasty, and I hope you will join me to celebrate the CNY this weekend. Eat lots of Chinese food and enjoy!
Happy Chinese New Year!
Chicken with Shitake Mushrooms
Serves: 2-3 people.
For the chicken
- 250g chicken breast sliced into small pieces
- 1tbl light soya sauce
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- 1tsp Chinese rice wine
- ½ tsp corn flour
Mix the above ingredients together and marinate the chicken for a few hours – the longer the better!
For the flavour
- 1 tbl oyster sauce
- 1tsp fish sauce
- 1tsp light soya sauce
- ½ tsp sugar
- 1tbl corn flour
- 4 oz water
When you are ready to cook, mix the above ingredients together in a bowl and leave it to one side.
The rest of the ingredients
- 1tbl cooking oil
- 1 clove of garlic – finely chopped
- Few pieces of ginger – finely chopped
- ½ peeled carrots and finely sliced
- ½ red pepper finely sliced
- Broccoli to decorate the plate
- 150g tinned Shitake Mushrooms sliced into small pieces
- Boil the carrots and broccoli until they are soft, take them out of the pot and leave to one side
- Heat your wok on the Rangemaster wok cradle and add the oil until it’s hot
- Add the garlic and ginger and keep stirring, turning down the heat
- Add the marinated chicken (careful not to burn the garlic) and keep stirring
- Cook the chicken thoroughly before adding the carrots, mushrooms, peppers and keep stirring until it’s cooked (you may need to adjust the heat higher or lower)
- Lastly, pour the mixed flavour a little at a time and keep stirring. Add a pinch of salt.
- Turn the heat high for a few seconds and wait for everything to boil, then turn off the heat.
- Decorate the outside of the plate with the broccoli. Pour the food in the middle of the plate, and sprinkle with chopped spring onions if you wish.
It is now ready to serve! It is great with rice or noodles. Enjoy!