Gung Hay Fat Choy – my favourite New Year

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Celebrate Chinese New Year in tasty style

I don’t love the New Year that falls at the end of December. It always seems to be disappointing reality over incredible expectation. I mean, how many dreadful, overpriced meals, followed by a triple rate taxi ride if you can get one have already paid the babysitter quadruple rates.

How much better to wait a few weeks, and then indulge in some great Chinese food. I mean, we’d love to be heading to Hong Kong to celebrate it, but Chinatown would do, or even just a good local Chinese restaurant.

I’m sure if it’s a good restaurant, you’ll need to book for the weekend ahead, but I reckon it will still be a better deal than most places on New Year’s Eve. Alternatively, have a trip to a good Chinese supermarket ahead of time and get stocked up. I’m buying won ton wrappers and making pot stickers.

I’m sure if you live near a Chinatown then there’ll be plenty going on to enjoy. And you might not even need a babysitter, as most events happen in the daytime. Now, pass me some dim sum please!

Photo by Paolo Camera on Flickr.

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Chopstick training time!

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I’ve written quite a few times about how much MGG loves her Chinese food, and she’s not bad with chopsticks. But you don’t just go from nothing to using chopsticks straight away. My local Chinese first off had a wad of paper and an elastic band round a set for her, and then we found some good training ones that were joined at the top.

And now I’ve found these:

 

Love them, and there are a whole range of dinosaurs and also farmyard animals, marine life like dolphins and lobsters, and zoo favourites like lions and elephants. These are currently listed at £1.75 a go, and I just think they’re a perfect way to get kids interested in eating with them, which might also get them turned onto Chinese food.

And even I fancy a pair or two of these! Buy online now from Cooking Time, a great source for interesting stuff.

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The Saturday Session – Dim Sum no dim supper

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Have a go to recreate your own dim sum banquet!

 

I love dim sum, and trips to London always tend to include finding somewhere to indulge in great dim sum. This week was New World on Gerrard Place, which is fantastic for that full-on traditional dim sum experience with trollies madly dashing around the room.

Then there are great modern versions of dim sum, with Yauatcha being my favourite, for both the dim sum and the macaroons. And for quick dim sum whilst shopping there is always Ping Pong, which is great for good food in a hurry, and great cocktails too. But to attempt it at home? Where do you begin?

Channel 4 have got a small selection, which all look tasty and good, and I also like Asian Online Recipes has a more comprehensive selection. You’re going to need to stock up on things like soy sauce and Chinese flavourings and spices, as well as more unusual ingredients like won ton wrappers. The Asian Cookshop is a great online source for not just Chinese ingredients but also Thai, Japanese and Indian.

If you’re the visual type, then there are plenty of videos over on You Tube. There’s a great one for steamed buns, which is one of my favourite dim sum recipes. You could create a whole banquet working through all of these videos, and it may make some of the tricky moments easier to follow. I looked at Amazon, and there aren’t huge numbers of books devoted just to the subject of dim sum. I like the look of Dim Sum Made Easy by Lucille Liang, and also the authentic looking Chinese Snacks by Huang Su-Huei.

To be honest, if I had won ton wrappers in this weekend, I would spend all weekend trying out these recipes and techniques. If I’m going to be snowed in, I may as well use the time to good use! And there’s something about filling the kitchen with more exotic scents that fills the day with warmth. Go ahead, change the air around you!

Fabulous picture of a great dim sum spread by Looks Like Amy on Flickr.

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