Wednesday, 30 January 2013

{5 New Recipes} Pre Chinese New Year Dinner Gathering

Last Saturday evening, a few of us get together to have an early Chinese New Year dinner over at my place. Although this was not the first time I prepared food for such as big group of friends other than my family,  I am still very nervous and a bit stress up with planning the dishes as well as preparations.

Thanks to Jacob and Shiting who initiate to help up with the Yusheng as well as preparing the ingredients for the dishes in order to put this dinner together. I hope everyone enjoys the meal and I apologize if the dishes are not up to expectations due to my clumsy hands and mind in the kitchen :)

These were some of the key ingredients that I bought from the wet market (巴杀) during that morning.  Sometime I really prefer getting my ingredients from the wet market as compared to supermarkets as I can go around the stalls comparing the prices as well as sourcing for fresh and money value ingredients.

Dinner Menu. Yusheng was prepared by Jacob (cookeatsnaplove) and his wife, Chloe. Whereas the main and dessert are prepared by Me with help from Shiting (lobsterpaints

Chinese New Year cannot go without Yusheng (鱼生) or also known as Lo Hei which consists of colour shredded vegetables (carrot, radish, lettuce) and a variety of sauces and condiments plus crackers, raw fish and etc. I am very thankful to Jacob from Cooksnapeatlove who helps to contribute his very own Homemade Yusheng to add new year atmosphere for our dinner.

{Behind the scene} Jacob even bought along his own kitchen set for cutting the salmon as well as big plate to assemble the Yusheng. Kodus to Jacob and his wife Chloe for the effort. Thanks for the hard work friends.


FISH MAW SOUP


Chinese New Year is always packed with yummy food and you can find different versions of Fish Maw Soup, Shark Fins Soup, Salted Duck Soup and etc at most of the household during new year. Above is our version of Fish Maw Soup which I prepared for the dinner gathering last week to feed about 10 persons.


(Serves: 10 | Preparation: 45 minutes  | Cooking: 30 minutes)

Ingredients:
150g Fish Maw (鱼鳔)
500g Crab Meat (蟹肉)
4 Clusters of Black Fungus (黑木耳), thinly sliced
250g Sea Cucumber (海参), sliced 1.5cm thick
6 Shittake Mushrooms (花姑), sliced
2 Cooked Chicken Breast, thinly shred
2 Litres Chicken Broth
1 Teaspoon Dark Soy Sauce (for colour)
1 Egg White (optional), beaten
Cornstarch Solution

To Serve:
Coriander, Pepper and Black Vinegar, to serve


Method:-
1. Defrost the crab meat if it is frozen, rinse a few times and drained well. Place it a plate and steamed for about 5 minutes till cooked. Remove and flake it using a fork and set aside.

2. Next bring a pot of water to boil together with the chicken breast and a few slices of ginger and spring onion over medium high heat. When water comes to boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 6 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

3.Off the heat, stand chicken in the pot for another 5 minutes, drain well and when chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it and set aside.

4. Bring water to boil in a big pot, blanch fish maw in boiling water for 2 minutes, rinse with water, squeezed dry and repeat the process again for another 1 - 2 times to get ride of the oil and fishy smell.

5. When done, squeezed dry and cut into 1.5cm thick, set aside.

6. To Cook The Fish Maw Soup:- Bring 2 litres of chicken broth (pre-cooked or instant chicken broth) to boil. Add in prepared fish maw and 2 slices of ginger, simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes or until fish maw is soften to your preferred texture.

7. Next add in black fungus, sea cucumber, mushrooms and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes before adding in crab meat and shredded chicken to simmer for  3 minutes.

8. Lastly stir in dark soy sauce for the colour (optional) and season the soup with salt and fish sauce if requires. Thicken the soup with cornstarch solution.

9. Remove from heat, stir in egg white and serve with pepper and black vinegar.


Teochew Style White-spotted Rabbitfish (recipe) is one of my favourite Chinese New Year dish. And usually during CNY "White-spotted Rabbitfish(白肚鱼/拜年鱼)" will be available at all wet markets as well as the seafood sections at major supermarkets. And these fish taste especially good during this season and some even comes with roes that are particularly relished too.

Growing up in a Teochew family, we simply love steamed fish especial White/Sliver Pomfret (白鲳), Threadfin (午鱼) or White Spotted Rabbitfish (白肚鱼). For my version the fish is usually steamed with tomatoes, salted plums / salted vegetables, cut chilli, ginger and spring onions. Sometime shiitake mushrooms and tofu are also added for flavour too. You can refer a similar post on how to prepare this Teochew Style Steamed Golden Pomfret at the provided link here.



SIMMER CHICKEN WINGS WITH LEMONGRASS


Chicken Wing With Lemongrass is quite similar to Sesame Chicken (麻油鸡) which is cooked using sesame oil and lot of ginger during confinement. But the different between the them is the chicken for this lemongrass dish is infused with lemongrass fragrant leaving it an aromatic dish even just to have it alone with steamed white rice.


(Serves: 8 -10 | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 20 minutes)

Ingredients:
20 Chicken Mid-Joints
4 Lemongrass, sectioned and bruise
8 Whole Shallots
10 Slices Ginger
10 Chestnuts(optional), skin removed
300ml Of Water
Some Cornstarch Solution

Marinade:
2 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce
3 Tablespoons Light Soy Sauce
1/2 Teaspoon of Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Pepper
1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
2 Teaspoon Dark Soy Sauce
4 Tablespoons Cooking Wine
1.5 Teaspoon Cornflour

Method:-
1. Marinate chicken mid-joints with marinade for at least 2 hours or overnight in the fridge. (stir once or twice during marinating the process)

2. Saute lemongrass with 2 tablespoons of cooking oil together with shallots and ginger till fragrant and shallot is golden in colour.

3. Add in chicken, chestnut and continue to stir-fry over medium high heat till the meat changes colour. Add in the left over marinade liquid and water, bring to boil.

4. Cover and simmer over low heat until chicken is cooked and gravy is nearly absorbed or you can thicken it with some cornstarch solution.

5. Remove from heat and serve.



STEAMED GINSENG PRAWNS


Photo Credit: Moonberry
In the previous gathering I did another version of prawn dish which was known as Steamed Drunken Prawns (recipe) whereby I soaked the prawns in rice wine for about 10 minutes before steaming to infuse it with a light and sweet wine taste. But for the above dish, instead of wine I decided to go for something more herbal which I used Dang Gui (Angelica) and Ginseng to prepare this "养身菜 (healthy herbal dish)".


(Serves: 8 - 10 | Preparation: 30 minutes | Cooking: 7 minutes)

Ingredients:
500g Medium Fresh Prawn, about 20 pieces
4 - 6 slices Dang Gui(当归)
3 Dried Ginseng Roots (小人渗)
Some Red Date, sliced
1 Tablespoon Wolfberries
2 Tablespoon Cooking/Rice Wine
150ml Water
Some Ginger Slices, optional

Method:-
1. Place Dang Gui, Ginseng, Red Date, Cooking Wine and Water in a deep plate. Steamed it over medium heat for about 20 minutes. Set aside.

2. Arrange prawns on plate(s), spoon prepared herbal soup over it, scatter some wolfberries and top with some ginger if using.

3. Steamed over medium high heat for about 6 - 7 minutes or until prawns are cooked.

4. Remove and serve immediately. Alternatively you can also add a splash cooking wine to enhance the taste before serving.

Tip:
~ If you cannot find whole ginseng shown above, you could also replace it with ginseng slices or roots.



TOFU WITH CENTURY EGG AND PORK FLOSS


Photo Credit: Sgfoodonfoot
Tofu (豆腐)is a very flexible ingredient which you could add into soup, using it for steaming, stir-fry and etc. I love tofu especially those silken type of steamed tofu which is topped with minced meat. Here, for this Steamed Tofu With Century Egg And Pork Floss, I have combined a few of my favourite ingredients such as tofu, century egg and pork floss which give it an unique flavour. And for other tofu dishes which you are keen to read more, you could refer to the link here.


(Serves: 4 | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 5 minutes)

Ingredients:
1 Box of Silken Tofu, for steaming
2 Shiitake Mushrooms, diced
100g Minced Meat,
1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
1 Stalk Of Spring Onion, cut into sections
1 Red Chilli, sliced
1 - 2 Century Egg (皮蛋), cut into wedges
2 Tablespoons Chicken/Pork Floss
Some Cornstarch Solution

Seasoning Sauce:
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
1 Tablespoon Cooking Wine
1 Tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Oyster Sauce
1/4 Teaspoon Dark Soy Sauce
150ml Water


Method:-
1. Season minced meat with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, cooking wine, light soy sauce and some pepper and cornflour. Set aside for 5 minutes.

2. Steamed the tofu on med-heat for 3 minutes or microwave on medium heat for 2 minutes. Remove and top with prepared century egg. Set aside.

3. Heat up 2 tablespoons of oil in the wok, saute garlic, red chilli and spring onion till fragrant.

4. Add in marinated minced meat and give it a quick stir before adding in the mushrooms and stir-fry till aromatic.

5. Pour in seasoning sauce and bring it to boil. Simmer for a while and thick with cornstarch solution.

6. Spoon minced meat mixture around the side of the tofu, top with chicken/pork floss and garnish with some spring onion or coriander. Serve immediately. 



CLAYPOT RICE WITH CHINESE SAUSAGE
( 腊味煲饭)


Usually during Chinese New Year you would find all sort of preserved meat such as ham, duck, liver, sausages and etc available in supermarkets or Chinatown area.  And for this pre year near dinner, I decided to make a claypot rice using some of the assorted preserved meat plus arrowhead.

The preserved meat and sausages enhanced the flavour and aroma of the rice whereas arrowhead add-on another texture when cooked together with the rice. I have another two similar versions of claypot rice, one using Happy Call Pan (recipe) and the other using Claypot (recipe) which you might be interested to take a look too.


(Serves: 8  | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 20 minutes)

Ingredients:
4 Cups of Uncooked Rice (using rice cooker cup), pre-soaked for 1 hour
8 Arrowhead (Cigu - 慈姑), outer skin removed and cut into quarters
2 (80g) Small Chinese Preserved Sausage (腊肠)
2 (120g) Duck Liver Preserved Sausage (鸭肝腊肠)
120g Wax Meat (蜡肉)
2 - 3 Stalks Of Bok Choy, trimmed and blanched
1.5 Tablespoon of Cooking Oil
3 Tablespoon Soy Sauce Mixture
Some Dark Soy Sauce

Method:-
1.Wash and rinse the rice, pre-soaked it for at least one hour.

2. Blanch the preserved meat and sausages in boiling water for 10 seconds, drained. Remove the outer skin of the sausages, sliced both the wax meat and sausages. Set aside.

3. Bring rice (if using claypot the amount of water used is: 2 part water 1 part rice) and arrowhead to boil over high heat. (do not over or else it might overflow)

4.When the water almost dry up, lower the heat and arrange the prepared meat and sausages on the rice. Drizzle oil around the side of the claypot and let the mixture continue to simmer for another 8 - 10 minutes.

5. Turn off the heat and let the rice continue to cook (dry up) from the heat of the claypot for another 10 - 15 minutes.

6. Arrange the blanched vegetables at the side and drizzle some of the prepared soy sauce mixture over and serve.

Tip:
~ Rinse the arrowhead after cutting to remove the starch before adding it into the rice to cook.

~ To Blanched The Vegetables: Bring a pot of water to boil together with 1 teaspoon of oil and pinch of salt. Blanch the vegetables for 10 seconds, removed and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

~ To Make The Soy Sauce Mixture:- 200ml Warm Water, 20ml Light Soy Sauce, 15ml Fish Sauce, 1 Teaspoon Sugar and 1 Teaspoon Chicken Stocks. Mix everything together until sugar dissolve and set aside.



UPCOMING RECIPES




Apart from the Yusheng and Main Dishes that we had. I also prepared a dessert like Osmanthus And Chestnut Koi Jelly (recipe) plus a door gift with CNY flavour in it known as Longan And Cranberry Yogurt Cake (recipe).

19 comments:

  1. Don't give me so much credits! I think I didn't help much at all!
    But again, thanks for the great dinner Ellena! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't said like that. Indeed you do give me your support and helping hands :)

      Delete
  2. What a fantastic feast! Wish I was capable enough to pull this off on my own! Can't wait for your longan + cranberry yoghurt cake recipe!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dumpling Love. Will try to upload the Longan Cranberry Cake within next week or next Monday :)

      Delete
  3. Dear Ellena

    Wow your CNY spread is really mouth watering! So many dishes, like restaurant.
    BTW, may I know where to buy the raw crab leg meat.

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there, you can buy raw crab leg from major supermarket at the freezer (seafood) section. They have a few packaging for you to choose from.

      Delete
  4. Dear Ellena

    Fish maw soup look very delicious. Can please tell me where to buy Raw Crab Leg Meat.
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ren,

      you can buy raw crab leg from major supermarket at the freezer (seafood) section.

      Delete
  5. Ellena, you're amazing! Thanks for sharing these recipes in one post. Love all of them, look very delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ann,

      Thanks for your kind comments. I am sure you would prepared an even better spread than mine :) Love all your CNY post :)

      Delete
  6. Wow! this looks wonderful, Ellena. I wish I was capable to pull something off like this. Loved the menu! Very cute!

    ReplyDelete
  7. wow looks like you guys had a huge feast! definitely waiting in anticipation for your longan muffin because it looks soooo yummy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Janine,

      The Longan muffin recipe is out le, hope you like it :) Here I also like to wish you and your loved ones a Happy and Prosperous Lunar New Year!!!!!

      Delete
  8. i'm so blessed to be one of the "eating" team that day :) :).. enjoyed the yummy food!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. You are such an amazing cook. No matter how many hours I have extra, I won't be able to pull off all these meals!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't say that Nami, you are a great cook too! Look at those mouth-watering recipes that you have shared with us. I am sure your guests will be thrilled with your dishes too :)

      Delete
  10. I can't seem to find Cigu... :"(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Usually Cigu is available before the CNY and after which it will be gone. I also not sure why.

      Delete
  11. Thanks for the mention Ellena! It's one year late but 2013 was really crazy for me! Happy Chinese New Year and I hope you'll have a great 2014!

    ReplyDelete

Dear All,

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Regards
Ellena (Cuisine Paradise)

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