Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Chinese New Year!

The Chinese New Year, also called Lunar New Year as it is based on the lunisolar Chinese calendar, fell on February 14th this year.  2010 is the Year of the Tiger.  The Tiger, the third sign in the Chinese Zodiac cycle, is a sign of bravery. It is thought to keep away the 3 main tragedies of a household - fire, theives, and ghosts.  Let's hope!

In honor of the New Year, I made a lunch creating my recipe based off Chinese symbolism in the ingredients.  I was actually inspired by a noodle recipe on Martha Stewart's Chinese New Year episode.  My recipe ended up quite different than what I saw, but turned out quite tasty nonetheless!  I used long uncut noodles as they represent longevity in life and added chicken which symbolizes health and prosperity.  I served the noodles on a square plate and topped with rings of fresh green onion as circles represent heaven and squares represent earth.  If you are looking forward to a healthy and prosperous 2010, try my recipe below!

Long-Life Noodles with Wok-fried Chicken and Vegetables


2 chicken breasts, cut into pieces
2 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, julienned
1 leek, julienned
6 stalks green onion, julienned
1/2 cup shiitake mushroom caps pieces
1 1/2 tbsp Shao Hsing wine
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp chicken broth
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 8 oz package chinese long-life noodles, cooked


1. Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in wok over high heat.  Add chicken and cook for 5 minutes until browned.  Transfer to bowl.

2. Add 1 tbsp vegetable oil to wok. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Add celery, leeks, 2 tbsp broth, mushrooms, and wine and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Transfer to bowl with chicken.

3. To empty wok, add remaining broth, oyster sauce, sugar, and salt.  Bring to simmer and add noodles and cook, tossing until liquid is mostly absorbed. Return chicken vegetable mixture to pan, toss with noodles, and cook for 2 minutes.  Serve immediately.

I also followed another tradition by cleaning  house which is thought to sweep away ill-fortune making way for good luck.  I was just trying to take advantage of my fiance being out of town on business. 

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