Chinese New Year 2011 Beijing

This year I spent the whole day cleaning up the apartment and enjoying the luxury of having time to laze about. I went over to my Chinese friend’s place for the traditional Chinese New Year feast on lunar new year’s eve and made plenty of dumplings and guotie 锅贴 (funny direct translation of pot stickers), the Chinese equivalent of gyoza. Her Hunanese mother cooked up a storm, and being a typical Asian mother was slaving in the kitchen till 2am.
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Everyone was watching their diet, so I ended up eating most of Chairman Mao’s favourite dish hongshao rou—braised pork from Hunan province. The orignial Hunan recipe is very different form the Singaporean version my mother makes, which includes star anise, cloves of garlic and lots of thick red date sauce. The good thing about this version is you can drain out all that saturated fat more easily as it’s less saucy.
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Here’s my improvised version of an online recipe for vegetarian gyoza… our friend S made them last night with her version.

Ingredients:
3 tbsp sesame oil
1 block tofu, well pressed, and crumbled
1 large shredded carrot finely
1/2 cup cabbage, diced finely
handful of waterchestnuts diced finely
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 scallions, diced
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp chopped chives (optional)
wanton or jiaozi (dumpling) wrappers—difference is wanton skins have egg in them, like pasta, jiaozi skins don’t.

Preparation:
Mix all of the ingredients together and start wrapping the dumplings!
Make a couple of pinches or folds to create a fan-like shape. This will help to seal the filling inside the dumpling.
This video is very comprehensive.

Using the same method my mother uses with ngor hiang, you can cheat by steaming the dumplings first for 5-7minutes. and then drying them before putting them in the fryer until they turn golden brown.
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Unfortunately, we got too busy eating and they didn’t turn out to pretty for a finished photo.
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We also wrapped lamb dumplings and ate the chinese version of millefeuille 千层饼 handmade by my friend’s mother!
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Finally, the scarey fireworks at the turn of every street and right outside the window while we were preparing dinner. How much profit is made over Chinese New Year from fireworks sale??

The video’s resolution has been distorted after I tried to rotate and export it… but you get the drift.

Happy bunny year to everyone! 恭喜发财,财源会聚,万事如意!

Chinese New Year 2011 Fireworks Beijing from Juliana Loh on Vimeo.

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