This week there is a slight deviation from my main topic, Russian food. I can’t possibly ignore the Chinese New Year, which this year fell on Thursday, February 3. Apparently it can randomly fall on any day between late January and the middle of February.
Having just recovered from the Old Russian New Year we are plunging ourselves onto another celebration. I have to mention that Russians fanatically believe in Chinese horoscope, probably more than anyone else outside Chinese borders. In Russia on the eve of the New Year the shops and markets are filled with staggering varieties of figurines, of all shapes and forms, including edible ones, as well as other memorabilia associated with an appropriate horoscope year sign- this year it’s a sign of Rabbit.
«Chi fan le mei you?» «Have you eaten yet?» is a common greeting to guests as they enter your home to celebrate the Spring Festival also known as the Chinese New Year throughout the West. Many of the traditions of Chinese New Year revolve around food either being cooked or eaten.
I would like you to join me in cooking my really uncomplicated Chinese meal. Enjoy your little China in the UK!
The Easiest Chicken Stir-Fry Ever
When cooking stir-fry the main thing is to prepare all the ingredients beforehand and keep them all at hand.
600g skinless chicken breast fillets, sliced into strips
1 bottle Sweet Chili sauce (190 g)
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 onion, sliced
2 red peppers (or use the color of your choice), deseeded and cut into strips
3 small courgettes, sliced into batons
6 tbsp light soya sauce
Oil for stir-frying
Put pieces of sliced chicken in a glass dish. Pour sweet chilli sauce over them, mix well to coat the chicken. Leave to stand for 15 min or you can prepare it the day before and keep the chicken in the fridge.
Heat the oil in a wok or a large frying pan. Take out chicken strips out of the sauce and stir-fry them for 3-4 min. Keep the sauce. Add garlic and onion and continue to cook for 1-2 min, then add sweet peppers and courgettes. Cook for 3-4 min. Stir in the reserved sweet chilli sauce and soya sauce and cook for another 1 min. Serve with noodles or rice.
Tropical Fruit Salad with Ginger Syrup
Tropical fruit is at its best right now. Tropical fruit salad will be a great option to finish off your Chinese New Year meal along with a cup of real Chinese green tea.
5 tbsp caster sugar
large knob fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly sliced
8 passion fruit, halved
1 regular-sized papaya
1 small pineapple
1 kiwi fruit
In a small pan over a low heat mix the sugar with 100ml water until fully dissolved, add the ginger and bring to a gentle bubble. Simmer for about 3 minutes, turn off the heat and leave to cool completely. Using a teaspoon, scoop the flesh and seeds of the passion fruit into a blender. Add the cooled ginger syrup, straining out the used ginger pieces. Whizz for just about 10 seconds otherwise you will break up the seeds.
Peel, deseed or stone the fruit as necessary and cut into round slices. Slice pineapple wafer thin. Pour over the passion fruit syrup and leave for about 20 minutes. To serve, stack alternate slices of fruit on serving plates and spoon over the syrup.ShareThis