5 chefs share their recipes for a prosperous Lunar New Year 

As we celebrate the Year of the Tiger this Lunar New Year, here are 5 recipes from renowned chefs for delicious prosperity

Saying goodbye to the Ox, we entered the Year of the Tiger on February 1, 2022 this Lunar New Year. Even as the pandemic continues to overshadow the occasion, millions of families around the world will still be celebrating at home.

More than just the beginning of a new calendar year, the Lunar New Year is seen as a time of reunion and rebirth, marking the end of winter and the start of spring. Among many other superstitions associated with the occasion, one legend states that a monster would emerge from under the Earth at the start of every year and eat villagers. Since the monster, called Nian (Chinese for “year”) was afraid of bright lights, loud noises and the colour red, they were used to exile the beast — and have all become associated with the holiday.

A common misconception across countries is the reference to the Lunar New Year/Spring Festival holiday as Chinese New Year. However, the occasion is celebrated not just in Chinese communities, but in other Asian countries, including Vietnam and South Korea.

Unlike a typical New Year, the Lunar New Year festivities last for up to 15 days. Beginning a week before, festive cakes and puddings are made on the 26th day of the last lunar month. The 28th day is dedicated to a big cleanup to rid your home of any bad luck, followed by a big family dinner on the eve of the new year. The Lantern Festival, a Chinese tradition celebrated on the first full moon of the year, marks the end of the New Year season, this year on February 15.

Like with any other major occasion, food is an important and auspicious part of Lunar New Year celebrations. The menu is carefully chosen to include dishes associated with luck, including fish, puddings (symbolises advancement) and foods that look like gold ingots (like dumplings), and of course, noodles, duck, and more. Each dish comes with its own set of instructions on consumption, often quite specific.

That being said, here are 5 amazing recipes from renowned chefs on how you can have a delicious and prosperous Lunar New Year at home! 

Homestyle Noodles in a Broth, Chef Lin Lin Yang, San:Qi, Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai

What's a lunar new year without some warm and comforting homestyle noodles in broth?
What’s a Lunar New Year without some warm and comforting homestyle noodles in broth?

Ingredients 

For the broth

  • 100 gm chicken, prawns, or pork (ideally pork is used as the meat and pork bones for the broth)
  • 50 gm broccoli
  • 50 gm bok choy
  • 50 gm chinese cabbage
  • 50 gm carrot
  • 30 gm mixed mushrooms
  • 1 pc fresh red chilli
  • 10 gm spring onion (bulb & greens)
  • 5 gm salt
  • 5 gm seasoning powder
  • 2 tsp light soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp veg oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 15 gm ginger julienne
  • 15 gm chop garlic
  • 15 gm scallions
  • 1 egg

For the homemade noodles

  • 100 gm refined flour
  • 20 gm water
  • Salt, just to sprinkle

Prep: Make your dough with the above ingredients and allow it to rest.

Method

Chef lin lin yang at sanqi prepares dumplings, considered auspicious for the lunar new year
Chef Lin Lin Yang at SanQi prepares dumplings, considered auspicious for the Lunar New Year

For the vegetable broth 

  • Boil all the vegetables. Sauté the chopped garlic, ginger juliennes and scallions. Add the vegetables and sauté further.
  • Add vegetable stock, seasoning powder, salt, light soya sauce, and veg oyster sauce. Let the broth simmer for some time.

For the homemade noodles

  • Roll the dough and finely cut in strips. Cut them evenly so that they cook well.
  • Add noodles in the simmering broth and cook in it. Add the sesame oil.
  • Garnish with freshly cut spring onion greens & coriander sprigs. Serve hot!

Pro tip: If it’s a meat broth, then brown the meat bones and make a flavourful stock first. Strain and simmer along with the meat (chicken/prawns/pork) so that it cooks in the stock itself.

Wild Mushroom Dim Sum, Sous Chef J Paparao, House of Mandarin Powai

You can never have too many plates of wild mushroom dumplings, especially not during the lunar new year
You can never have too many plates of wild mushroom dumplings, especially not during the Lunar New Year

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 25 gm king mushroom
  • 25 gm shimeji mushroom
  • 25 gm shiitake mushroom
  • 50 gm fresh mushroom
  • 10 gm aromatic powder
  • 10 gm sugar
  • 10 gm salt
  • 10 gm white pepper

For the dough

  • 100 gm potato starch
  • 200 ml boiled water

Method

For the filling

  • Heat oil in a pan over a medium flame.
  • Add chopped mushrooms and stir fry for about 3 – 4 minutes.
  • Finish it with seasoning, transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool.

For the dough

  • Slowly add boiling water to the potato starch, stir the mixture quickly with a wooden rolling pin or spatula.
  • Transfer it to a flat surface. Then knead the dough until you have a relatively smooth dough ball. Cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rest.

For the assembling

  • Roll the dumpling dough into a long cylindrical shape and cut it into 12 gram pieces.
  • Roll each piece into a round disc of 3 inches.
  • Put the mushroom filling on one half of the circle and cover it with the remaining half of the circle.
  • Make sure it’s closed firmly. Steam the dumplings over high heat for 3 – 4 minutes.
  • Serve these dumplings immediately with HOM’s signature chilli oils.

Mapo Tofu, Hussain Shahzad, Executive Chef, The Bombay Canteen, King Fu Canteen, a delivery pop-up 

Mapo tofu for the lunar new year, as made at the king fu canteen, a delivery pop-up by the bombay canteen
Mapo Tofu for the Lunar New Year, as made at the King Fu Canteen, a delivery pop-up by The Bombay Canteen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shiitake mushroom, soaked overnight, finely chopped
  • 2 cups button mushroom, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp peeled garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp veg oyster sauce / mushroom sauce (lee kum kee)
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce (lee kum kee)
  • ½ cup chilli crisp / schezwan sauce
  • 1 tbsp soaked fermented black beans or chilli bean sauce (lee kum kee)
  • 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorn, toasted and ground
  • 1 tsp chilli oil
  • 3 tbsp sunflower seed oil
  • 100 gm scallion greens
  • 500 gm extra firm silken tofu
  • Salt, to taste
  • Sugar, to taste

Method

  • Dice the tofu in cubes. Heat water in a pot and blanch the tofu, reserve in cold salted water till ready to serve.
  • In a wok heat sunflower oil, add the chopped garlic and sauté till almost caramelised.
  • Add in the chopped mushrooms, and sauté till the water evaporates. At this point throw in the black beans, soy sauce, oyster sauce and chilli crisp.
  • Simmer till everything comes together 5-6 mins.
  • Add in the blanched tofu. Simmer for 2 mins and finish with scallions, toasted Sichuan pepper and chilli oil.
  • Taste and season with salt if needed.
  • Serve with fragrant jasmine rice or scallion pancakes.

Butter Prawns with Eggfloss, Chef Wong, Four Seasons Bengaluru

As made by chef wong for lunar new year, this dish is definitely one to impress at the table
As made by Chef Wong for Lunar New Year, this dish is definitely one to impress at the table

Ingredients

  • 250 gm tiger prawns
  • 4 egg yolk
  • 80 gm butter
  • 10 gm bird’s eye chilli
  • 10 gm curry leaves
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp chicken broth powder
  • 20 gm potato starch

Method

  • Clean and dry prawns, then coat with potato starch.
  • Fry the prawns until golden.
  • On low heat, melt the butter in a wok. When the butter is melted, slowly pour in the egg yolks, swirl continuously.
  • When it’s bubbling, add in the bird’s eye chilli, curry leaves, sugar, salt, chicken powder. Mix well.
  • Add the fried prawns, mix well. Filter the excess oil before serving.

Kung Pao Potatoes, Ginkgo Pan-Asian Kitchen

While the lunar new year is a great excuse, these kung pao potatoes are honestly perfect on any given day
While the Lunar New Year is a great excuse, these Kung Pao potatoes are honestly perfect on any given day

Ingredients

  • 200 gm potato wedges (cut and deep fried)
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 14 dried red chilli peppers
  • 1 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 green onions, cut into 2″ pieces, plus more for serving
  • 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry
  • 3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

Method

  • In a large pot of oil, deep fry your cut up potato wedges and deep fry them at 180 degrees for 4-5 minutes. Place on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
  • In a large bowl, combine corn starch with black pepper and a pinch of salt. Add potatoes and toss to coat evenly.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat canola oil. Add chilis, Szechuan peppercorns, ginger, garlic, green onions, and a pinch of salt, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add potatoes and cook until golden, stirring occasionally. Add cooking wine, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and broth, and continue cooking until slightly thickened, 1 minute more.
  • Add sesame oil, red onions, bell pepper, and season with salt. Cook until onions are just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Fold in peanuts, then garnish with more green onions and sesame seeds before serving.

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