February 13, 2010

Happy Chinese New Year - Year of the Tiger!

Tomorrow is Chinese New Year and since I'm both away from my family's celebration and married to someone who's always eager to learn more about my culture, I thought I would put together a nice dinner for two. 

So with tangerines bought (to symbolize wealth and prosperity) and lots of red and gold accessories (colours symbolizing happiness, wealth, and good fortune), I set out to find ingredients to celebrate the year of the tiger. 

Getting last minute tickets to the Martha Stewart show was fortuitous as the show was all about Chinese New Year:  ideas on table setting (seen above with lots of circles meaning heaven and squares representing earth), flower arrangements, and  of course, recipes.
I made noodles with flavors inspired by Chinatown Brasserie Chef Joe Ng's recipe detailed here.   I remember our family always having noodles for New Year, birthdays, and other celebrations.  The long noodles represent longevity and are served here with tons of vegetables including ginger, carrots, snow peas, and mushrooms.

For both the noodle dish and the fish dish below, I substituted the Chinese rice wine for gin (suggested from this article).  It worked well as both dishes still tasted pretty good.

For the fish dish, I made a sauce with the ingredients at left.  As I learned from reading the blog Rasa Malaysia (which incidentally, is a great resource for Chinese cuisine recipes), the secret to that addictive sauce in fish dishes is rock sugar.

Whole fish is always served for New Year's because it symbolizes prosperity.  It is cooked and served with head and tail intact because it represents completeness (plus we both find fish tastier when cooked whole).  I cooked the striped bass (covered with the above fish sauce and stuffed with ginger and scallions) in the oven and served it with more ginger and cilantro leaves on top.
We ended the meal with oranges and tangerines.  I think the dinner for two went well and now thoughts turn to Valentine's Day.

Happy New Year!


  1. Happy Chinese New Year! Glad to know that the Martha Stewart show was fun!

  2. Love these kinds of posts... great to look over your shoulder


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