Happy Chinese New Year, 4707 the year of the Ox - Gong Xi Fa Cai - Gung Hei Fat Cho
It is the year of the Ox. A strong beast, patient and hopefully a sign to instill confidence in the coming year. I want to wish everyone good luck, good fortune and good health in the coming year.
I decided to make something specifically Chinese to celebrate today. We have been eating mostly Southeast Asian based dishes. I love dishes with coconut milk and spicy chilies. But I felt I should make something Chinese based. I selected Chow Mein from Rasa Malaysia. They had a great post with 12 recipes for Chinese New Year. I can't resist noodles so I went with Chow Mein.
The recipe is extremely simple if you can find the ingredients. Luckily there is a Ranch 99 Asian Market just a mile away. G and I went over there to pick up the ingredients after our quick hike to the beach.
The first challenge was finding the steamed chow mein noodles. After checking out a few packages in the fresh noodle section - Voila - steamed chow mein noodles.
Next up was dark Chinese soy sauce. I never realized there were different types of soy sauce. I grew up with Kikkoman on table. Was there a difference between soy sauces? Yes. In simplest terms - there is a salty version and a sweet version. In Malaysia and Indonesia - there is Kepap Manis , sweet soy sauce and kecap asin, salty soy sauce. It is similar with chinese soy sauce, light is more salty and dark is more sweet.
I decided to make a mainly vegetarian version with just a handful of prawn. In addition to the cabbage and carrots called for in the recipe, I also diagonally cut up some celery, left-over choy sum, blanched snow peas and bean sprouts. Cover the noodles with cold water, soak for 5 minutes and drain.
Once every thing is assembled and the noodles soaked, it is time to fry. Heat up the oil, add the garlic and quickly stir fry for about 30 sec to 1 minutes. Add celery, cabbage, carrots and shrimp. Cook for about 1 minute. Add the drained noodles and seasoning mix. Stir, add snow peas and bean sprouts and stir again. Serve when headed through and the sauce has been absorbed.
For the full recipe, see Rasa Malaysia Chow Mein.
For dessert, we had fruit and Azuki ice cream from Maeda-En. We love the ice cream.
Gong Xi Fa Cai!