Confession No 20: I love Chinese New Year
If you’ve never been to a Chinese New Year celebration, you’ve got to go some time. It’s loud and colourful and amazing but most of all, delicious.
I’ve never been to China (it’s on my list) but I do remember my first visit to China Town when I was young and whilst it wasn’t New Year, the experience left me with a kind of magical wonder that I still have. It was so exotically beautiful with its red and gold lanterns, pagodas, acrobatic theatre and stalls selling Peking duck and steamed dumplings. The language that was so different to mine and the script that I couldn’t even begin to read all added to the fascination. And so began my love of all things foreign, but of course me being me, I started in the kitchen.
Chinese cuisine is one of my absolute favourites and I suspect that it has something to do with the brilliant balance of sweet, sour, spicy and salty (and sometimes bitter). Chinese food (in fact asian food in general) marries flavours and textures together to create exceptional eating experiences like no other.
I’m not going to say too much more as I’m getting really hungry just writing this. But the Chinese wish each other a Happy New Year tonight at midnight. The festivals usually go on for around 2 weeks, so if you are lucky enough to have a Chinese community near you go and enjoy it. And if you feel like getting into the kitchen to celebrate The Year of the Dragon, try these gorgeous recipes – easy but so delicious.
Chicken & Coriander Dumplings
Pork Dumplings in Lemongrass Broth
Sui Mai with Ginger Dipping Sauce
Chinese Chicken Noodles
Chicken & Sweetcorn Soup
San Choi Bao
Mango with Coconut Lime Icecream
Indulge without guilt
Eat without deprivation
Cook great food even when you are on your own
Embrace food moods
Eat what you want