Celebrity chef Susur Lee enjoys taking a night off from cooking to celebrate Chinese New Year with his family and friends at a restaurant.
But for those who would like to cook, he has created a dish that incorporates pearl noodles, made from wheat and cornstarch and so called because being white they look like pearls.
Along with the noodles, his recipe combines vegetables and eggs. "It's a great taste. It's a very old recipe from Hong Kong," where he was born.
For a sweet treat, included is a recipe for almond cookies, which are popular at Chinese New Year.
CHINESE NEW YEAR PEARL NOODLES
This dish, with its medley of vegetables, eggs and pearl noodles, is a great side or main dish for Chinese New Year or anytime.
XO sauce is a spicy seafood sauce that originated from Hong Kong. Soybean cake and pearl noodles are available in Asian grocery stores.
75 ml (1/3 cup) julienned bean sprouts
75 ml (1/3 cup) carrot
75 ml (1/3 cup) julienned Spanish onion
75 ml (1/3 cup) julienned shiitake mushroom
75 ml (1/3 cup) julienned leek
75 ml (1/3 cup) julienned celery
75 ml (1/3 cup ) shredded soybean cake
15 ml (1 tbsp) XO sauce
7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) oyster sauce
10 ml (2 tsp) soy sauce
2 ml (1/2 tsp) sugar
22 ml (1 1/2 tbsp) olive oil
175 g (6 oz) pearl noodles
Coriander sprigs, for garnish
1 red chile, seeded and sliced into rounds, for garnish (optional)
Blanch vegetables and soybean cake together; set aside.
Sauce: In a bowl, mix together XO sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce and sugar; set aside.
In a thick non-stick pan or wok, heat olive oil; scramble eggs with noodles (sauteing noodles and eggs together helps avoid noodles sticking to wok).
Add sauce, then vegetables. Saute for 3 minutes.
Garnish with coriander and chile, if using.
Makes 2 servings.
Source: Chef Susur Lee.
ALMOND BUTTER COOKIES
Almond cookies are popular at Chinese New Year. This whole-wheat and almond butter version of the classic Chinese cookie is easy to make.
175 ml (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
125 ml (1/2 cup) whole-wheat pastry flour or regular whole-wheat flour
3 ml (3/4 tsp) salt
5 ml (1 tsp) baking soda
50 ml (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
175 ml (3/4 cup) smooth, unsalted almond butter
75 ml (1/3 cup) packed light brown sugar
75 ml (1/3 cup) granulated sugar
2 ml (1/2 tsp) vanilla extract
36 raw whole almonds (a heaping 50 ml/1/4 cup)
Preheat oven to 190 C (375 F).
Spray two baking sheets with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together flours, salt and baking soda.
In another large bowl, beat together butter, almond butter and sugars until fluffy. Add vanilla and egg and beat until well combined. Gradually stir in flour mixture, blending well.
Shape dough into 2-cm (3/4 inch) balls and place on baking sheets.
Place almond in centre of each cookie and press down lightly. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly browned.
Let cool on a wire rack.
Makes about 36 cookies.
Source: Almond Board of California.