Now we're headed into 2022, the Year of the Tiger. Festivities begin on Feb 1st and run through Feb 15th, 2022 when the Lantern Festival starts, and traditionally includes getting together with family and kicking things off with a big meal on Chinese New Year Eve.
To help celebrate, it's common see the gifting of lucky Red Envelopes and to eat foods symbolic of the Lunar New Year. These dishes are served to give blessings and are auspicious as to provide prosperity, luck and happiness in the coming new year.
1. Chinese New Year Cake (Sweet Rice Cake)
5. Longevity Noodles
6. Shanghai Rice Cakes Stir Fry (Savory Rice Cakes)
7. Traditional Chinese Almond Cookies
8. Hot Pot
The ingredients can be dipped in savory or sweet sauces, or even eaten plain! The best thing about this meal is that everyone can cook and eat the ingredients they like. For extra fortune and luck, shop and prepare for these suggested items to add to your soup:
Mushrooms: Increased Opportunities
Noodles: Long Life
Dumplings: Wealth and Fortune
Meatballs/ Fishballs: Reunion
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Traditional Baked Mooncakes filled with sesame seed or red bean paste and salted egg yolk. A must-have for the Mooncake/Mid-Autumn Festival.
(Makes 12 mooncakes)
- 12 salted egg yolks or however many you prefer, optional
- 1 tsp Shao Hsing cooking wine (1 tsp for every 4 salted egg yolks)
- 17.6 oz lotus seed paste (500g)
- 17.6 oz red bean paste (500g)
- 2 oz toasted kuachi / melon seeds or sunflower seeds (56g)
You will also need a 125g mooncake mold.
Combine golden syrup, canola oil, and alkaline water in a small bowl or measuring cup.
Sift cake flour into a large bowl. Make a well in the center. Pour syrup mixture into well and mix with a spatula to form a soft dough. Cover and let it rest for 30 minutes.
Place salted egg yolks in a small dish. Drizzle Shao Hsing rice wine over the egg yolks. Cover with aluminum foil and steam for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from steamer and pat dry egg yolks with paper towels and allow them to cool completely.
Mix 1 oz (28g) toasted kuachi/sunflower seeds into the lotus seed paste and the 1 oz (28g) into the red bean paste. Form into 12 balls of approximately 90g each. If you are using salted egg yolks, then the lotus seed or red bean paste should be about 80g each. Flatten the ball and wrap the cooked salted egg yolk in the middle. Roll between your palms to form a ball.
Lightly dust working surface with cake flour. Knead dough until smooth adding a little cake flour if necessary. Divide into 12 portions of 35g to 40g each.
Take a portion of the dough and pat into a circle of about 4 inches (10cm). Wrap the dough over a ball of filling. Roll between your two palms to smoothen.
Dust mooncake mold with cake flour. Place the ball of dough and filling in the mold. Flatten to conform to the shape of the mold.
Place mold onto a parchment lined tray and carefully press spring stamp down to get a nice pattern on the top. Gently and carefully lift the mold to release the mooncake onto the tray. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
Bake in a preheated 375°F (190°C) oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow mooncakes to cool for 5 minutes. Brush mooncakes all over with egg wash and return to oven for another 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and brush on some mooncake glaze just on the top of mooncakes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store in airtight containers for one to two days before serving.