Recipes for Chinese New Year

Recipes for Chinese New Year

While it seems that many are looking in the direction of recipes for Valentine’s Day, my brain is firmly planted in the world of Chinese New Year.  It is one of my favorite meals of the year, in part because my family piled around the kitchen counter to make it together.  It took a lot of hands to fill and pinch all the dumplings.  Dumplings, after all, are a labor-intensive pursuit, and my teenage sisters can eat their weight in the stuff.

Our first year in Bangkok Frank and I took part in all the festivities in Chinatown, but this year we will celebrate at home.

Chinese New Year is this Sunday, February 10, so if you are thinking of doing a Chinese-themed dinner, this weekend is your chance!  Below are a few of my favorite recipes and most of them take very little time at all.  They’re simple enough that you could even celebrate on a weeknight, with a batch of baked spring rolls and some toasted sesame ginger salmon.

 Recipes for Chinese New Year

Crispy Scallion Pancakes {Vegan}- It took several attempts to find a recipe for scallion pancakes that were extra crispy on the outside and had the flaky layers that I loved when I was in Beijing a few years ago.  This recipe did the trick.

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Baked Vegetarian Spring Rolls {Vegetarian} - Once I discovered that I could bake spring rolls and still get all that crunch, I’ve never again thought of frying them.  The sweet and sour dipping sauce served with these is one of my all-time favorites.  The spring rolls freeze wonderfully, and would be great with different fillings (I’m working on another variation, coming soon).

Baked Vegetarian Spring Rolls // Inquiring Chef

Baked Crab Rangoon – Although crab rangoon are probably more Midwestern than Chinese, I can’t let a Chinese New Year dinner go by without getting my fill of these crunchy star-shaped shells with creamy filling.  Some years we have quadrupled the recipe when we’ve had friends for dinner – somehow there are never enough.

Baked Crab Rangoon // Inquiring Chef

Hoisin-Glazed Pork Tenderloin – If you need something more substantial than appetizers (do you?), this pork, glazed in a tangy and slightly sweet sauce will do the trick.  Served over a bed of rice, this looks impressive, but only requires a few ingredients to make.

Hoisin Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Toasted Sesame Ginger Salmon – An absolute favorite of mine from the creative Jess at How Sweet It Is, this toasty, ginger glaze and its method for broiling results in a crispy-topped, super flavorful salmon every time.

Toasted Sesame Ginger Salmon

Sweet and Sour Tofu {Vegan}  – For a quick, vegetarian main dish, this sweet and sour tofu is one of my favorite recipes.  Cook it over high heat in a wok or skillet for a dish that is colorful, healthy and packs tons of flavor.  Sweet and Sour Tofu :: Inquiring Chef

Crunchy Szechuan Green Beans {Vegan} – These are the only green beans that I crave.  They cook fast and get a nice crunch, but it’s that sweet, spicy sauce that is makes them so irresistible.

Szechuan-Green-Beans-Inquiring-Chef

Ginger Scallion Noodles – Although these just made an appearance on the blog this week, I can’t leave them off the list.  I’ll be making these noodles again this weekend – the bright, fresh sauce can be made ahead and tossed with any type of noodles just before serving.

Ginger-Scallion-Noodles-2

Mango Yogurt Mousse - If there’s still room for dessert, something light and slightly sweet like Mango Yogurt Mousse would be my pick.  (Although I wouldn’t blame you one bit if you tossed the Chinese theme out the window and made this Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake.)

Mango Yogurt Mousse :: Inquiring Chef

For a glimpse into what we ate (and saw) on our trip to China, check out these China travel posts.

Happy Chinese New Year to you!

 

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