Dad’s spring rolls filled with napa cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, and pork in the fryer.
Fresh out of the fryer spring rolls, great with a little soy sauce and black rice vinegar dipping sauce! The Shanghainese also enjoy these with what they call “spicy soy sauce,” which is a sauce that is a cross between Worcestershire’s sauce and soy sauce due to the city’s long history of western influence.
Five spice roast beef and eggs, another one of Dad’s specialties and a perennial favorite around the house.
Dad trying out something new: basa fish with dried chili peppers, pickled Sichuan chilis, and garlic over napa cabbage. It’s similar to the water boiled fish dish at Sichuan style restaurants but this preparation doesn’t require quite as much oil. A fish dish is always present at a Chinese New Year’s dinner because the Mandarin character for “fish” sounds exactly like the character for “surplus” (homonyms), thus eating fish is a wish that the rest of the year will be plentiful. During tougher economic times in the history of China, when families could not afford real fish on New Year’s, a carved wooden fish (painted red for good luck) would be plated for the feast as a hopeful symbol of more bountiful times to come.
And a favorite from the Jiangxi Province where my mom is from: Jiangxi rice noodles (round instead of flat like Hong Kong style chow fun) with pork, onions, and green and red chilis.
The grand finale, the Doughmonkey Underground Patric chocolate cake foursome by the great pastry artist Rhonda Ruckman:
- 70% Rio Caribe Superior chocolate cake
- 70% Venezuelan Coffee chocolate cake
- 70% Madagascar and Tasmanian Leatherwood Honey Chocolate Cake with Tasmanian Honeycomb
- 70% Madagascar Sambirano Valley chocolate cake
Happy New Year to all! May the Year of the Tiger bring you peace, prosperity, and most importantly, plenty of adventures in good food!