Well, the Lunar New Year is close and this means cooking for the family.
It’s not easy cooking for a large group of people but I am going to share my top 10 dishes that are perfect for gatherings over the festive season!
10. Chinese Dumplings
Dumplings are a great option because it’s quick, easy and hassle free. You can make them at home before hand or buy frozen ones from the supermarket. They could even be eaten as an appetizer if you want to keep things simple. Mix up your fillings so people aren’t always eating the same thing week after week, but some examples would be chicken and mushrooms, beef with ginger etc…
9. Spring Rolls
An old classic around this time of year! Spring rolls are also very easy to make yourself or buy some fresh ones from your local Asian store which will taste far better than the packed ones in the supermarket that you have to cook for 30 minutes just to get soggy tortilla chips. The key here is not to eat too many or you will be regretting it later because there is nothing worse than feeling bloated after dinner (or any meal for that matter).
8. Chow Mein
Another great option, again very easy to make at home with either fresh noodles or try the fried variety if you want something a bit more tasty? Make sure to toss them in the wok using some oil and soy sauce (not too much though) along with your meat of choice (chicken, beef etc…). It’s also another dish that can be eaten as an appetizer if you are looking to keep things simple.
7. Fried Rice
Ok so here’s where we start getting into slightly more difficult territory because you need to get your rice cooking so it has ample time to cool before you can actually eat it. So here’s the trick, about an hour or two before you want to start eating dinner, pour some oil onto a pan and heat up your rice with some soy sauce (a little less than the chow mein). Then just leave that in the pan on low heat while you prepare everything else for dinner leaving plenty of time to cook all your other dishes .
6. Stir Fry
Again this is another dish which will take some effort but is worth it! Firstly make sure you’ve got all your meats chopped up ready to go because stir frying anything takes less than 5 minutes. Cook them in batches necessary and set aside when they’re done. Also do the same thing to your vegetables, after all it’s safer to make sure they’re cooked through to avoid any potential food poisoning from undercooked meat or veggies .
Now this one is really two dishes in one but you can make them at home AND buy them from the supermarket! Firstly the trick with buying noodles is making sure you don’t pay extra for water weight – that basically means if there are a lot of holes in your packets then erm.. that’s bad? So go for something a little more dense instead and chances are you’ll end up paying less too. Other than that it’s just a matter of cooking them according to their instructions on the back, maybe adding some soy sauce as you go.
4. Fried Chicken
One of the easiest things to prepare making it a great option for those who don’t have much time on their hands or want to keep things simple. The trick here is to have all your chicken cut up and ready to go because once you start frying, there’s no going back! So make sure you know how long each piece needs before throwing them into that oil. Once they’re done place them on some kitchen towel so that the breading absorbs any excess oil then serve up buffet style with your sauces of choice (BBQ sauce, sweet chili etc…). 3. Dim Sum
Now these are actually really easy as well as tasty but beware not do eat too many otherwise you will regret it later on as they are very small and delicious. For those of you who don’t know what Dim Sum is, it’s a Chinese dish served in a steamer. It usually consists of some kind of meat wrapped inside dough – yum! The good news is that most places have vegan options so just ask before you order or prepare your own at home using some soy sauce for taste.
2. Prawn Crackers
Simple but effective these guys will be gone before you can say ‘crack’! Make sure to serve them with plenty of dipping sauces though because they’re quite addictive! You can also buy them from pretty much any supermarket ready to eat on the day which makes things even easier on yourself! Plus there’s no shame in eating them as an appetizer before your main either so go crazy!
Ah the number 1 spot goes to everyone’s favorite Chinese dish ever – dumplings! They’re super easy to make and can be done two ways, fried or steamed (my preference) just remember not to overcook them, that way you won’t end up with a soggy bottom . As for their ingredients this one is pretty open-ended because you can really stuff anything inside. The noodles pictured above are actually vegan by the way as well as those chow mein dishes if you didn’t know already. So there we have it guys, 10 of the best Lunar New Year dinners all ready for you on that auspicious day! Bon appétit.