Easy recipes to celebrate Chinese New Year

Saturday 25th of January marks the start of the Chinese New Year, and feasting on an extraordinary amount of food is an important (and definitely our favourite) part of the festivities. To celebrate the occasion, we’ve rounded up these impressive yet easy Asian-style recipes that’ll beat even your favourite takeaway. Gather everyone round the table, we reckon the Year of the Rat is going to be a delicious one…

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Chicken noodle soup 



Ingredients:

  • 900ml chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 large chicken breast, skinless and boneless
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce, optional
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Chinese rice wine or sake, optional
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 200g noodles (you can use any kind, from fresh egg to dried rice)
  • 200g mushrooms (ideally mix and match different varieties)
  • 3 cups baby pak choi and/or spinach
  • Spring onions, chopped (for garnish)
  • Red chilli peppers, sliced (for garnish)


Method

1. First, cook the noodles according to packet instructions. Drain thoroughly and rinse under cold water, then set aside.

2. In the meantime, heat a little oil in a large saucepan and cook the chopped garlic and ginger until fragrant and browned. 

3. Add in the broth, along with the soy sauce, sesame oil, Chinese rice wine and oyster sauce (if using). Bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. 

4. Add the chicken breast to your broth and cook for around 20-25 minutes. The cooking time will depend on how thick your meat is. Check by cutting it at the thickest part. If needed, cook for a while longer. 

5. While the chicken is cooking, fry the mushrooms in a separate pan until all the liquid has evaporated, then set aside.

6. When the chicken is fully cooked, remove it from the broth and allow it to cool. Once cooled, shred it into bite-sized pieces.

7. Add the fried mushrooms and shredded chicken to the broth, then stir in your pak choi and/or spinach until wilted. 

8. To serve, add the noodles to a bowl and carefully pour over the broth. Garnish with the chopped spring onions and sliced red chillies. If desired, sprinkle over some chilli flakes and sesame seeds, and drizzle with soy sauce or Sriracha for an extra punch of flavour.




Kung Pao chicken



Ingredients:

  • 2 medium-sized chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
  • 5 dried red chilli peppers
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn
  • ½ cup peanuts, chopped (for garnish)
  • Spring onions, finely sliced (for garnish)
  • Fresh cilantro (for garnish)

For the sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour


Method:

1. Start your noodles or rice by cooking them according to packet instructions, then set aside for later.

2. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl. Season with some salt and pepper, then add the cornflour and toss well to combine.

3. In a small bowl, combine all Kung Pao sauce ingredients together and give them a quick stir.

4. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook until browned. Remove from heat and set aside.

5. Then, heat another tablespoon of oil in a pan and fry the dried chillies and Sichuan peppercorn until the chillies start turning dark red. Then add in the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant.

6. Add the cooked chicken to the pan and pour over the Kung Pao sauce, lowering the heat to a simmer. Toss everything together and heat for a few more minutes to ensure everything is evenly coated in sauce.

7. Serve hot over the noodles or rice, and garnish with the chopped peanuts, spring onions and fresh cilantro. It's hands down better than your usual takeaway. 



 

 


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