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Grandma's Kitchen:   Asian New Year's Recipes

No New Year is complete without spending time sharing food with family and friends. Here are some special Asian New Year food recipes that you can share with your family and friends as well. Enjoy!

Japan

New Year is one of the most important celebrations of the year for the Japanese family. Thus a whole range of special dishes, including o-sechi, rice cakes and o-toso (sweet rice wine), have become associated with the festivities. Cooked beans and tangle, grilled salmon and sea braum have become indispensable parts of the New Year's menu.

Since entertaining is part of the New Year tradition, it has become customary for housewives to prepare o-sechi dishes in advance so that they can be eaten over the first few days of the New Year.

Deep-Fried Rice Cake Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 blocks pounded rice cake (mochi)
  • 4 Japanese mushrooms
  • 3 cups broth
  • 150 grams chicken
  • Yuzu peel
  • 8 sprigs watercress
  • Salad oil

Directions

  1. Cut the watercress, chicken and mushrooms into 4 cm. lengths.
  2. Boil the chicken and mushrooms in the broth. Add seasoning to taste.
  3. Deep-fry the rice cakes over medium heat until they are brown.
  4. Place the watercress in the broth, bring to boil again and turn off the heat.
  5. Place 1 rice cake in each bowl and pour soup over it.
  6. Garnish with yuzu peel.

Japanese Style Roast Beef

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 600 grams of beef loin of fillet
  • 1 onion
  • 1 small piece of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 2 tablespoons mirin

Directions

  1. Select a piece of beef that is thin and long (about 10 cm. in diameter).
  2. Great the onion and garlic and mix with the soy sauce, mirin and sake.
  3. Place the beef in the mixture and allow to stand for about an hour.
  4. Place in the oven (set to 170 degrees) till brown (about 20 - 25 minutes).
  5. Remove the beef from the oven and turn off the heat.
  6. Replace the beef and leave for another 20 minutes. The same can be done in a pan or griller by wrapping the meat in foil after
  7. has been browned and then returning to the warm pan or grill.
  8. Slice and serve.

Sources: The Five Sacred Festivals of Ancient Japan by U.A. Casal. Rutland, Vermont: Charles E. Tuttle in cooperation with Sophia University, Tokyo, 1967, pp. 13-14, 20, 24-25, 27-29. Japanese Festival and Calendar Lore by William Hugh Erskine. Tokyo: Kyo Bun Kwan, 1933, pp. 23, 26. A Taste of Japan edited by Itsuko Hamada. Japan Air Lines Co., Ltd., 1986, p. 89.


Gong Xi Fa Cai Chinese Rice Cake (Nian Gao)

Most Chinese New Year dishes have names that sound like good or fortunate things, such as, fish (Yu) for abundance and New Year rice cake (Nian Gao) for advancement.

The rising effect of the cake during baking symbolizes advancement (Gao Sheng) so it is no surprise that parents will urge their children to have Nian Gao during the Chinese New Year. Below is the recipe for the Chinese Rice Cake or Nian Gao. Try it and may you have advancement year after year (Nian Nian Gao Sheng)!

  • 1 lb. glutinous rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2.5 cups milk
  • 0.3 cup vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Beat eggs with sugar and slowly add glutinous rice flour and milk.
  2. Stir the mixture until the ingredients are fully blended with each other before adding baking soda.
  3. Add oil gradually while stirring continuously.
  4. Stop when oil no longer appears as a separate layer from the rest of ingredients.
  5. Add vanilla extract last.
  6. Stir and make sure there is no air bubble.
  7. Apply some oil at the bottom and sides of the baking pan before pouring the dough into it.
  8. Bake at 350°F for 50 minutes.

Another New Year's Recipestory dragon continued button


If you have any easy, tasty Asian recipes to share, please send them to us at editor@jadedragon.com. If we use your article, we will send you a Jade Dragon Online t-shirt.

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