Marion Grasby’s Top Tips for Hosting a Chinese New Year Dinner

Posted on Feb 2, 2016 in Foodie Buzz

  • SumoMe

Host your own Chinese New Year

MARION GRASBY SHARES HER TOP TIPS FOR

HOSTING A CHINESE NEW YEAR DINNER

Chinese New Year celebrations are all about gathering together loved ones to wish them good fortune and happiness for the year to come. A family-style Chinese banquet dinner is almost always the cornerstone of the celebrations. Here are Marion Grasby’s top tips for hosting your own Chinese New Year party – Take it away Marion….

  • Think red and gold. Red is an auspicious colour for Chinese New Year because traditionally it was said to ward off evil spirits while gold symbolizes wealth. Create a glittering atmosphere with red and gold lanterns, candles and tea lights.
  • A number of specific dishes are usually served for good luck and fortune including, whole steamed fish, dumplings and noodles.
  • Mini Chinese take out containers are a great way to serve noodle dishes (and will cut down on dishwashing!). They’re available from Asian grocers or party supply shops.
  • Don’t forget the fortune cookies!

Thai Beef Salad

  FIVE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS FOR CHINESE COOKING

  1. FRESH GINGER – Ginger is one of the most common Chinese ingredients and is used finely sliced in stir-fries or finely grated in marinades and sauces. Add a couple of fresh slices to your herbal tea for a warm, soothing effect.
  2. SOY SAUCE – Light and dark soy sauce are the two types I would recommend having in your pantry. The light is used for its salty, flavour-enhancing ability whereas dark soy sauce is less salty and is mainly used to add colour.
  3. SESAME OIL – This aromatic oil adds a beautiful toasty, nutty flavour to dishes. Use it at the end of cooking (a little bit like drizzling a finished dish with extra virgin olive oil) because high heat will destroy most of the aromatic flavours.
  4. CHINESE VINEGAR – Also called Chinkiang vinegar. This dark rice vinegar has a deeply savoury and lightly acidic flavour. It adds lovely high notes to soups, sauces and braised dishes.
  5. CHINESE GREEN VEGETABLES – Bok choy, wombok (Chinese cabbage), gai lan (Chinese broccoli), pak choy, mustard greens…there are loads of Chinese greens to enjoy. Steaming and stir-fry are the most common preparations but also try adding finely sliced bok choy or pak choy to your regular green salad.

Food Recipes

 AVOIDING CHINESE TAKE-OUT

How to make fresh meals at home this Chinese New Year.

  • Steam instead of fry. Investing in a large Chinese bamboo steamer is a great way to start eating healthier Chinese dishes. Use it to steam fish, Chinese greens and dumplings.
  • Go green. Use lettuce to wrap up any Chinese stir-fry dish instead of serving it with rice or try out a san choy bow recipe like my Marion’s Kitchen San Choy Bow cooking kit.
  • Add more veggies. Pack more colourful veg into your weeknight stir-fry by reducing the amount of meat or seafood you use and boosting the vegetable count.
  • Add an Asian twist. Chinese vegetables like bok choy and pak choy are not only great in stir-fries but also salads. Try adding finely sliced Asian greens to your regular salad.

This Hosting a Chinese New Year Dinner was a Guest Post courtesy of Marion Grasby.

One Comment

  1. What great tips Kirsten. Makes me want to have a Chinese New Years party. Although I would rather be having it in China!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *