This Chinese New Year, the year of the Ox, falls on Monday, January 26th. If you are looking to do a little more than just order in Chinese Food this year, we have a few ideas, links and recipes that will add a festive spirit to your day or night.
1. Decorate with Chinese Paper Lanterns. Dim the lights and string up these to create the perfect setting for your Chinese New Year’s dinner. You’ll be surprised how this simple touch can transform your room and spirit! Paper Lantern strings are available at most party stores but below is a link and a good idea of what to look for.
2. Serve Chinese inspired cocktails.
Cocktail Recipes by our featured Mixologist, Dalio Calado, ClassicalCocktails.com.
Oriental Mandarin 1 hand squeezed Tangerine 1 oz Grand Marnier 1 oz Partida Blanco Tequila 2 oz Ginger Ale Squeeze the tangerine into a shaker filled with ice. Add Grand Marnier and Partida Blanco. Shake well, then top with ginger ale while still in the shaker. Pour into a rocks or highball glass and garnish it with a tangerine wheel. photo by classicalcocktails.com Lychees & Flowers 3 fresh peeled Lychees 1.5 oz Bulldog Gin 1.5 oz St Germain Mix all of the ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake vigorously. Serve in a chilled martini glass and garnish with a fresh Lychee.
3. Serve Chinese Beer
For a great Chinese Beer try Tsingtao.
4. Make your own Chinese Food
Sweet and Sour Chinese Spare Ribs
Boil spareribs till thoroughly cooked before grilling. Grill to heat and brush ribs with Chinese Barbeque Sauce (see recipe below).
Chinese Barbecue Sauce Recipe
Just mix all the ingredients below in a sauce pan, simmer for 20 minutes and you are done.
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 3 tablespoon honey
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
- 2 garlic cloves – minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger – crushed
- 1/8 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
Heat the ribs thoroughly, then brush on BBQ sauce at the end. The honey will burn so you don’t want to put this on too soon.
Sweet and Sour Grilled Shrimp
- 60 shrimp, cleaned and deveined
- Olive Oil
- Fresh cracked pepper
- Sea Salt
- Sweet and Sour Sauce
If you don’t want to clean and devein your shrimp, purchase a good quality frozen raw shrimp, cleaned and deveined at your local seafood market.
- Place frozen raw shrimp in a colander, and run cool water over them until thawed, approximately 10 minutes.
- If shrimp is not deveined and cleaned, remove shell (leaving the tail on) and devein using a deveiner or sharp knife.
- Prepare 16″ x 12″ grill toppers (3) for shrimp by spraying with nonstick cooking spray. Set grill topper on a baking sheet. The baking sheet will catch any liquid that leaks through the grill topper.
- If shrimp are still wet, pat dry with paper towel and arrange on grill toppers (each will fit 30 shrimp).
- Brush each shrimp with olive oil, fresh cracked pepper and sea salt.
- Cover with plastic wrap, stack them and refrigerate – you may store in the refrigerator for up 8 hours before grilling.
- Remove the shrimp from the refrigerator 15 minutes before grilling to bring to room temperature.
- Up to 15 minutes before grilling, preheat grill – you know your own grill so preheat as long as necessary until it is very hot.
- Turn grill down to medium/high (you don’t want to burn it) and place grill topper(s) on grill. Keep cover closed while grilling.
- Cook on each side for approx. 2 minutes (until the tails turn white), use tongs to turn one time.
- Using oven mitts, remove from the grill pan from the grill and place on baking sheet, using tongs remove shrimp and place on serving dish to be served immediately.
- Depending on the size of the grill, repeat this process up to two more times to cook the remaining toppers of shrimp.
- Serve the Duo Dipping Sauces with the shrimp: La Choy Sweet and Sour sauce available in most supermarkets and Stonewall Kitchen’s Roasted Peanut Sauce to excite all of your guest’s tastebuds!
Stonewall Kitchen’s Roasted Garlic Peanut sauce
Round out your menu with these two side dishes:
Spicy green beans, and
- White or Brown Rice from your local Chinese restaurant.
5. Use renewable bamboo plates and chopsticks.
What’s more perfect to dish up Chinese Food with than Bambu All-Occasion Veneerware. Not only does it lend an Asian feel to your table, but it is eco-friendly since it is made with the remarkably renewable grass – bamboo.
Click To Buy Option: Bambu
6. Dive into cool sorbets in Chinese fruit flavors, like Mandarin.
Tangerine, Mandarin, and Pomegranate (Chinese Apple) are delicious Chinese fruit flavors. Ciao Bella makes some of our favorite and you can order from them online at http://www.ciaobellagelato.com/.
For a little crunch and munch with the sweet sorbets, add some fortune cookies.
Here is a great online option. Your choice of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, rich caramel or the best-selling assortment flavors. Select 12, 24, or 48 fortune cookies. These treats are baked fresh in small batches each day – each crisp vanilla fortune cookie is hand dipped in fine Belgian chocolates or golden caramel. Confectionary artisans finish each cookie with it’s own accent: chocolate drizzles, milk chocolate sprinkles, Heath Toffee bits, slivered California almonds, tender sweet shredded coconut, or peanut butter drizzle!
Click to Buy Option: Fortune Cookies