Chinese New Year falls on Saturday 12 February this year and calls for an abundance of delicious food. Whether you're marking the Year of the Ox with an intimate dinner or celebrating with your loved ones over Zoom, food is more important than ever before thanks to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Chinese food has a wide range of delicious offerings so you can't really go wrong. Whether you plan to serve duck spring rolls or hoisin pork steamed buns as canapés or want to know how to nail the classic sweet and sour chicken for the main, we've rounded up some of the best quick and easy recipes. Don't worry, we haven't forgotten about the dessert-lovers! If you have room to squeeze in a little sweet treat, try a yummy-looking rice pudding served up in a tangerine cup.
Keep scrolling to discover the ultimate Chinese New Year dinner party recipes...
1. Glynn Purnell's Duck Spring Rolls
100g shredded carrot100g shredded savoy cabbage50g shredded spring onions2 tbsp coconut oil2 tbsp Wing Yip Hoisin Sauce25g sesame seeds1 tbsp. five spice2 tsp chopped coriander100g beansprouts1 tbsp red pepper mix150g confit duck leg – shredded (can also use cooked chicken leg or beef)10 sheets spring roll pastry1 egg white1 tsp cornflour
1. In a pan, sweat down the carrots, cabbage and spring onion in coconut oil.
2. When slightly broken down add the hoisin sauce, sesame seeds, five spice, coriander, beansprouts, pepper mix and shredded duck legs.
3. Lay out one sheet of pastry. Combine the egg white and cornflour with a little water to create a paste. Brush the pastry sheet with the paste.
4. Starting at one edge pack a strip of duck mixture – do not reach the edge of the pastry.
5. Fold in both sides covering the edges of the mixture and then roll the pastry away from you keeping the mixture tightly wrapped. Repeat until all the mixture has been used.
6. Fry at 180°C until golden (can also be frozen to be used at a later date).
For more information visit wingyipstore.co.uk
2. Steamed prawn and pork wontons
Recipe by Imogen Krupski, Chef and Director, Capital Cooking.
100g peeled prawns, chopped160g minced pork1 tsp grated fresh ginger1 tsp crushed fresh garlic1 tbsp grated carrot1tbsp chopped white cabbage2 tbsp finely sliced spring onion1 tsp sesame oil2 tbsp oyster saucePepper35 wonton wrappers, thawed
For the dipping sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce2 tbsp rice wine vinegar1 tbsp sesame oil1 tsp grated fresh ginger1/2 tsp finely chopped red chilli
1. In a bowl mix the prawns, pork, ginger, garlic, carrot, cabbage, spring onion, sesame oil, oyster sauce and pepper to taste.
2. For the dipping sauce, mix together all the ingredients and put into a dipping bowl.
3. Lay out a sheet of wonton paper and lightly brush the outside edges with water. Put 1 tsp of the pork and prawn mix in the centre and scrunch up in a tight pouch, making sure the sides are sealed. Repeat until you have used up all the mix.
4. Fill a large saucepan with 10-15 cm of water and place a steamer inside. Line the steamer with baking parchment or Napa cabbage leaves to prevent the wontons from sticking to the steamer.
5. Bring the water to a boil and place the wontons in the steamer making sure they are not touching. You will have to do this in batches.
6. Steam the wontons for approximately 10 minutes and remove to a serving platter with tongs. Continue until all the wontons are cooked ensuring that the water does not boil dry.
7. Serve the wontons sprinkled with sliced spring onions and with the dipping sauce on the side.
Tip: You can replace the prawn and pork with chicken or tofu.
For more information visit capitalcooking.co.uk
3. Gluten-Free Chinese Salt & Pepper Squid
Preparation time: 30 minutesCooking time: 15 minutesServes: 306
2 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns1 tsp chilli flakes1 level tbsp sea salt flakes4 slices Genius Soft White Sandwich Loaf, whizzed into fine breadcrumbs5 tbsp cornflour600g baby squid, cleanedVegetable oil for deep fryingLemon wedges to serve
1. Crush together the peppercorns, chilli flakes and sea salt with a pestle and mortar then mix with the corn flour and breadcrumbs.
2. Separate the tentacles from the hood of each squid. Slit the squid hoods down one side, open out then score the inside lightly in a criss-cross pattern. Cut into slices about 2cm thick.
3. Fill a large pan or wok 1/3 full with oil. Heat until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds.
4. Coat the squid pieces in the seasoned flour and breadcrumb mixture, shaking off the excess, and fry for 1-2 minutes or until golden.
5. Serve with lemon wedges.
4. Chinese Beef Stirfry Recipe with Wild Rice
Preparation time: 10 minutesCooking time: 25 minutesServes: 4
Ingredients:200g blend of brown and wild rice2 x 475g sirloin steaks or lean beef, cut into strips2 tbsp Chinese 5 spice powder2 tbsp rapeseed oil1 red pepper, sliced2 carrots, cut into matchsticks125g savoy cabbage, shredded2 tbsp soy sauce
1. Cook the rice according to pack instructions and drain.Meanwhile, mix the beef and 5 spice powder together. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan and fry the beef for 3 minutes.
2. Add the pepper and carrot and stir fry for a further 3 minutes.
3. Stir in the cabbage and soy sauce and stir fry for a further 2 minutes.
4. Serve immediately on top of the rice.
For more information visit wholegraingoodness.com
5. Hoisin pork steamed buns
Preparation time: 30 minutes, as well as time for marinating and provingCooking time: 1 hour 15 minutesServes: 4
75g Waitrose Dark Brown Muscovado Sugar1 tsp Chinese 5 spice seasoning2 tbsp dark soy sauce1 tbsp chilli oil1 pork fillet, approx 450g, trimmed and cut in half2 tbsp hoisin sauce
For the steamed buns:100g plain flour75g strong white bread flour½ tsp salt40g lard, diced1½ tbsp Waitrose GoldenCaster Sugar10g dried yeast100ml milk1 tsp baking powderOil, for brushing
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4.
2. Mix the sugar, 5 spice, soy and chilli oil in a bowl, add the pork and marinate for at least 1 hour. Transfer to a small roasting tin with the marinade and cook for 45 minutes. Turn the pork over, cover with foil and bake for a further 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before shredding the meat. Mix it into the juices with the hoisin.
3. Meanwhile, make the buns. Place the flours, salt and lard in the bowl of a stand mixer and blend until the lard has been rubbed in. Mix in the sugar and yeast. Heat the milk to just below boiling and add to the flour mix, then blend to form a dough. Knead in the mixer using a dough hook for 3-4 minutes. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for 1 hour or until risen slightly.
4. Sprinkle the baking powder over the dough and knead in. Divide into 12 balls, cover and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes.
5. Gently roll out each ball to a rough 10x7cm oval, brush with oil and fold in half, placing each on a small piece of baking parchment. Cover and leave for 30 minutes.
6. Place the buns and their parchment in a steamer and steam in batches for 8 minutes. Remove the paper and fill with the shredded hoisin pork.
Recipe courtesy of waitrose.com
6. Sweet & Sour Baby Chicken
Half a whole corn-fed chicken, circa 600g
For the sweet and sour sauce:30 ml off the shelf Thai sweet chilli sauce1 ½ tbsps Chinese black vinegar35g sweet mango35g green apple35g white onions1 tsp vegetable oilSalt & pepper½ limeMixed salad leavesMustard cress and desiccated coconut to garnish
For the Nam Jim marinade:2 tbsp fish sauce3 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice2 cloves garlic2 tbsp palm sugar3 small red shallots chopped3 birds eye chillies2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
1. Marinate the chicken overnight in Nam Jim sauce or teriyaki if preferred.
2. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.
3. Slice and prep sweet mango and apple into cubes, and dice white onions.
4. Sear the chicken on all sides in a non-stick frying pan with the vegetable oil then cool for 10 minutes.
5. Cook the chicken in a roasting tin in a pre-heated oven at 110°C for 30 – 35 minutes until golden brown.
6. Heat up the Thai sweet chilli sauce and Chinese black vinegar in a saucepan. When hot, but not boiling, add the white onions, sweet mango and green apple, mix together and take off the heat, and put to one side.
7. Slice the chicken into 4-5 pieces.
8. Pour the sweet & sour sauce onto the chicken before serving. Recommend serving in a hot skillet if you have one.
9. Garnish with mustard cress and desiccated coconut. Serve with ½ lime and mixed salad leaves of your choice.
Recipe courtesy of inamo-restaurant.com
Preparation time: 1 hour 30 minutes, plus restingCooking time: 40 minutesServes: 20-25 dumplings
1 Chinese leaf lettuce5 salad onions, finely sliced250g pork mince1 red chilli, finely chopped and deseeded if preferred2 garlic cloves, chopped25g fresh root ginger, finely grated11⁄2 tbsp light soy sauce11⁄2 tbsp Waitrose Cook' Ingredients Chinese rice vinegar (or sherry vinegar)1 tsp Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients shaoxing rice wine (or dry sherry, such as Amontillado)1⁄2 tbsp caster sugar1⁄2 tbsp cornflour1 tsp toasted sesame oil
For the dumpling dough: 200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting1⁄4 tsp saltGroundnut oil, for greasing
For the soy-vinegar dipping sauce: 15g fresh root ginger, grated11⁄2 tbsp light soy sauce11⁄2 tbsp Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients Chinese rice vinegar (or sherry vinegar)1⁄2 tbsp Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients shaoxing rice wine (or dry sherry)1 tsp sesame oil1 tsp caster sugar
1. Start with the dumpling dough. In a bowl, mix the flour and salt with 110ml just-boiled water; using a spoon, bring together to a dough.
Cool for a few minutes, then knead for 5 minutes, until smooth. Coat with a little groundnut oil, wrap in cling film and rest for 30 minutes.
2. Remove 6 leaves from the Chinese leaf lettuce; set aside. Finely shred the rest; toss with a big pinch of salt. Set aside for 20 minutes. Rinse well; squeeze out the excess liquid. Reserving the salad onion tops, mix the lettuce with the remaining ingredients; cover and chill.
3. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface as thinly as you can, thinner than 0.1cm if possible; it may be easier to do in batches, or using a pasta machine. Using a 9cm cookie cutter, stamp out as many small circles as you can, layering them up between squares of baking parchment, before covering with a tea towel. Re-roll any scraps; you should get about 20-25 wrappers in total.
4. Place a heaped teaspoon of filling into the centre of a wrapper. Fold in half, crimping one of the edges to create a pleated effect, before pressing firmly together and expelling as much air as possible from around the meat. (Dampen the inner edge with a little water if it doesn’t stick naturally.) Repeat with the remaining ingredients, setting the dumplings on a flour-dusted tray as you go.
5. Prepare a steamer with simmering water and put 2-3 lettuce leaves (or circles of baking parchment) on the bases of the steamer layers. Steam the dumplings, in batches, for 10-12 minutes, until piping hot.
6. Mix the sauce ingredients and serve with the dumplings, scattered with the reserved salad onion tops, and toasted sesame seeds.
Recipe courtesy of waitrose.com
8. Chilli fried rice
For those who love the heat, this delicious rice dish is not one to miss - YUM!
400g cooked rice150g fresh prawns or diced cooked chicken½ bunch spring onions, cut into 1 cm piecesHandful French beans, cut into 1 cm pieces1 small pineapple, cut in half with flesh scooped out & diced½ red bell pepper, finely choppedHandful bean sproutsHandful carrots, julienned (cut into thin strips)2 cloves garlic, finely chopped1 tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)2 tbsp TABASCO Sriracha Sauce1 tbsp light soy sauce2 tbsp sesame oil1 egg, lightly beaten1 egg, cooked sunny side upSalt and pepper, to taste
1. Heat a wok/saucepan over high heat, add the sesame oil and whirl around the wok/pan till it has spread completely.
2. Add the prawns and stir fry until the prawns are almost cooked completely.
3. Now add the spring onions and garlic and stir fry for 1 minute before adding the red bell pepper, French beans, bean sprouts, pineapple chunks, carrots and stir frying for another minute.
4. Move the vegetables and prawns to one side of the wok and add in the beaten egg to the other side. Quickly stir around the egg till it’s cooked and resembles scrambled eggs.
5. Add the rice, soy sauce, kecap manis, TABASCO Sriracha Sauce, salt and pepper. Then stir fry and toss for 30 more seconds.
6. Serve over your choice of ride or noodles.
9. Roasted duck with star anise, poached plums and bok choi
4 duck breasts, about 150g each1 tsp five-spice powder4 plums100g caster sugar5cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and slice into large chunks2 star anise4 small bok choi, trimmed and quartered1 tsp sesame oil2 tbsp soy sauce
1. Score the skin of the duck breasts, rub with five-spice powder and set aside. Half and de-stone the plums and set aside.
2. Put the sugar, 300ml of water, peeled and sliced ginger, and star anise into a saucepan and bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the plums and simmer for a further 5 minutes or until just tender. Then take off the heat.
3. Put another frying pan on a very low heat. Season the duck breasts and place skin-side down in the pan. Cook slowly for about 15 minutes, periodically draining off the fat into a bowl. This slow cooking is to render the fat from the skin, so don’t worry that the duck isn’t browning off.
4. After the 15 minutes is up, turn up the heat to now brown off the skin-side then turn the breasts over and cook on the flesh-side for a few minutes to brown. Remove from the pan and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
5. While resting the duck you can stir fry the bok choi 4-5 minutes in a hot wok with the sesame oil and soy sauce, you really don’t want to over cook them. Then take them out and place one bok choi on each plate, slice the duck breast and also add to the plate along with a spoonful of plums. Then serve with some boiled rice.
For more information visit beautifulcountrybeautifulfruit.com
10. Vegetarian shredded hoisin duck wraps
So quick and so tasty, these vegetarian shredded hoisin duck wraps will go down a treat at your dinner party. The best part is that you can easily double this recipe if you need to feed a bigger crowd!
1 tablespoon sunflower oil300g pack frozen Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Shredded Hoisin Duck4 tablespoons hoisin sauce, plus extra to serve1 tablespoon honey8-10 Chinese duck pancakes1/2 small cucumber, cut into thin strips3 spring onions, cut into thin strips1 red chilli, seeds removed and cut into thin strips
1. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over a medium heat and add the frozen Linda McCartney Vegetarian Shredded Hoisin Duck.
2. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes then stir in the hoisin sauce, honey and 4 tablespoons of water.
3. Cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring, until steaming hot and the sauce is coating the vegetarian duck.
4. Heat the pancakes following packet instructions.
5. Take the pancakes, Vegetarian duck and prepared garnishes to the table with a bowl of extra hoisin sauce and enjoy assembling your own pancakes.
11. Rice Pudding in Tangerine Cups
2oz Yutaka Sushi rice1/4pt boiling water2 eggs (beaten)½ tsp vanilla essence1 pt milk2oz sugar½ tsp Yutaka Yuzu¼ tsp cinnamon5 tangerinesFor decoration: gold edible stars, star anise
1. Set the oven temperature to 350F, Gas 4, 180C.
2. Put rice and water on to boil until water is absorbed. Add milk and simmer until rice is tender, stirring occasionally (it should take about 25 mins).
3. Beat other ingredients together, omitting cinnamon and yuzu, and add to the rice mixture. Divide in half and add cinnamon to one half, mix well and the yuzu to the other.
4. Grease two small baking dishes and pour cinnamon mixture into one and the yuzu into the other.
5. Bake for 20-25 mins until set.
6. Cut tangerines in half crossways and scope out flesh very gently so as not to tear the skin.
7. With a teaspoon carefully fill oranges with the rice pudding. Decorate and enjoy.
For more information visit yutaka.co/en