Chinese New Year is almost upon us and it’s a great time for families to gather for the annual feast. It is also traditional for families to cleanse the house to sweep away any bad fortune and to make way for good incoming luck. Depending on the family, this can vary. For my family and I, we put a larger emphasis on food and having the family around the dinner table.
One place that we always go to buy groceries for a large feast is T&T as they are the go to grocery store for Asian groceries. Loblaws acquired T&T a few years ago, so their other stores like Real Canadian Superstore and No Frills have begun carrying more ethnic foods and T&T products.
I go to Superstore a lot, so it’s becoming more and more noticeable when products are sold at stores that you wouldn’t normally see them.
With a week and a bit left, Superstore has really promoted hard to show that they carry more diverse products. I don’t mind because that means I don’t have to run around grocery store to grocery store finding what I need.
Vita Soy was on sale and I bought one of each pack to stock up my fridge. The best!
If you can’t find what you need, it’s most likely in the World Foods aisle.
So many drinks and snacks that just lit my eyes up. All the childhood memories flooding back. I picked up a bottle of Aloe to have in my fridge since my friends love to come over and mix drinks with it.
Another area that I love are all the Asian sauces. Can’t go wrong with them especially when making marinades for meat or dipping sauces.
Gotta always have a pack of these dried mangoes.
If you can’t find it all in the aisle, I found that some stuff is scattered all over the store. Signs everywhere!
I bought a lot of random stuff on my trip to Superstore.
Chinese New Year Cooking with Stephanie Yuen of Beyond Chopsticks
Not sure what to make for New Years? I attended a cooking class hosted by Superstore and No Frills where Stephanie showed us how to create 2 dishes for Chinese New Year.
Eating dumplings or wontons is a sign of prosperity. This is because the preparation of it is similar to packaging luck inside the dumpling, which is later eaten. As for the Taro Root Coconut Milk dessert with Tapioca Pearls, not sure about the meaning behind that, but it’s a delicious warm dessert.
Makes 40 – 50 wontons
- 8 cups water
- 2 lbs. Shanghai bok choy, separated and rinsed
- 1 can T&T water chestnuts, drained and diced
- 4 oz. ground lean pork (or chicken)
- ½ cup T&T edamame beans, cooked and shelled
- 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 2 tsp. sea salt
- ¼ tsp. granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp. corn starch
- 1 small egg, beaten
- 1 pkg wonton wrap
- 2 cups Chinese New Year Cake (already sliced)
- 4 pc. T&T dried shitake mushroom, rinsed and soaked in 2cups hot water for at least 30 minutes or until softened.
- 2 cans T&T chicken broth
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (Optional)
- 1/2 cup chopped green onion (Optional)
- Boil 6 cups of water in a medium saucepan on high heat.
- Add bok choy and blanch for 2 minutes.
- Drain the bok choy and let it cool down for 15 minutes.
- Squeeze excess water out of the bok choy and place onto a kitchen towel to let it dry.
- Chop the bok choy finely and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Mix water chestnut, ground pork, edamame beans, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, sugar and corn starch into the bok choy. This is the stuffing for the wontons.
- Place one piece of wrap on a dry surface or cutting board.
- Spoon 1 tbsp. stuffing in the middle.
- Fold wrap half-way into a half circle and then using a small brush, brush a small amount of egg wash around the edge of the half circle and press firmly.
- Turn the half circle to overlap ½ inch of the two corners, brush with egg wash and press firmly. Continue until the stuffing is gone.
- Remove mushrooms from water, cut off the stems and julienne.
- Reserve mushroom water for later.
- Combine 2 cups of water, chicken broth, mushroom and mushroom water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Once it boils, cover and turn the heat down to low and let simmer.
- Boil ½ pot of water and cook half of the wontons in the boiling water for 4-5 minutes.
- Transfer the cooked wonton into a big bowl using a slotted ladle.
- Repeat with the remaining wontons as needed*.
- Bring the chicken broth to a boil and add New Year Cake and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add cooked wonton and bring to another boil. Turn off heat.
- Top with chopped cilantro and green onion.
*Tip: Freeze unused wontons in a sealed plastic bag. Wontons can be stored for up to 2 weeks.
- 1 tbsp. mini tapioca
- 3 cups water
- 2 cups skinned taro root, into ½” cubes
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 can Rooster coconut milk (165ml)
- Boil water and taro to a boil in a medium saucepan on high heat.
- Lower heat to medium and cover. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a blender and blend on high for 20 seconds or until creamy.
- Return to saucepan and cook on medium heat. Stir frequently to avoid sticking.
- Add coconut milk and sugar, bring to a gentle boil.
- Add tapioca and mix well.
- Stir in brown sugar and cook for another minute or until sugar melts.
Tip: Do not place taro directly on your hand – wear kitchen gloves or use a dry towel when peeling taro