Gong Hey Fat Choy 恭禧发财. Chinese New Year is upon us and it’s the Year of the Rooster. Many celebrations take place during this time including parades, dragon dances, reunions and elaborate dinners.
As food is a big part of Chinese New Year, buying all the necessary ingredients for dinner is essential especially if you are hosting a dinner in your home. Real Canadian Superstore and No Frills carrying more ethnic foods, has a lot of sales going on right now and I love the lucky pricing. The number eight is considered to be a lucky number in Chinese culture because it sounds like a word meaning wealth or fortune.
What I noticed in the past few years is they have upped their game in providing a lot of ethnic grocery options in the store. I’m able to purchase my favourite veggies like bok choy.
They also carry awesome fruits like dragon fruit and star fruit. Since the store is so large, being able to find most of the ingredients for your meal and getting anything else for your home like tooth paste or toilet paper is easy.
It’s a great time to come together with family and friends over Chinese New Year over delicious food.
Of course I like to be healthy, but I can’t say no to some delicious snacks or this huge box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes with their limited edition Year of the Rooster box. I’m all about sharing, so I love to have snacks out on the table so friends and family can enjoy as they please.
I love spicy peanuts with szechuan peppercorn. It goes so well with beer and if you eat the chilli or peppercorn, it will give your mouth a numbing spicy sensation.
Peanuts are a symbol of longevity.
Candies are the best and I got some White Rabbit candy, Hi-Chew and soft Almond Nougat. I didn’t get the most traditional candy, but these are my favourite that I could find at Superstore. A Candy box aka “Box of Harmony” symbolizes money and sweetness of life. The container is also pretty cute.
I also love Bin Bin Rice Crackers don’t exactly have a symbolic meaning, but these crackers are awesome. I’ve eaten so many as a kid and they are so damn addictive.
Leen go or brown sugar rice cake is consumed during Chinese New Year. You can make it at home from scratch or purchase in store. This can be eaten as an afternoon snack to bring you luck and prosperity in the upcoming year.
Red Braised Pork Belly
A lot of food served for Chinese New Year is symbolic and pork symbolizes strength, wealth, and blessings. I cooked up a storm this week and I was amazed at how easy this recipe was.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
- 900 g skin-on pork belly
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) Rooster Brand 100% Pure Canola Oil
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) crushed Chinese rock sugar or granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (50 mL) Chinese rice wine (Shao Hsing) or dry sherry
- 3 cups (750 mL) chicken broth
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) each Rooster Brand Superior Soy Sauce and Rooster Superior Dark Soy Sauce
- 1 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick (2 inch/ 5 cm stick)
- 3 green onions
- 2-inch (5 cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled
- Fresh cilantro, for garnish
- Bring large saucepan of water to a boil. Add pork; return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high; cook 5 minutes. Transfer with tongs to cutting board; let cool enough to handle. Cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks. Set aside.
- Heat oil in wok or large (4 L) saucepan over low heat. Add sugar; cook, stirring, until melted and light brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat; carefully add rice wine.
- Stir in pork, broth, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, star anise and cinnamon stick; bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Slice 2 green onions into 2-inch (5 cm) lengths. Add ginger to cutting board; hit sliced green onions and ginger several times with back of knife to lightly bruise and crush. Stir into pork mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook until pork is fork-tender, about 1 hour.
- Uncover; skim fat from surface of cooking liquid and discard. Increase heat to medium; cook uncovered, stirring often, until sauce is thick and syrupy, 15 to 20 minutes. Discard star anise and cinnamon stick. Transfer pork mixture to serving bowls. Thinly slice remaining green onion; sprinkle over top of pork mixture. Garnish with cilantro.