Gung Hay Faat Choy!

Did you know that it's Chinese New Year today? We started the festivities last night with the Secret-Secret Geography Club, and rung in the Year of the Ox in style by having Chinese Dim Sum. Dim Sum is essentially small dishes or appetizers that is served as a meal with tea. Many of the dishes are steamed to keep the meal light. We enjoyed our meal with a lovely jasmine tea served in one of Lisa's beautiful Chinese tea sets [insert the picture I wish I would have taken here].

We all dressed in red which is the color of the New Year as well as wearing necklaces that Joel made with each of our zodiak signs on them.
For some reason I didn't get a picture of Dan & Lisa [insert their pic here].

We began the evening with these Honey Walnut Shrimp. I'm not sure they are considered traditional dim sum, but it was suggested by Steamy Kitchen and they sounded soooo good. Sadly, they were just okay.

Lindsey went through the trouble of making homemade Bau - a steamed bun filled with veggies or meat. Lindsey baked hers instead and made one variation with Char Siu, which is a sweet BBQ pork and one with spicy pork and shitaake mushrooms. These buns were amazing! Lindsey did a great job.

This is the first and only store-bought item not made from scratch that we've ever served at a Secret-Secret meal. I'm pretty sure it's called Siu Mai, and is a dumpling made from pork, shrimp and mushrooms wrapped in a thin flour wrapper. Dan bought these at the Asian supermarket and then steamed them. None of us even cared that they weren't from scratch because they were freakin' tasty ( a little weird lookin' though).

Dan gets extra points because even though he bought the Siu Mai, he made spring rolls from scratch. Mighty good spring rolls too.

Lindsey also made these pretty lettuce wraps. The radicchio was a litte bitter, but with a little plum sauce from the spring rolls it cut the bitterness well. My favorite was the filling.

I couldn't wait to eat the Steamed Spareribs with Black Bean Sauce that I made. The sauce smelled amazing while we were preparing them.
I had never eaten a rib steamed before, and they were incredibly tender and juicy. And the black bean sauce was so good I want to prepare it and slather it over chicken, pork, beef, an ice cream sundae...whatever.

The last dish of the night (which if you consider that Lindsey made 2 different kinds of buns, we had 8 dishes...lucky 8), was Dan's Jiaozi (like Japanese gyoza). They are essentially potstickers filled with pork, cabbage and lots of garlic and ginger. Dan did an amazing job. Gyoza is one of my favorite things to order and this was just as good or better.

That was Chinese New Year in a nutshell. We began to cook/eat around 7:30pm and didn't quit until almost 11pm. We ate slowly, savoring each dish one by one, before we descended into the kitchen to steam up the next dim sum delicacy. It's a good thing none of us are vegetarian since pork and shrimp seemed to be the theme for the evening, with Lindsey providing us with our only vegetable - a lettuce leaf.

Happy Chinese New Year!

(or Gung Hay Faat Choy!)


Erika said...

Xin Nian Quai Le! (Happy New Year in Mandarin) I like how you guys do a lot of research for these meals and I can say from experience that your choices for Dim Sum were so appropriate and very authentic to the season for the Chinese (particularly the buns and jiao zi and RED everywhere). Sweet to see!

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