Friday 24 January 2020

The Vegan Guide on How To Celebrate Chinese New Year at Home

AD | Hello my lovelies, happy Friday, I really hope everyone is having a great start to their weekend! Tomorrow is Chinese New Year and The Year of The Rat - The Rat is the first in the twelve-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. And with the help of BBC Food* I want to share some of my favourite easy Chinese vegan recipes for you all to make at home!


| What You Need | Two-hundred grams of sliced mushrooms. Two tablespoons of soy sauce. Half a teaspoon of five-spice powder. One tablespoon of rice wine. Half a tablespoons of sesame oil. One teaspoon of sugar. Six Chinese pancakes. Two finely sliced spring onions. Five-centimetre length sliced cucumbers. Half of a shredded little gem lettuce. Four tablespoons of hoisin sauce.

| What To Do | Heat a small frying pan. Add the mushrooms, soy, five-spice, rice wine, sesame oil and sugar and stir until the mushrooms are cooked and the sauce is thick, bubbling and clinging to the mushrooms. Then, warm the pancakes and steam them or heat them in your microwave. Serve your mushrooms, spring onions, cucumber, lettuce and hoisin sauce in separate dishes, with the pancakes alongside. To assemble your Chinese pancakes, spread one pancake, with a little bit of vegan hoisin sauce then add some mushrooms, onions, cucumber and lettuce. Fold the pancake, and enjoy!


| What You Need | No-Chick chicken pieces. Four tablespoons of cane, coconut or brown sugar. Two tablespoons of tomato paste. One tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. One teaspoon of tamari or soy sauce. Six tablespoons of water (one-hundred ml). Two teaspoons of cornstarch.

| What To Do | Mix the tamari or soy sauce and apple cider vinegar in a bowl until well combined, then add the tofu cubes and let rest for at least five minutes. Drain the tofu and transfer 1/3 of the tofu cubes to a freezer bag with two tablespoons of cornstarch and toss to coat - repeat this step with the rest of the tofu and cornstarch. Add more cornstarch if needed. Cook the tofu cubes in a skillet with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat until all sides are golden brown. Remove tofu from pan and set aside. Cook your veggies in the skillet with some water or oil over medium-high heat until golden brown. Set aside. Then, to make the sauce just mix all the ingredients until well combined. Add the sauce to a saucepan and cook until it thickens, stirring frequently. Mix the tofu, veggies and sauce in the skillet, stir and cook for about five minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Serve with some sesame seeds on top (this is optional). Keep leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for four/five days.


| What You Need | Four teaspoons of cornstarch cornflour. One teaspoon of curry powder (or more to taste). Half a teaspoon of Chinese five-spice mix. One-fourth of a teaspoon of ground ginger. One-fourth of teaspoon of garlic powder. One tablespoon of non-dairy butter/spread. Two teaspoons of soy sauce. Two teaspoons of chili sauce (or more to taste). Two-hundred and forty ml of vegetable stock. One teaspoon of lemon juice (this is optional).

| What To Do | Mix half of the cornflour and all of the dry spices together in a small bowl and then melt the spread or butter in a small saucepan, add the cornflour mixture and fry for a minute, stirring all the time until fragrant. Turn the heat down and slowly start to add the stock a few spoons at a time stirring all the time. Make sure it is mixed well before you add more. Place the remainder of the cornflour in a small bowl and add a few spoons of the stock to it. Mix well. Add to the pan of sauce, stirring well. Then, add the remainder of the stock, the lemon juice, soy sauce, and stir. Cook for a few minutes, stirring all the time, making sure to carefully scrape the sides and bottom of the pan. With a gentle simmer, the sauce will rapidly thicken - if it thickens too much add a little water. Serve immediately with chips as a dip, or use for a curry sauce.


| What You Need | One box of firm tofu (about 15 ounces). Three tablespoons of divided oil. Two minced cloves of garlic. Two tablespoons of rinsed dried fermented black beans. Two scallions, cut into large pieces, whites and greens separated. A few fresh or dried red chillies, deseeded and chopped (this is optional). One tablespoon Shaoxing wine. Half a tablespoon light soy sauce. Half a teaspoon sesame oil. One-fourth teaspoon ground white pepper. One-fourth teaspoon sugar. One teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in two tablespoons of water.

| What To Do | Cut the tofu into one-fourth-inch thick squares and tat each piece of tofu dry with a paper towel, and set aside. Place a clean wok or cast-iron skillet over high heat until it just starts to smoke. This is an important step to prevent the tofu from sticking. Turn the heat down to medium, and add two tablespoons of oil to coat your pan. Pan-fry the tofu on both sides until lightly golden brown. Turn off the heat, and transfer the tofu to a plate. Then, over medium heat, and add one tablespoon of oil to your wok, along with the garlic, dried black beans, the white parts of the scallions, and the chopped chillies. Stir and cook everything for a minute, taking care not to burn the garlic. Add in your tofu, the Shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper, sugar, and the green parts of the scallions. Stir-fry gently so as to not break up the tofu. When the mixture is bubbling, stir your cornstarch mixture to ensure that the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Then add it to the wok, stirring gently and quickly until the sauce has thickened and evenly coats the tofu. Serve this tofu with black bean sauce immediately with rice on the side.


| What You Need | One bag of stir-fried veggies. One pouch of cooked boiled rice. Two tablespoons of soy sauce.

| What To Do | In a wok, stir-fry the vegetables for one-two mins until softening, then add the rice and warm through. Crack in the eggs and stir through with the teriyaki sauce. Enjoy!


| What You Need: Salt and Chilli Seasoning | One tablespoon of salt. Half a tablespoon of caster sugar. Half a teaspoon of Chinese five-spice. Two teaspoons of crushed chilli flakes. Half a teaspoon of garlic powder. One-fourth a teaspoon of ground ginger. One-fourth a teaspoon of ground white pepper. (Mix all the ingredients and store in an airtight container).

| What You Need: Salt and Chilli Chips | Five hundred grames of cooked potato chips or fries. One tablespoon of vegetable oil. Half a large onion, cut into chunks. One green pepper washed and cut into bite-sized chunks. Two red chillies washed and finely sliced. One teaspoon of rice wine. One teaspoon of salt and chilli seasoning.

| What To Do | Heat the oil in a wok and fry the onion, green pepper and chillies for three minutes. Pour in the rice wine and let it sizzle for an extra two minutes while continuing to stir. Then, add your chips or fries to the stir fry and season with the salt and chilli mixture. Serve immediately as a side dish to a fakeaway Chinese meal. Enjoy!

With love, Alisha Valerie. x