Did you know Chinese New Year is a week from today? I don't know about you, but I love an excuse to make a day special and mix things up. I may rebel and go out to eat on Chinese New Year but at least we'll make it a fun day. Last year our friends, the Martinez's and us hosted a Chinese New Year Party. My cute mom mailed decorations for us and I made a char su pork dish. Mrs. Martinez (Lindsey) loved the idea of her kids learning about Chinese culture. It was fun to get together with friends.
Our neighbors across the hall are from Lithuania and are strict vegetarians, so if I do make them, (us) dinner, this is what I'm planning on making. I'm still exploring what else I would make. I would possibly even make a meat dish for Roger and I to eat. Warning: I haven't tried these before, but do trust the source. Stay tuned for a recipe that is simple and a crockpot dish that you could make for Chinese New Year as well.
Ham Fried Rice
7 cups cooked sticky Japanese (pearl) rice, cooled completely (see tips below) (Chanel did some short grained brown rice as well as Japanese rice and they were both good with it).
1/2 cup chopped onion (yellow or white)
1/2 lb chopped ham (about 1 1/2 cups or two thick deli slices) ( I would eliminate for vegetarian friends).
2 cups cabbage, sliced thin (Chanel loved the cabbage in this dish).
4 tablespoons butter, separated
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
soy sauce (We, (Chanel) use Braggs Liquid Amino Acid for soy sauce).
1/2 bunch green onions, chopped white and green parts
Using a large non stick pan, cook each of the vegetables, separately*, in a small amount of oil and butter. I use about 1 teaspoon for each vegetable/meat. Salt and pepper each vegetable.
Transfer to a bowl or plate. It’s OK to let the vegetables and meat inter-mingle at this point :)
After cooking all of the vegetables and meat, add about 2 tablespoons of butter to the Teflon pan. Over medium heat, add the cooked and cooled rice a little at a time, breaking apart clumps with two wooden spoons until the rice is evenly distributed in the pan, and the butter is mixed in well.
Add all of the vegetables and meat to the rice. Toss lightly in pan. Season again with fresh ground pepper.
Add the soy sauce, a little at a time. We don’t like to drown the rice in soy sauce, so I only use about 2-3 tablespoons to 7 cups of rice. Taste, add salt and more pepper, if desired. After heated through, add fresh chopped green onions. Turn the heat off. If you continue to leave the heat on, your beautiful fried rice will end up as gummy rice.
-Make sure the rice is cooked and cooled completely before starting to make fried rice. It is best to make the rice the day before. If you use hot rice when making fried rice, your dish will turn out to be a sticky, gluey mess.
-Make sure to use Japanese, or pearl rice, which is short and plump, not a long grain rice.
-*It is important to cook the vegetables separately. I used to cook them all at once and then add to the rice. My fried rice was never as good as my mom’s. This is one of her tried and true methods.
-When “mixing” the rice and other ingredients together, do not stir this like it’s a cake batter- toss the ingredients, like you would a salad.
Chanel's update: We had this for Chinese New Years and it was great! I even added some short grained brown rice and that worked out as well. I also cooked three eggs and added that to the dish. Next time may add mushrooms if have on hand.
Copyright: A Bountiful Kitchen.
Easy Stir Fried Tofu
1 package of medium firm tofu
Cut the package of tofu open and gently rinse the block of tofu under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels. Place on a cutting board and cut into small cubes. Heat a frying pan to medium-high heat and add 1-2 Tbs of vegetable oil. Once hot, place the tofu on the frying pan. Cook the tofu until the edges are light golden brown. When the tofu is nearly finished cooking, drizzle with 3-4 Tbs of soy sauce. Lightly salt. Top with 1/2 cup of freshly chopped green onion. Stir together and serve warm.
Copyright: Female foodie, femalefoodie.com
Enjoy and Happy Cooking!