Chinese New Year
by Brenda Hyde
Chinese Beef and Pea Pods
Chinese New Year is traditionally celebrated with fireworks, music and dancing dragons made out of paper mache and other materials. It's a time for celebration and family fun in Chinese households.
Many of us may not understand the Chinese traditions and their rich history, but we can make an attempt to learn more about this culture by having a theme night! Assign each person in the family an area of Chinese culture to learn about and research at the library or online. Before dinner, exchange what each family member has discovered. The following recipes are very easy and can be served with purchased egg rolls.
Chinese Hot and Sour Soup
- 3/4 pound boneless pork, cut into 1/2 inch strips
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms
- 1 can bamboo shoots (8 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp. white pepper, or to taste
- 3 tablespoons vinegar
- 16 ounces tofu
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 4 green onions, sliced
Mix pork with salt and cornstarch. Heat oil in wok to 375 degrees and stir fry pork until color changes. Bring stock to a boil in a stockpot. Add mushrooms, pork and bamboo shoots. Stir constantly. Add soy sauce, pepper, vinegar and tofu. Return to a boil. Turn off heat and add beaten eggs. Stir quickly for 30 seconds. Add sesame oil. Remove and garnish with green onions. Serves 6.
Sweet and Sour Shrimp
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 20-ounce can chunk pineapple, drained, reserve juice
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
- 8 ounce can water chestnuts, drained
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into chunks
In a large skillet or wok, combine reserved pineapple juice, water, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce and ginger. Over medium heat, cook and stir until thick and clear. Add shrimp and cook 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients; heat through. Serve with cooked rice or Chinese noodles. 4 servings.
Brenda is a wife and mom to three living in the Midwest. She is also editor of http://oldfashionedliving.com and http://oldfashionedholidays.com where you can find many more family recipes, celebrations and activities.
More Tips & Tools to Help You
Live Better...For Less
- Is your family normal? See how other households spend their money
- 5 big bills you can cut fast
- 5 frugal ways to expand your living space
- Where to find the best deals in February
- 4 steps to a simpler (and more frugal) life
- $10 for peace of mind for your family
- How not to fight about money
- When you just don't have money to feed your family
- What every stay-at-home mom should know about her financial future
- What is the cost of raising a child?
- Spouse income calculator
- Should my spouse work, too?
- College savings calculator
- Home budget calculator