As 2022 begins to set in, yet another festive season is around the corner — Chinese New Year! To celebrate this yearly reunion with one’s family and relatives, a scrumptious feast is a must-have on every dining table.
While it may seem daunting and troublesome to whip up a whole table of dishes for our many (5 pax in SG) guests, here are 8 Easy CNY Recipes to save the day — and you, from a long day in the kitchen! Keep these recipes in mind while planning your CNY menu:
1. Wonton with Spicy Sesame Oil
A symbol of wealth and treasure, wontons are commonly served during CNY to signify a good start to the year. While there are many different renditions of this dish, here is a fuss-free version that tastes super good.
Enveloped within every wonton skin is a slab of tender minced pork paired with crunchy water chestnut bits, savoury fish paste and dried shrimps. Top these wontons off with our homemade spicy chilli oil, and your family is in for a treat!
A quick tip is to avoid putting too much meat on the wonton skin as that will make wrapping a little more challenging.
Preparation Time: 45 Minutes. Serves 3-4.
2. Pomelo Salad
Are you a fan of yusheng? If your answer is yes, you will love our Pomelo Salad, which is a fresh alternative to the CNY staple.
As its name suggests, the pomelo is the main star of this dish instead of the usual salmon sashimi in traditional yushengs. The peeled pomelo is coupled with blanched prawns and a variety of freshly shredded vegetables to give the salad a vibrant look. The zingy salad dressing provides a refreshing finish to the dish, and is bound to have you going back for seconds.
Preparation Time: 15 Minutes. Serves 3-4.
3. Three Cup Chicken with Essence of Chicken
Looking to pack a nutritious punch in your CNY meal? Nothing says ‘nutrients’ better than chicken doused in chicken essence. A deeply flavourful dish that’s incredibly easy to make, this is something that will satisfy the palates of children and elders alike.
Kill two birds with one stone with our Three Cup Chicken; improve your cognitive function and memory while you enjoy a delicious meal this Chinese New Year!
Preparation Time: 30 Minutes. Serves 3-4.
4. Salt and Pepper Prawns
You definitely won’t go wrong with serving prawns for your CNY meal. While the dish is (quite literally) salt and pepper prawns, trust us when we say that there are a few secrets that lay beneath this seemingly simple dish!
To achieve a perfect, golden crispy texture, coat the prawns lightly with rice flour before throwing them into the frying pan. To make them even crispier? Double frying is your answer.
Psst.. there’s more! To even out the saltiness and smokiness of the salt and pepper, add a pinch of sugar before you serve. There you have it, a delicious crunchy plate of goodness in 30 minutes or less.
Preparation Time: 30 Minutes. Serves 3-4.
5. Braised Pork Trotters
Yet another timeless classic, braised pork trotters have definitely been a prominent part of many of our childhoods. This is a dish which requires commitment and patience — to achieve a full flavoured broth, one should be ready to set aside a few hours for preparation.
Though some time will be needed, don’t let this intimidate you! For the complex taste this dish brings, the steps are fairly straightforward. The wide array of herbs added in the beginning sets the taste of the entire broth, giving it a deep oriental flavour. All you have to do next is to allow the pork knuckles to simmer in the broth and braise slowly over low fire (the level of heat is important).
Afterwards, just let time work its magic and get ready to have your socks knocked off by this flavourful dish.
Preparation Time: 3 Hour 30 Minutes. Serves 6.
6. Hakka Ngoh Hiang
Good as a dish on its own or just a side snack, do not miss out on this easy, yet yummy Hakka Ngoh Hiang recipe.
The generous servings of minced pork, shrimp and fish paste go hand in hand with the diced water chestnut bits to offer a crunchy, yet firm texture upon one’s first bite. The blended mixture of dried shrimps and dried fish then compliments the flavour with a tinge of saltiness.
Steam, fry, and fry again; just these 3 simple steps and voilà! Your golden brown, glistening plate of Ngoh Hiang is ready to impress the table.
Preparation Time: 1 Hour. Serves 4-6.
7. Stir Fried Soy Sauce Noodles (Chow Mein)
Come on, who doesn’t love a good ol’ bowl of Chow Mein? Only requiring 15 minutes to prepare, this can be an extremely quick fix when you are running out of time for that CNY meal prep.
To get that perfect characteristic charred taste, the key lies within the cooking oil. Add just a little more oil in order for the noodles to be at the ideal level of fried. Remember, scallions and onions are your best friends in bringing out the aroma and fragrance of a plate of Chow Mein.
Preparation Time: 15 Minutes. Serves 3-5.
8. Steamed Soon Hock
Despite its luxurious appearance, you’ll be surprised at how easy it actually is to prepare a plate of Steamed Soon Hock! A definite crowd pleaser, this is the dish you’d want to serve at a CNY gathering.
Soon Hock fishes have extremely tender yet firm meat, which melts in your mouth in every bite. The light flavoured sauce results in a refreshing taste that is not too oily/greasy, making the dish less jelat.
Just before you finish cooking, don’t forget to drizzle hot peanut oil over the fish in order to give the fish skin a crisp texture.
Preparation Time: 30 Minutes. Serves 4.
With CNY approaching, it is once again the time to construct the menu for your upcoming reunion lunch/dinner. Lucky for you, we have way too many options for you to choose from. If you’re feeling up for it, this year can be the time for you to break through your usual recipes and try something new.
The Meatmen wish you happy Chinese New Year in advance!
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