Gong Hei Fat Choy – Happy Chinese New Year and welcome to the Year of the Horse. As timing would have it, I was heading to Trader Joe’s for supplies like pizza dough for our Superbowl pizzas, I thought I would also pick up some treats to make a New Year dinner. First purchase is a favorite: Bao. Bao are steamed buns filled with meat, vegetables, or sometimes sweet beans and are very popular dim sum. My favorite is Cha Siu Bao (BBQ pork buns) but I went for the Trader Joe’s Spicy Shrimp Bao. They come frozen and microwave quickly and are very tasty.
Next up: Trader Joe’s Pork Shumai – These are also frozen and microwave very easily and I love shumai. The dumpling sauce that I had in the fridge wasn’t good so I made my own: 1/4c soy sauce, 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp mirin sweet wine, and 1 tsp sesame oil.
Main course: Yakisoba – a Japanese fried noodle dish. Yes, this isn’t a Chinese dish but it is quick and easy and very satisfying. I started to buy all the vegetables individually but I just needed a few of each one – as luck would have it, Trader Joe’s sells a stir-fry veggie pack: Trader Joe’s Asian Stir Fry that had everything I could want and the cost was much more effective than buying larger packets of each vegetable and not being able to use it all. I put 1/2 of the container (9oz) of the mixed stir-fry vegetables in a wok, cover it with water and brought it up to a boil then shut off the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes before draining. Meanwhile, I cooked two packages of Top Ramen, Asian favor (I traditionally use ramen for yakisoba). Instead of cooking the ramen soup-style, I use approximately 1 cup of water in a skillet and cook the noodles until they are just cooked and then drain off any remaining water and set aside. Turned up the heat under the wok to medium-high and stir-fried the vegetables in 1 Tbsp olive oil until they just started to brown then added in the cooked ramen noodles – once combined, added in the two packets of dry soup mix included in the ramen packages plus 1/4c soy sauce and 1 tsp ground ginger and mixed throughly.
Whole dinner came together quickly, which was good because it was a ski day for my Heart, which means he gets home late (9:45pm) from teaching skiing for several hours and needs to eat and crash after a long day. It was nice getting to surprise him with a New Year’s dinner.