With all the restrictions on dining out this Lunar New Year – maximum of 8 diners per table, no shouting of auspicious phrases during lohei, and the like – you may be tempted to stay home for reunion dinner instead. Why not try your hand at these restaurant-standard dishes for the family? Two executive chefs from well-known restaurants in Singapore share their recipes for wholesome and comforting dishes that all ages will enjoy.
Si Chuan Dou Hua’s Crispy Brown Rice with Two-Head Abalone in Superior Stock
“The Crispy Brown Rice with Two-Head Abalone in Superior Stock (Pao Fan) is a wonderful dish to enjoy together as a family over CNY celebrations, as it is both a communal and fun dish to prepare at the table too. When the soup stock is poured into the pot of crispy rice, the crackling sound brings to mind firecrackers traditionally used to bring good luck and fortune. This version includes a two-head abalone which is a classic Chinese New Year ingredient, to represent good fortune.” – Executive Cantonese Master Chef Leung Wing Cheung, who has been with Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant at Parkroyal on Kitchener Road for 10 years.
Crispy Brown Rice with Two-Head Abalone in Superior Stock
Prep/cooking time: 30-45 mins
Ingredients (serves 4-5)
1 two-head fresh abalone
15g cooked scallops
100g fresh scallops
100g fresh prawns
80g choy sum
5g crispy Sakura ebi
1.5 litres chicken soup stock
85g each of brown rice, pearl rice, and fragrant rice
A spoonful of chopped scallion, coriander and preserved vegetables
Seasonings: A dash of fine salt, sugar, chicken powder, pepper, Hua Diao wine
1. Boil fresh abalone until cooked. Cut abalone into thin slices and steam with a small amount of cornstarch mixed with water for 5 minutes.
2. Dice scallops, prawns, choy sum and preserved vegetables. Soak the preserved vegetables in water to reduce saltiness.
3. Heat up oil in cooking pot at high temperature (220 deg Celsius).
4. Add brown rice and pearl rice. Mix well, and fry until crispy and golden brown. Place crispy fried rice aside (until step 6).
5. Heat up a stone pot at high temperature. Pour soup stock into the stone pot to boil. Add all ingredients (except abalone) and seasonings to cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
6. Add the crispy fried rice into the stone pot. Place abalone and top with chopped scallion and coriander to complete the dish.
Putien’s Mazu Mee Sua
“In ancient times, families of fishermen in Putian would cook them a bowl of Mazu Mee Sua before they headed out to sea, to pray for their safe return home. As this belief and tradition became more widespread, the Mazu Mee Sua gradually became an everyday family staple in Putian, symbolising health, longevity, happiness, and fortune.” – Executive Chef Li Wen Wu, who has been with the Putien Kitchener Road Flagship for 14 years.
Mazu Mee Sua
Prep/cooking time: 15 mins
Ingredients (serves 3-4)
80g Putien Mee Sua
30g cooking oil
18g pork belly slices
10g shredded onions
12g shredded shiitake mushrooms
10g fresh scallops
10g dried razor clams
8g fried tofu cubes
200g pork bone stock
8g snow peas
Salt, to taste
8g chopped celery
3g scallion oil
5g shallot oil
10g Hua Diao wine
1. In a wok, add Putien’s mee sua into boiling water and cook for a minute. Let the noodles sit for another minute in the water, then drain.
2. Fry eggs and place them on top of the dry, cooked noodles.
3. Add oil into the wok and stir-fry the pork belly slices until slightly browned, then add shredded onions, shredded shiitake mushrooms, scallops, dried razor clams, and fried tofu cubes, and saute till fragrant.
4. Bring pork bone stock to a boil, then add mee sua, eggs, prawns and snow peas, and cook for another 10 seconds.
5. Stir in salt, white sugar, chopped celery and scallion oil, then add shallot oil and Huadiao wine, stir evenly and serve.
What’s your favourite dish to cook for Lunar New Year? Share your recipes with us at firstname.lastname@example.org