Food plays an integral part of Lunar New Year celebrations, which falls on Feb. 12 this year. Eating in a restaurant might be out the question, but you can still cook up a delicious feast with your household.
Celebrity chef Ken Hom has teamed up with Asian sauce, Lee Kum Kee, to bring you Chinese recipes fit for any lockdown banquet. From southern Cantonese black bean pork to simple stir-fried cucumbers, these comforting foods will bring good fortune for the year ahead (which we all need right now).
Here are three delicious recipes to help you cook up a storm this week.
Pan-Fried Chicken on Crispy Noodles
Serves: 4 | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 25 minutes
225 g boneless chicken breasts, skinned and finely sliced
225 g dried thin Chinese egg noodles
2 tablespoons Lee Kum Kee Premium Oyster Sauce
1 tablespoon Lee Kum Kee Double Deluxe Soy Sauce
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil (for pan-frying the noodle)
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil (for pan-frying the chicken)
2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 1/2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons spring onions, finely sliced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1. Combine the chicken, egg white, cornstarch, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Mix well and leave in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
2. Blanch the noodles for 2 minutes in a large pot of salted boiling water or according to the package instructions. Drain them well.
3. Heat a large frying pan until it is hot, then add 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil. Spread the noodles over the surface evenly, turn the heat to low and allow the noodles to turn brown slowly. This should take about 5-8 minutes.
4. When the noodles are brown, gently flip them over and brown the other side, adding more oil if needed. When both sides are browned, remove the noodles and keep warm.
5. Heat a wok until it is very hot and then add oil. When the oil is very hot, remove the wok from the heat, and immediately add the chicken shreds, stirring vigorously to keep them from sticking. When the chicken pieces turn white (this should take 2 minutes), quickly drain the chicken and all of the oil in a stainless steel colander set in a bowl. Discard the oil.
6. Clean the wok and reheat it over high heat. Now add the bean sprouts, rice wine, Double Deluxe Soy Sauce, chicken stock, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the cornstarch mixture. Bring it to a simmer again. Return the chicken to the sauce and give the mixture a few stirs. Pour this over the noodles, garnish with the spring onions and serve at once.
Stir-fried Pork with Black Bean Garlic Sauce
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 minutes, plus 20 minutes marinating time for the pork | Cooking time: 10 minutes
3 tablespoons Lee Kum Kee black bean garlic sauce
2 teaspoons Lee Kum Kee double deluxe soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
3 tablespoons spring onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon shallots, sliced
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon chicken stock or water
1 tablespoon Lee Kum Kee double deluxe soy sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
1. Cut the pork into thin slices 5 cm (2 inches) long. Put the slices into a small bowl and mix them well with the Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry, soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch. Let them marinate for about 20 minutes.
2. Heat a wok or large frying pan until it is hot. Add half of the oil and when it very hot and almost smoking, lift the pork out of the marinade with a slotted spoon, put it in the wok, and quickly stir-fry it for about 2-3 minutes. Then transfer to a colander set on a bowl.
3. Wipe the wok clean, reheat it and add the rest of the oil. Add the spring onions and shallots. A few seconds later add the rest of the ingredients except the sesame oil. Bring the mixture to a boil and then return the pork to the wok or pan.
4. Stir-fry the entire mixture for another 3 minutes and then drizzle with the remaining sesame oil. Transfer onto a platter, top with spring onions, and serve.
Stir-fried Cucumbers with Hot Spices
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 5 minutes
1 tablespoon Lee Kum Kee black bean garlic sauce
2 teaspoons Lee Kum Kee chiu chow chilli oil
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 tablespoons spring onions, finely sliced
1 teaspoon salt (1 for marinating, 2 teaspoons for cooking)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Peel the cucumbers, slice them in half lengthways then use a teaspoon to remove the seeds. Cut the cucumbers into 2 cm dice then sprinkle them with the salt and mix well.
2. Put the mixture into a colander and let it sit for 20 minutes to drain. This rids the cucumber of any excess liquid. When the cucumber cubes have drained, rinse them in water and then blot them dry with kitchen paper.
3. Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat until it is hot. Add the oil, and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the ginger and spring onions and stir-fry for about 30 seconds.
4. Add the cucumbers, black bean garlic sauce, chiu chow chilli oil, salt, pepper and sugar and stir for another 30 seconds until they are well coated with the spices and flavorings.
5. Add the water and continue to stir-fry over a high heat for 3-4 minutes until most of the water has evaporated and the cucumbers are cooked. At this point, add the sesame oil and garnish with cilantro.