Now that you are done celebrating the new year, you can celebrate the Chinese New Year on January 22nd. I’m sharing a few simple, frugal recipes that you can make at home and taste just like a restaurant.
Fried rice is a popular quick and easy recipe. Savory and salty fluffy rice is prepared with vegetables and eggs. The recipe starts with boiled rice, so it only takes 20 minutes to prepare.
3 tablespoons rapeseed or vegetable oil
6 cups cooked white rice, cooled
1 cup frozen pea-carrot mixture
Put oil in a wok or heavy pan and heat to high heat. Add the egg and cook, breaking into smaller pieces, until fully cooked. Add the cooled white rice and mix. Stir in the soy sauce and stir until the rice is completely coated, then add the carrots and peas and stir again. Stir in the sesame oil and mix again. Serve hot. 6 servings.
Homemade egg rolls are a great snack that you can make ahead and fry up when you’re ready to serve. To save time, you will use the coleslaw mix. This recipe uses pork, but you can use ground chicken instead.
¼ cup chopped green onion
1 teaspoon roasted sesame oil
Heat 2 tsp. of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground pork and season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up the pork with a spatula, until the meat is browned and cooked through. Add the garlic and ginger, then cook for 30 seconds. Stir in coleslaw and green onion. Cook until cabbage is wilted, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce and sesame oil, then remove from the heat. Spoon approximately 2-3 tablespoons. fillings for each wrapper from the roll and fold according to the package directions, sealing the edges of the wrappers with beaten egg.
Pan Fry: Pour 2-3 inches of oil into a deep pot. Heat oil to 350 degrees. Fry 3-4 egg rolls at a time. Turn occasionally until browned, 3-5 minutes.
Bake in the oven: Coat them with cooking spray and bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Makes 12 rolls.
Cream Cheese Wontons are another easy recipe that makes a perfect appetizer for a meal or a game treat. The crispy outer wontons are filled with a delicious filling. Served with sweet and sour sauce.
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
Mix cream cheese, sugar and onion powder. Stir until well combined. Place the wonton wrapper on a flat surface and drop a tsp. cream cheese mixture in the center, brush the edges of the wonton with egg. Bring the 2 opposite corners together in the middle of the wonton and pinch. Repeat with the other 2 corners, pinching to form a packet shape. Repeat with remaining wontons and cream cheese until all are filled. Heat 4 inches of oil in a deep skillet to 350 degrees. Fry 5-6 wontons at a time, turning them as needed to make sure they brown evenly. This should take about 3-5 minutes. Drain the cooked wontons on paper towels and repeat the frying process with the remaining wontons. 6 servings.
Sweet and sour sauce is a popular Chinese sauce that goes well with egg rolls, wontons or crispy wonton strips. Its preparation is quick and easy and uses common ingredients that you have in your kitchen. It has a bright red color with a sweet and sour taste. You can add 1 ½ tbsp. of ketchup if you want to reduce the vinegar taste, but it will turn a bright red color.
red food coloring for authentic color
Add 1 cup water, white vinegar, and sugar to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the cornstarch to the remaining ¼ cup water in a small bowl and whisk until the cornstarch dissolves. Add the cornstarch mash to the pot and whisk everything together. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Yield 8 servings