Happy Lunar New Year!
The Year of the Dog
Happy Lunar New Year! Lunar New Year is the most important celebration in China. Originally it was tied to the lunar-solar Chinese calendar and was celebrated over 15 days. During this time families honor their household, heavenly deities, as well as the family’s ancestors. It was also a time to bring families together for feasting. In 1912 the Chinese government adopted the Western calendar and the Chinese joined in celebrating January 1st as New Year’s Day. China however continues to celebrate the traditional Chinese Lunar New Year with a new name called the Spring Festival. Today, in China employees get a week off to celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year and to give communities the opportunity to visit with families and celebrate together.
2018 is the year of the Dog in the Chinese Lunar zodiac calendar. The Chinese Zodiac Calendar has twelve animal symbols which run on a 12-year cycle. Every twelve years the zodiac animal symbol starts over again. Chinese zodiac animal signs are in order rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.
For more information about Chinese Lunar New Year and the symbolic nature of this important festival take a look at these links Happy Chinese New Year 2017. Year of the Rooster Travelchinaguide. Chinese Lunar New Year Chinese New Year on History.com
To celebrate Lunar New Year here is a quick and easy stir fry noodle recipe that I have been making for years. This stir fry is one of the easiest dishes to pull together with the most delicious of results, anyone can whip this up in an instant. The best part of this recipe is that all the sauces are store-bought making it a quick and easy dish to prepare in just minutes. To make it even easier just pick up a bag of already cut broccoli florets and cut bell peppers. With lots of amazing veggies and flavorful Chinese sauces, this dish transforms into a scrumptious Chinese noodle stir fry .
Now a little about the recipe. What makes this stir-fry so creamy without the use of corn starch (I don’t like corn starch) is peanut butter. Peanut butter makes this stir fry taste positively divine. Peanut butter is something my Aunty Uma used to add to her noodle dish when she made it years ago when I was a teenager and visited her one time in New Jersey. I still remember that noodle dish and how the peanut butter made the noodles so creamy and unexpectedly delicious 😋.
In this noodle stir fry I used a new noodle that I came upon recently at Costco. It’s made with millet and brown rice and I have to say this noodle is delicious! I actually think I like it better than the usual wheat based ramen noodles. Give these a try if you see them in the grocery store.
Broccoli & Pepper Stir Fry Noodles
- 1 lb broccoli florets or 6 cups florets
- 2 bell peppers cut lengthwise
- 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 tbsp sized fresh ginger finely grated
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Hoisin sauce or Oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 3-4 dried whole red chilies. For smoky red chili flavor without the heat I keep the chili whole so that the seeds stay intact.
- Ramen noodles of your choice
- Tofu (optional)
- In a large pan heat 2 tbsp oil and sauté garlic, ginger and red chilies until slightly browned. Immediately add broccoli and peppers and salt. Sauté the veggies and cook for 5 minutes. I covered the pot so the veggies get steamed perfectly.
- Next add all the sauces, vinegar, brown sugar and peanut butter and mix-into the vegetables.
- Add the noodles and toss with the veggies to fully coat all the noodles. Add tofu at this point if using. Stir fry noodles are ready.
- Serve noodles warm with extra hot sauce.
- Chinese stir fried noodles and an ice cold ginger beer; the perfect Friday night stay at home dinner 😊.
Happy Lunar New Year! 💥🌙
The year of the dog.