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Festive favourites: 6 cooks share their conventional Chinese New Year recipes, Food News & Top Stories

Teochew steamed phoenix prawn rolls

Cheng Fa Kwan, 54, government chef of Paradise Teochew Restaurant at Scotts Square

The filling for chef Cheng’s steamed phoenix prawn rolls is made by hand. Prawns and pork are mashed, chopped and kneaded to attain a springy consistency.

The versatile filling may also be used for fried prawn rolls (hae choh), says the chef, who was born in Hong Kong however grew up in a Teochew family.

He says in Cantonese: “When I started as a chef at the age of 18, I kept getting scolded for not making it properly. When sliced and plated, the rolls look like a flower, which is good for Chinese New Year.”


For the filling

  • 300g prawn
  • 300g minced pork stomach
  • three egg whites
  • 150g water chestnut, pores and skin eliminated and diced
  • 80g cornstarch
  • 80g wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 6g salt
  • 6g hen powder
  • Sugar to style
  • Sesame oil to style
  • 20g dried conpoy
  • 450ml hen stock
  • 12 mustard inexperienced leaves
  • 250g broccoli
  • 75g Chinese celery

For the egg crepe

  • 10 eggs, separated
  • 75g cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp hen powder
  • Sugar to style


  1. For the prawn filling: Mash the prawns with a knife and mince until you get a clean paste.
  2. Add the minced pork stomach and proceed to mince until advantageous.
  3. Mix within the egg whites, adopted by the remaining substances. Knead the combination until you get a springy consistency.
  4. Divide into two parts and put aside.
  5. Bring water to a boil in a wok. Place the conpoy in a dish and steam for 3 hours over low warmth.
  6. Bring the hen stock to a boil in a pot. Blanch the mustard greens and broccoli, then slice into items.
  7. In the identical stock, blanch the Chinese celery and put aside. Set apart the remaining stock.
  8. For the egg crepe: In a bowl, beat 10 egg yolks, 5 egg whites and 10g of cornstarch. Mix nicely and separate into three parts.
  9. Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a non-stick pan, ideally 25cm huge. Add one portion of the egg combination. Ensure the combination is unfold evenly within the pan and cook dinner for a couple of minutes till the underside is golden brown. Remove gently and funky. Repeat for the opposite two parts of egg combination.
  10. To assemble the wrap: Lay an egg crepe on a dish and unfold a layer of the prawn filling on it.
  11. Slice one other egg crepe into thirds lengthwise. Place one strip over the centre of the primary crepe.
  12. Shred the steamed conpoy and place it in a line on prime of the lower egg crepe. Then add a bit of Chinese celery on prime.
  13. Roll the egg crepe into a decent roll, taking care to not break the crepe.
  14. Repeat steps 10 to 13 to make the second roll.
  15. Steam rolls over medium warmth for eight minutes till cooked. Slice evenly into desired thickness and lay in a circle on a serving plate.
  16. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a wok, saute mustard greens and broccoli and add 75ml of stock. Cook for about 5 minutes or until desired softness. Place the mustard greens across the prawn rolls and broccoli within the centre.
  17. In the identical wok, add the remaining stock, fish sauce, hen powder and sugar. Thicken sauce with remaining cornstarch.
  18. Pour sauce over the rolls and greens. Serve sizzling.

Makes two rolls

Cantonese Jade Flower Chicken

Chung Lap Fai, 54, masterchef of Hua Ting restaurant at Orchard Hotel

According to this Hong Kong-born chef, you can not have a festive meal with out the meaty trinity of hen, duck and pork. With Jinhua Yu Shu Ji (yuk lan gai in Cantonese, or Jade Flower Chicken), you nail down two of these substances.

The traditional Cantonese dish includes poached hen organized on a plate with Jinhua ham and greens. The dry-cured ham is called after town of Jinhua in Zhejiang province, jap China, the place it’s produced. It is usually utilized in stews and soups and may be purchased at Yue Hwa Chinese Products in Chinatown.

The dish is comparatively easy to organize, however the problem is in making certain that the items of deboned hen, ham and mushrooms are of the same size and dimension. It is finest to eat all three gadgets collectively because the ham may be very salty by itself.

The dish just isn’t generally found anymore, though some conventional Cantonese eating places nonetheless serve it. It just isn’t on the menu at Hua Ting, however chef Chung can cook dinner it upon request. It is priced at $80 and must be ordered prematurely.

He says in Mandarin: “With the Jinhua ham in the dish, you get more flavour and fragrance. The dish was common for weddings, but you would need many chefs to debone and plate the chicken for hundreds of guests. It’s easier to manage at home.”


  • 1 complete hen (about 1.8kg)
  • 60g dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 100g Jinhua ham
  • 600g kailan
  • 800ml hen stock
  • 1/2 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • Salt to style
  • Sugar to style
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch


  1. Rinse the hen, then place it in a pot with sufficient water to cowl.
  2. Bring to a boil and cook dinner for 40 minutes over low warmth.
  3. Remove the hen from the pot and place in a bowl. Pour ice water over the hen – this helps hold the pores and skin intact.
  4. Debone the hen and slice into 6cm-long items. Place on a serving platter.
  5. Soak the mushrooms in sizzling water, take away the stems and slice thinly into 6cm-long items. Set apart.
  6. Slice the Jinhua ham to about the identical dimension because the mushrooms. Set apart.
  7. Trim the ends of the kailan from the stem. Rinse and put aside.
  8. Place a slice every of Jinhua ham and mushroom between every bit of hen.
  9. Pour the hen stock right into a wok. Bring to a boil and add the kailan and blanch for a couple of minutes. Remove and prepare on the perimeters of the dish.
  10. Add the oyster sauce, salt and sugar into the stock. Stir within the cornstarch to thicken the sauce.
  11. Drizzle the sauce over the hen and serve sizzling.

Serves eight

Deluxe Hakka fortune pot

Then Chui Foong, 45, technical chef at gourmand meals and beverage provider Euraco Finefood

Chef Then Chui Foong and her mom Soh Lee Chin with their lighter model of Hakka pen cai.ST PHOTO: ALVIN HO

Chinese New Year is all the time a household affair for Then and her mom Soh Lee Chin, 73, a retired hawker.

From baking pineapple tarts to making ready pots of pen cai (one-pot meal) or steamboat for reunion dinner, they ensure everyone seems to be well-fed by the festive season.

Their model of Hakka pen cai doesn’t come with the standard wealthy braising sauce. Instead, it comes with a light-weight broth flavoured with seafood and meat.

Madam Soh says in Mandarin: “This version is lighter, suitable for those who are more healthconscious. The flavour of each ingredient is not masked by a thick sauce.”


For the stock

  • 100g soya beans
  • 250g hen bones
  • 200g hen toes
  • 2 litres water
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 300g napa cabbage (wong bok), washed, every leaf sliced into three or 4 items
  • 300g yam, pores and skin eliminated, sliced into 1cm-thick slices, quartered and deep-fried
  • 80g dried shiitake mushrooms, washed, soaked (save soaking liquid for stock), stems trimmed
  • 200g steamed hen, chopped into chunks
  • 200g roast duck, chopped into chunks
  • 200g roast pork, sliced into 1cm-thick items
  • 200g fish maw, soaked in sizzling water and blanched
  • 300g prawns, washed, feelers and legs trimmed
  • 80g dried oysters, washed, soaked and drained dry
  • 80g recent scallops
  • 300g pork tendon, boiled and sliced into 8cm-long items
  • 150g abalone or about eight items (save liquid within the can for stock)
  • 20g black moss, soaked and strained


  1. To put together the ocean cucumber: One day earlier than cooking the pen cai, wash the ocean cucumber and go away to soak in a single day. The subsequent day, wash once more and proceed soaking.
  2. When the feel turns into mushy sufficient to be lower, use a pair of scissors to snip down the size of 1 facet.
  3. Bring a pot of water to a boil and boil the ocean cucumber for a couple of minutes. Turn off the warmth and proceed soaking. Repeat this process thrice.
  4. Clean out its intestines and portion into 8cm-long items. Set apart.
  5. To make the stock: Place the soya beans, hen bones and hen toes in a deep pot. Pour water in and produce to a boil.
  6. Stir within the oyster sauce, salt, sugar and sesame oil. Boil for no less than one hour and put aside.
  7. To assemble the pen cai: In a big claypot, place a flat steaming tray on the backside. This is to forestall substances from getting burnt. Place the napa cabbage, yam, and mushrooms on the base of the pen cai as these substances take longer to cook dinner.
  8. Add the hen, duck, roast pork, fish maw, sea cucumber, prawns, dried oysters, scallops, tendon, abalone and black moss.
  9. To the stock, add the liquid from the canned abalone and the water the mushrooms had been soaked in. You ought to find yourself with about 2 litres. Then, pour the stock into the claypot. There must be sufficient stock to cowl all of the substances. If it’s inadequate, add extra water.
  10. Cover and produce to a boil, then simmer over low warmth for 30 minutes. Ensure the liquid doesn’t dry up. If needed, add extra stock or water.
  11. Season to style and serve sizzling.

Serves eight to 10

Braised fish in Sichuan bean paste

Zeng Feng, 50, government chef of Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant at Parkroyal on Beach Road

Braised fish in Sichuan bean pasteST PHOTO: LEE JIA WEN

Shui zhu yu, or Sichuan-style boiled fish, could also be all the craze nowadays, however the extra homely, conventional braised fish in Sichuan bean paste is what chef Zeng Feng recommends.

He says: “Not everyone can handle mala flavours and the braised fish dish is not too spicy. It is suitable for children as well as the elderly.” He serves it within the restaurant, priced from $10 for 100g (Chinese New Year worth $12 for 100g) for sea bass.

The Sichuan native grew up having luxurious homecooked feasts for Chinese New Year. The centrepiece was all the time Sichuan-style pen cai (one-pot meal) with pork knuckle. Other traditions embody consuming tang yuan (glutinous rice balls) on the morning of Chinese New Year and consuming tea on the seventh day.


  • 1 complete sea bass
  • 150ml oil
  • 50g bean paste (Pi Xian doubanjiang from Yue Hwa Chinese Products)
  • 20g ginger
  • 10g spring onion
  • 20g garlic
  • 400ml water
  • Soya sauce to style
  • 30g sugar
  • 20ml huatiao wine
  • Salt to style
  • 20g cornstarch
  • 20ml vinegar


  1. Wash the fish and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. In a wok, warmth the oil over excessive warmth. Place the fish within the wok, frying on either side until it’s cooked and the pores and skin is golden brown. Remove from the warmth and put aside.
  3. To the remaining oil within the wok, add the bean paste, ginger, spring onion and garlic. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes till aromatic. Then add water, soya sauce, sugar, wine and salt. Finally, add the fish to cook dinner within the sauce for a couple of minutes.
  4. Remove the fish and place on a platter. Add cornstarch to the sauce so it thickens, then stir within the vinegar.
  5. Pour the sauce over the fish and serve sizzling.

Serves 4 to 6

Festive Hokkien glutinous rice

Louis Tay, 53, government chef at Swissotel Merchant Court

A staple for Hokkien chef Louis Tay throughout Chinese New Year is aromatic glutinous rice with roast pork stomach and Chinese sausages.

To make sure the rice grains stay complete and don’t flip mushy, he recommends an in a single day soak.

As he will probably be engaged on Chinese New Year Eve, he’s having an early reunion dinner along with his household as we speak at Chinese restaurant Tasty Court in Figaro Street, run by his good good friend, fellow chef Pung Lu Tin.

On the second day of Chinese New Year, he’ll invite his buddies to his home and whip up some dishes, together with fish soup from a recipe by chef Pung.

Besides consuming glutinous rice, chef Tay has different festive favourites. He says: “I love steamed rabbit fish as it has plenty of roe during the Chinese New Year period. For snacks, I must have bak kwa.”


  • 100ml cooking oil
  • 150g shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 10g garlic, chopped
  • 100g dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in heat water
  • 2 Chinese sausages, sliced thinly
  • 50g dried shrimp, soaked in heat water
  • 200g roast pork
  • 80g peanuts
  • 500g white glutinous rice, soaked
  • Salt to style
  • Pepper to style
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp mild soya sauce
  • three tsp darkish soya sauce

For the garnish

  • 100g spring onion
  • chopped 50g purple chilli
  • sliced (non-compulsory)


  1. Heat the oil in a wok and fry the shallots until they flip golden brown. Remove the shallots, drain and hold the oil within the wok.
  2. Add the garlic, mushrooms, Chinese sausage, dried shrimp, roast pork and peanuts. Stir-fry over excessive warmth until aromatic.
  3. Add the drained glutinous rice and season with salt, pepper, sesame oil and light-weight and darkish soya sauce. Stir completely so the rice takes on an excellent color.
  4. Remove the rice from the wok and scoop it right into a claypot.
  5. Heat up water in a steamer to a speedy boil. Place the claypot within the steamer, cowl and steam the rice over excessive warmth for 30 to 45 minutes or till the rice is mushy and tender.
  6. Garnish with fried shallots, spring onion and chilli.

Serves 10

Huaiyang pork ribs with candy and bitter sauce

Qi Zhi Hai, 45, Huaiyang masterchef of Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel’s personal eating

Huaiyang delicacies from Jiangsu, China, is taken into account to be one of many “Four Great Traditions” representing the nation’s culinary heritage and chef Qi has been honing his craft on this custom for greater than 20 years.

The meals tends to be on the sweeter facet and a key ingredient is Zhenjiang vinegar from Jiangsu.

In this homely dish of braised pork ribs with candy and bitter sauce, the flavours come from the vinegar in addition to sugar. Chef Qi prefers utilizing ribs with a layer of fats within the center so the meat stays tender and juicy all through the cooking course of.


  • 250g pork ribs
  • 1 litre oil
  • 30g inexperienced onion
  • 30g ginger
  • 20ml huatiao wine
  • 1 litre water
  • 200ml darkish vinegar (search for Zhenjiang vinegar from Yue Hwa Chinese Products)
  • 200g sugar
  • 2g roasted sesame seeds


  1. Chop the pork ribs into 5cm-long items.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok and fry the pork ribs for 2 minutes. Strain the pork ribs from the oil and put aside.
  3. Scoop out a lot of the oil and go away a couple of tablespoons to stir-fry the inexperienced onion, ginger and wine. Then add the pork ribs once more.
  4. Pour the water into the wok. Stir and produce to a boil. Then add 100ml vinegar and 100g sugar, decrease the fireplace and canopy. Braise for 30 minutes till the flavours penetrate the pork ribs. Stir sometimes.
  5. Add the remaining vinegar and sugar. Stir-fry the combination over low warmth till a sticky gravy coats the pork ribs.
  6. Serve on a platter and garnish with roasted sesame seeds.

Serves 4

• Follow Eunice Quek on Twitter @STEuniceQ

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