Thursday, January 23, 2014

Get Inspired this Chinese New Year #bluedragonmom

My children have always been open to eating foods from different cultures. Though we eat a variety of ethnic foods, we never really discuss the origin or reason behind these foods. So I thought that Chinese New Year, would be a great way to get some Chinese culture into our lives. Chinese New Year is a holiday celebrated on the first day of the year, of the Chinese Calendar. I am sad to see the year of the snake end and the year of the horse begin. My Chinese zodiac animal is the snake, so this past year was perfect for me, LOL.

My family really enjoys going out for Chinese food and when I was chosen to be a Blue Dragon Canada Ambassador, I was beyond excited! I have always wanted to make more Asian inspired dishes at home, but have always been reluctant to. Well, Blue Dragon sent me a nice little box of goodies to get me started. I was so happy to find Spring Roll Wrappers in my package! Mr.B loves fried spring rolls, so I knew I had to make them. These delicious little rolls of cabbage are often eaten during Chinese New Year celebrations, since they resemble bars of gold and are thought to bring prosperity.

Spring Rolls

1 pkg Blue Dragon Spring Roll Wrappers                              
1 medium sized napa cabbage, shredded
1 small to medium carrot, shredded
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
Blue Dragon Sweet and Sour Sauce for dipping.

In a large skillet, heat a few Tbs of vegetable oil, over medium high heat. Add in cabbage, carrot, ginger, and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in soy sauce and cook for an additional minute. Transfer to a strainer, to let any liquids drain out.

Fill a shallow dish with warm water. Take one Blue Dragon spring roll wrapper and submerge it into the water to soften; about 10-15 seconds. Lay on a clean damp dish towel and put one heaping Tbs of cabbage mixture near the bottom of the wrapper. Fold the bottom over the filling and bring both sides into the center. Continue rolling the filling away from you, to the top of the wrapper. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

Heat 2 inches of oil in a skillet with high edges; to 375 degrees F. Gently place spring rolls into hot oil and cook for approximately 2-3 minutes, until wrapper become lightly browned. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain off excess oil and serve with Blue Dragon Sweet and Sour Sauce.

Spring Rolls #bluedragonmom -www.hunwhatsfordinner.com

Another food thought to bring prosperity is pot stickers, or dumplings; since they are shaped like little purses. I decided to make Pork and Shrimp Pot Stickers, since Hubby and I always have them when we enjoy Chinese dinners out. These were super simple to make, using wonton wrappers as the dough.

Pork and Shrimp Pot Stickers

3/4 lb boneless centre cut pork chops, trimmed of fat and cut into chunks
1 1/2 C 61/70 (small) shrimp, de-veined and shells removed
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 green onions, cut into chunks
1 Tbs fresh ginger, grated
1 Tbs sesame oil
pinch of salt
fresh ground pepper
small won ton wrappers
1- 1 1/2 C water
Blue Dragon Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce
soy sauce

Add the pork and shrimp into the bowl of a food processor, along with the ginger, garlic, green onion, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Pulse until meat is well chopped (slightly larger chunks of shrimp are ok).

Separate won ton wrappers. Place a Tbs amount of pork filling into the centre of the won ton wrapper. Wet two edges of the wrapper and fold one corner over to the opposite corner. Press seems together, folding wrapper slightly to create ruffles.

Preheat a heavy bottom skillet (with a lid) over medium heat and add in 2 Tbs of oil. Once oil ripples, place dumplings into pan, in a circular pattern, starting with the outer edge; cook for 2 minutes. Add in 1-1 1/2 C water to the skillet (the water should come to a third of the way up the dumplings) and cover. Cook until water has been absorbed and you can hear the oil sizzling in the bottom of the skillet. Remove from heat and carefully loosen dumplings from bottom of the pan. Invert pot stickers onto a serving plate and serve with soy sauce or Blue Dragon Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce.

Pork and Shrimp Pot Stickers- www.hunwhatsfordinner.com

The last dish I wanted to make was a lovely stir fry, using a fabulous Honey Teriyaki Stir Fry Sauce, from my goodie box. The kids LOVE Chinese noodles, so I decided to add some to my stir fry. Noodles after all, are said to represent a long life, when slurped up whole, without breaking.

Vegetable Stir Fry with Noodles #bluedradonmom - www.hunwhatsfordinner.com

I hope Blue Dragon and I have inspired you to try one of the many wonderful recipe found on their website, or to even try one of these recipes to bring a little Chinese New Year into your household.

Disclosure: I am part of the Blue Dragon Ambassador program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinionson this blog are my own. All rights reserved on photographs and written content Hun... What's for Dinner? © 2008 - 2014. 

This post is linked to these awesome Linky Parties

What's Cookin' Wednesday
Wonderfully Creative Wednesdays
Full Plate Thursday
Thursday Favorite Things
Create it Thursday
Bloom Designs Link Party
Lovely Ladies Linky
Get Him Fed


Marie Noelle Marineau said...

It all looks so yummy! I always thought it was complicated to make spring rolls but it finally looks like something I could do easily with your recipe!

Katrina Brady said...

Love pot stickets and spring rolls! I could eat these daily as a snack lol

Miz Helen said...

Hi Cindy,
What great dishes for bringing in the Year of The Horse. We would just love these recipes. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great weekend!
Miz Helen

Katherines Corner said...

a delicious way to welcome the new year. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop . Hope to see you sharing again this week. Big Hugs