Everyone loves dumplings, that’s just an undisputed fact. Not everyone feels confident making them from scratch though. These Cantonese Shumai are little juicy bundles of delight, they are a dim sum favorite for a reason after all, but they are also an excellent way to read more
Tag: Lunar New Year
Gung Hay Fat Choy!
Lunar New Year, one of the most important holidays in China, starts today. But don’t worry, celebrations typically last for weeks. So you have plenty of time to throw your own Lunar New Year dinner party. And no such menu would be complete without Longevity Noodles. Long strands of noodles symbolize a long life, and are served at birthday celebrations as well. There are a lot of steps to this recipe, but this is a special occasion dish. What’s a few extra steps in the pursuit of a long, healthy life? And once you dig into these Longevity Noodles, with their tangy sauce and plump shrimp, savory pork, meaty mushrooms, and crunchy toppings, you’ll know it was worth it.
Longevity Noodles Sauce
I start this recipe by whipping up a very quick, but deeply flavorful sauce. Pantry staples like oyster sauce, soy sauce, and Shaoxing wine gets stirred together with some chicken stock and set aside.
Then I move on to prepping the vegetables. Get everything ready so you can move to the stove and set up an assembly line of cooking.
Longevity Noodles Toppings
The toppings are what really set this noodle dish apart. Fried shallots and peanuts and ribbons of egg crepe add tons of flavor and texture. Because this dish has a lot of moving parts, there are some shortcuts I can recommend if you just don’t have the time or energy to go full out.
1. The egg crepe can be substituted with simple boiled eggs. I think soft fried eggs might be nice too, although casual and a little messy.
2. You can buy fried shallots in the Asian market. They come in a tub and you’ll get way more than you need so use the rest to top fried rice, noodles soups, or salads.
3. You can buy roasted peanuts instead of frying your own.
That said, I think you’ll be surprised by how much more flavorful homemade toppings can be. I don’t even really like peanuts, but straight from frying them in the pan, they were pretty great. If you find it’s too much prep work for one day, you can do things in stages. Cut up all of the veggies and start prepping some of the toppings the day before so you can focus on finishing the dish on the second day.
Once cool enough to handle, I cut the stack in half and slice them into ribbons.
It’s important to keep an eye on the shallots. Start them on higher heat and then when they start to get a light golden brown, you can turn the heat down and continue frying until they are evenly fried and a nice bronze color.
Likewise, you want to watch the peanuts carefully. When they have a hint of color and you think you want to leave them for a couple more minutes-Don’t! Take them out. The peanuts are so hot they will count to brown off heat so don’t leave them in the oil too long.
Now that the toppings are done it’s time to make the pork sauce. First I put on a big pot of water because by the time it’s boiling, the pork will be done and it will be time to cook the noodles and shrimp and assemble our Longevity Noodles.
The Shrimp and Noodles
Now we are in the home stretch. At this point your water should be boiling, and we’ll turn off the heat and quickly cook the shrimp in it. This is the perfect way to cook plump and juicy shrimp-indirect heat. Shrimp is so delicate and cooks so quickly, it’s not necessary to hit it with a ton of heat. Gentle cooking is the best way.
Then scoop them out and set aside, and bring the water back to a boil. I know there are an endless variety of noodles in an Asian market. We want long, thin wheat ones for Longevity Noodles. Often you’ll find them just for the occasion, in lucky red boxes. However, I included somen as an option, which is a thin Japanese noodle. It’s similar to the long life noodles and will work if you cannot find the other ones.
Because they are so thin, they cook in under a minute! As soon as the noodles float to the surface, they are ready. After draining them, I give them a quick rinse to remove excess starch. Then I add the toasted sesame oil, coating each strand. This gives extra flavor but also keeps the strands from clumping up.
Now it’s time to assemble! Pour the pork sauce over the noodles, and garnish with all the delicious toppings!
Longevity Noodles are so special and festive, try them for your next celebration! Long life is as good a reason as any to indulge in a big platter of noodles, right? Let me know what you think of them by rating and commenting on the recipe below, and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love seeing your creations!
- 4 Tablespoons oyster sauce
- 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 Tablespoons shaoxing wine
- ½ cup chicken stock
- ½ cup neutral oil
- 3 large shallots
- 5 Tablespoons raw peanuts (with the skins)
- 3 eggs
- 2 scallions, minced
- 8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms
- ½ large yellow onion
- 1 pound ground pork
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 Tablespoon water
- 8 pieces of large shrimp (I used 21/25 size)
- 300 grams ultra thin wheat noodles (about 10 ounces)
- ½ Tablespoon sesame oil
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Make the sauce:
- Combine the oyster sauce, soy sauce, shaoxing wine, and chicken stock in a small bowl.
- Stir to combine and set aside.
Prep the vegetables:
- Cut the stems off of the shiitakes and discard. Slice the mushrooms and set aside.
- Slice the onions thin and set aside.
- Trim, peel, and slice the shallots paper thin.
Prep the Toppings:
- Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk to scramble them. Set aside.
- Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat for a couple minutes. Take a paper towel and crumple it. Dip it into the neutral oil and wipe the inside of the pan with the oil.
- Add 2 Tablespoons of the egg to the pan and swirl it to cover the bottom of the pan. Keep swirling until you don’t have any more liquid egg to swirl.
- Cover the pan with a lid and cook the egg for 20 seconds and then take the lid off.
- Blow onto the egg. (The edge will lift up). Flip the egg with chopsticks or a spatula and cook the other side for another couple of seconds.
- Transfer the egg crepe to a plate.
- Continue cooking in the same way until all of the egg is used up and you have a pile of egg crepes. Set the plate aside to cool.
- Heat a small skillet over medium high heat for several minutes with the oil in the pan.
- Test the oil with a piece of shallot. If it sizzles, add the rest of the shallots. If not, heat the oil for another minute or two before adding the shallots.
- Use a pair of tongs or chopsticks to separate the shallots into individual rings. Cook the shallots for 3-4 minutes until starting to get golden. Then, turn the heat to medium and continue cooking until a deep golden brown, another minute or two.
- (If the shallots start to turn dark too soon, turn the heat down or take the pan off of the heat for the rest of the cooking time).
- Transfer the shallots onto some paper towels with a slotted spoon, leaving the oil in the pan.
- Add the peanuts to the shallot oil and heat the pan over medium low heat for about 5 minutes until the nuts are golden in color.
- Transfer the peanuts with a slotted spoon onto some paper towels and set aside.
- Reserve the oil.
- Bring 3 quarts of water to boil in a pot over high heat. Then put a lid on the pot and lower the heat to medium.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat for several minutes. Add 1 Tablespoon of the reserved peanut oil and add the ground pork. Let the pork cook for 2 minutes untouched before using a spatula to break up the meat. Continue cooking for a minute.
- Add the shiitake mushrooms and stir to combine.
- Next, add the onions and the garlic and cook for another 3-4 minutes until the pork is fully cooked.
- Add the sauce and cook for another 3-4 mins. until the sauce has reduced a little and the onions are tender.
- Add the cornstarch and stir quickly to incorporate.
- Cook the sauce for another minute to thicken.
- Set aside the pan while you boil the noodles.
Shrimp and Noodles:
- Take the lid off of your pot and make sure that your pot of water is boiling. Add the shrimp, turn off the heat, and let the shrimp sit in the water for 2 minutes to cook. Scoop the shrimp out and set aside.
- Return the water to a boil and add the noodles and cook them for approximately 40 seconds to 1 minute. As soon as the noodles float to the surface, they are cooked. If you’re not sure, take a quick taste.
- Drain the noodles in a colander in the sink, rinse with running water to remove excess noodle starch, and then shake the colander to make sure you have eliminated as much water as possible.
- Add the sesame oil to the noodles and mix well to coat the strands. Transfer the noodles to a large serving platter and spread them out a little.
- Pour the meat sauce over the noodles. Garnish the noodles with the egg crepe, peanuts, fried shallots and scallions. Put the shrimp around the noodles or group them on one area of the dish.
- Serve Longevity Noodles immediately.
*This dish has many steps but it’s a celebration dish which requires a little more time and care. If you would like to cut down on some of the steps, here are some suggestions:
- You can substitute the egg crepe with simple soft boiled eggs. Simmer the eggs on medium heat for 8 minutes. Cool under running water and then peel and cut the eggs in half.
- Buy toasted peanuts and skip cooking them yourself.
- You can also buy ready to use fried shallots at an asian market. They come in a container and can be used as a topping for other noodle dishes, fried rices, etc.
*The remaining oil can be used for any of your cooking needs.
Keywords: lunar new year, good luck, long life, noodles,
It’s always fun getting to celebrate New Years multiple times, but especially this year. Who doesn’t want to say goodbye to 2020 at least twice? The Chinese Lunar New Year fell on the February 12th this year, but celebrations last up to 16 days. So, plenty of time to make and enjoy these Chinese Almond Cookies! These almond cookies are buttery and delicious, and easy to make. Almond cookies are a traditional Chinese treat, and they symbolize prosperity and good luck, two things we could all use this year.
Where’s the Almond Love?
I love almonds, especially the bitter almond flavor, which is commonly found in marzipan, but can be a very difficult flavor to find in the US. We just don’t use it enough. Come on people, give it a try. You’ll love it! It’s a little floral, a little sweet, and has the most amazing haunting aroma. Everyone already loves almond milk and almond flour. This is the just the next step.
Seriously though, these cookies will blow your mind with sheer almondness (yes, it’s a word) because we pack three different kinds of almonds in the recipe. The almond flour gives the cookies a nutty crispness, the almond extract lends that marzipany (yes this too is a word) flavor, and the slivered almonds on top impart a lovely crunchy texture.
I don’t bake that often, but when I do, I want good fool proof recipes. My Chinese Almond Cookies are a very straightforward recipe, and I’ve made them dozens of times, so I know the recipe works.
Let’s Get Baking
First things first. Even though I don’t bake often, I’ve learned some tricks over time to make sure I get the most consistent results. Baking is different from cooking in that you often can’t tell how something is going to turn out until it’s in the oven. And it’s very rare that you can “save” a disaster. Nothing is more upsetting than wasting time and money and seeing uneaten food end up in the garbage. So in order to avoid unnecessary risk, I make every attempt to follow a couple golden rules.
Some Tips For A Consistent Bake
First make sure your butter and egg are at room temperature. And do not confuse room temperature with warm. You should be able to push into the butter but it should not be a so soft it’s starting to melt. If I’m in a rush, I will often chop up my butter so it warms up a little faster. Do not warm butter in the microwave. It’s much better to start off with slightly cool butter rather than a melty glop. If your egg is cold, put it in a small glass with warm water for 10 minutes and it will be ready to go.
Next, measure out your ingredients. I always weigh everything, because the scale doesn’t lie and you’ll never end up using more or less of an ingredient. But many people don’t bother and use the scoop method. If that’s the case for you, make sure you stir the flour a bit before scooping and then take a butter knife and level the scoop by running it across the top. Never pack the flour down with your hand or scoop against the side of a container-you’ll end up scooping way too much flour and your results with be leaden and disappointing.
Check Expiration Dates
Additionally, make sure to check that the baking soda and baking powder aren’t expired. If you bake infrequently, you may be surprised to find that your baking soda is six months past its prime. If you’ve found your baked goods refusing to rise or they aren’t as airy as before, this is the first thing you should check.
Nuts are highly perishable, which is why I usually keep them in the freezer. The natural oils in them will turn and you can end up with bitter off-tasting nuts if they’re past their prime. I use slivered almonds in this recipe because I like having a shower of nuts on top so each bite has a crunch. If your slivered almonds are raw, make sure to toast them in a low oven (say 300 degrees for 10-12 minutes), keeping a close eye on them so they don’t burn.
Once your ingredients are ready, the recipe is a straightforward cookie recipe- mix the flours and powders in one bowl, cream the butter and sugar in another, then add the dry ingredients to the wet ones, and bake off. You can also freeze the dough, either as balls or roll the dough in plastic wrap to form a log. Voila, you now have your very own slice and bake cookies ready whenever you want a little something sweet.
These make about 18-20 large cookies. You can of course make them smaller, just adjust your baking time accordingly. I like them a deep golden around the edges because I think it brings out the nutty flavor better. If you prefer softer chewy cookies, put them in the oven for a couple minutes less. Chinese New Year Cookies last several days in an airtight container, though that’s never an issue in my house.
For your own Chinese New Year’s party, serve with Hainanese Chicken, Pork Potstickers, and Fried Spring Rolls. While you’re celebrating the end of 2020 (again), be sure to rate this recipe and leave a comment down below, and of course show off your gorgeous Chinese Almond Cookies by tagging us in your insta pics @funkyasiankitchen.
- 6.75 ounces (1 ½ cups) of all purpose flour
- 5 ounces (1 ½ cups) blanched almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces butter (1 cup) softened to room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces)
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds
- 1 ½ teaspoons almond extract
- 1 egg yolk, whisked with a fork
- Preheat the oven to 350 and move the oven rack to the middle shelf.
- Whisk together the flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt in bowl and set aside.
- In a stand up mixer or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer, cream the softened butter and sugar with the paddle attachment on medium high speed (#6 or #8 on stand mixer) until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes, stopping and scraping the butter down a couple of times to make sure it is evenly whipped.
- Add the egg and the almond extract and mix in until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Your mixture should look like creamy, thick buttercream.
- Add the flour mixture and mix on the lowest setting until the dough just comes together, about 30 seconds. If there is a little bit of flour left unincorporated, you can mix it in by hand.
- Scoop out the dough with a cookie/ice cream scoop and place them on a non-stick or parchment-lined baking sheet. I use a generous 3 tablespoon scoop, which makes nice oversized cookies. (If you want to use a smaller scoop, bake the cookies for a couple of minutes less.) You should yield about 20 cookies.
- Flatten the dough with the bottom of a glass. (I put a piece of plastic wrap under the glass first to keep the cookie dough from adhering to the glass.)
- Use a pastry brush (or a fork) and brush the cookies with the egg wash and then sprinkle the cookies with the slivered almonds.
- Bake the cookies for 14-16 minutes until the cookies are a light golden brown around the edges. If you’re making smaller cookies, decrease the cooking time by 2-4 minutes.
- Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and let them cool completely before storing them in a container. The cookies will keep fresh for several days.
*Make sure if you are scooping the flour, to stir the flour first and then scoop and level it off with a straight edge, like a butter knife.
*I’ve cooked these cookies for various amounts of time and decided the buttery flavor is best when there is a deep golden color around the edges. But this cookie is very forgiving and tastes good at all stages, soft and a little undercooked, a little golden, and deeply browned.
*This cookie dough freezes well. Scoop and then flatten the balls of dough. Freeze them on a tray in one layer until hard. Then put them in a freezer bag. When you are ready to bake, brush the tops with egg yolk and sprinkle with nuts. You will need to cook them for a couple minutes longer but you can bake them straight from the freezer.