Gung Hay Fat Choi! The lunar new year is here, a colorful and joyful celebration of the year ahead, that is observed by nearly 1/6 of the world’s people. It is an excellent time to enjoy great food while ringing in the year to come.
In 2017, Chinese New Year brings us the year of the Red Fire Rooster which is predicted to be full of energy, impatience, pride, and ambition…
- The Rooster can be self-confident and vain, so first impressions count. Look your best and show off your best qualities in matters concerning love and money.
- Stay focused on your goals, and work hard to acheive them. Short cuts and risks won’t pay off, but resolve, diligence, and commitment will get you where you want to go.
- The Rooster is also very punctual, so the new year will help you finish any projects you have been putting off. The Rooster also represents commitment, loyalty, fidelity and trust
Chinese New Year, or the Spring Festival, is a very important holiday for Chinese culture and there are many traditions to celebrate the new year. People will start the new year with a clean house, a new hair cut and new clothes. The dragon dance, color red, and fireworks are all important aspects believed to drive away the evil spirits.
Small red envelopes filled with lucky money and mandarin oranges representing gold and money are given as gifts to friends and relatives. For the same reason, Chinese spring rolls represent bars of gold and are traditionally enjoyed during the Chinese New Year.
This recipe for homemade baked vegetable spring rolls is easy to make, and can be customized with your favorite vegetables and fillings. They are great on Chinese New Year, or on any night you want to enjoy your favorite asian dishes with some delicious crispy vegetable spring rolls to start!
- 1 tbsp sesame oil / olive oil
- ½ cup diced onions or scallions
- 1 c julienned carrots, 1-2 carrots
- 3 c shredded cabbage
- (Optional) 1 cup chopped apple, bean sprouts or mushrooms
- 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- (Optional) 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
- 1 package of spring roll or egg roll wrappers
- ¼ cup water
- 1-2 tsp sambal oelek (Malaysian or Indonesian hot sauce)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup or sweetener
- pinch of garlic and ginger powder
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 390 F./200 C.
- Heat up a large wok or cast iron frying pan, and add sesame or olive oil.
- Saute the onion for a few minutes until translucent.
- Add in the carrots for another few minutes, and then the cabbage and optional apple, sprouts or mushroom.
- Stir fry together until tender and fragrant.
- Season with Tamari or soy sauce, and optional Chinese 5 spice powder.
- Allow the filling to cool on a baking tray.
- Defrost the spring roll or egg roll wrappers, and keep covered with a very damp cloth so they don't dry out.
- Place the wrapper in front of you in the shape of a diamond.
- Place 2 tablespoons of filling in the center of the wrapper.
- Lift the corner closest to you and fold towards the middle.
- Fold in the left and right corners, creating a straight tight crease along the sides
- Roll the wrapper up tightly and place it seam side down. You can use a small amount of water to seal the packages if needed.
- Brush lightly with olive oil and bake for 5-7 minutes on each side, until golden and crisp.
- Mix all the ingredients together in a small sauce pan or microwavable bowl.
- Heat on the stove top until bubbling or microwave for 1-2 minutes.
- Stir again and set aside to cool. The sauce will thicken as it cools.
A large wok or cast iron pan is great for making stir-frys. Cooking times may take longer in smaller pans.
Happy New Year & Gung Hay Fat Choy!