Happy Lunar New Year Greetings in the 2018 Year of the Dog!
Have you eaten all of your symbolic lucky foods yet?
Observing annual tradition, we headed down to Philadelphia Chinatown early in the day just in time to join the walking parade of Dragon Dancers winding their way through the narrow streets. The Dragon Dancer groups working in teams make frequent interval stops at the local businesses setting off multiple blasts of very noisy firecrackers to insure the chasing away of any evil spirits in the upcoming year.
Following our first segment of Dragon Dancers before catching up with them again later at another section of the perimeter we stopped off at the Hand Drawn Noodle Shop for hot and spicy bowls of noodle soup, aka in this season, happiness and longevity noodles. Feeling full and satisfied from our long, doughy slurps did not deter our continued mission however, of stopping at the busy bakery a half block down for the proposed higher income glutinous rice cakes along with warm, fried, sweet rice balls coated with sesame seeds and filled with a sweet red paste for togetherness.
On the same street sits the Duck House where I always ‘duck’ in and order up my whole crispy Peking Duck right off the rack hanging in the window. Bang, bang, bang, they deftly split then chop up the pieces into legs and bite sized rectangular shapes, with no head attached, or that’s always my given choice for ordering.
And then, before my grandson the J-Dude went to see his other new grandparents and don the outfits purchased by them for all of the children in the family for their Tet celebration photo, we enjoyed a plate of steamy hot seasoned Chinese Broccoli. Chinese Broccoli which besides happiness, health, and liveliness, is also symbolic to provide good luck with lots of green money in the upcoming year. The Dude returned from the family Tet celebration with a stack totalling one-hundred green ones so I can only think that these lucky food observations really work.
It’s easy. Prepare Chinese Broccoli.
Gong Xi Fa Cai.
Gong Hey Fat Choi.
Happy Lunar New Year 2018. The Year of the Dog.
- 1 pound Chinese Broccoli, approximately
- 1 large clove garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry
- pinch sugar
- Blend garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine and sugar in a small bowl, stir well to dissolve sugar.
- Remove only the thickest bottom part of the woody stems from the broccoli (around a half to one inch) keeping the rest of the stems intact.
- Drop Chinese Broccoli into a pot of salted boiling water, cook for one and a half to two minutes, drain.
- Heat a wok or large sized saute pan on very high heat, pour in sauce, stir quickly until heated through. Tumble in the cooked broccoli, toss throughout to evenly coat with sauce, continue to cook a minute or two on high heat until piping throughout, transfer to a serving platter, serve straight away.