Happy Lunar New Year in Italy!

To my knowledge I have only about 1/8th chinese DNA coursing through my veins so the idea of celebrating the new lunar year was based on one thing and one thing alone: FOOD. Is there any better reason? Well, maybe the dragon dance and 10,000 firecrackers going off all at once but that’ll have to wait until I can afford a trip to Beijing. The only option left to me was to cook at least one or two dishes having the symbolic connotations that tradition wants, set the table, pop open a beer and dig in. Kung Hei Fat Choi!

The fixings

Alesmith’s IPA lives up to their “it’s pretty awesome” motto. Sweet, fruity, citrusy, crisp flavor went really well with the spicy dishes. For starters I made these deluxe lettuce wraps filled with fried rice, hoisin & 5-spice duck breast, toasted peanuts seasoned with Halen Môn vanilla salt, fresh cilantro, fresh mint and fresh lime juice squeezed all over the contents. It was sooooooo goooooood! It was also messy, but that’s the beauty of finger (hand) food. I will be making this again. Thank you MotH for being such a good hand model poser.

Duck & fried rice lettuce wrap

I know that noodles signify long life and used soba noodles to guarantee that I’ll be cooking for as long as the MotH will eat my food. The sliced duck meat to the right was marinated in hoisin, chinese 5-spice, shoyu and garlic. Yummy.

Noodles and duck

Whole fish for prosperity. These are rather small sea bass (8 oz each) that I stuffed with thin slices of fresh ginger and green onions before wrapping in foil and baking. I tried to do the sizzling sesame oil trick but I guess the oil wasn’t sizzling enough when I poured it over the baked fish. It was still very delicious though!

Steamed sea bass

Chinese Duk Boki with cuttlefish, carrots, daikon, napa cabbage and shiitake mushrooms. Now I know that duk boki is supposed to be a spicy korean rice cake dish but the rice shapes that I used weren’t the cylindrical ones that everyone seems to have in their recipes. I have chinese dried white rice slices and they are flat, hard, oblong shapes that need to be soaked overnight in cold water before you can even use them. Recipe to follow. We ended the meal with tangerines which was about all I could eat after so much rice and noodles.

Cuttlefish duk boki

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