Thursday, 30 January 2014

D is for Dipping Sauce

It's Chinese New Year in a couple of days and, as usual, I'm having my family over for a feast.

Lots of my traditional dishes will be served as we wish each other Kung Hei Fat Choi: cheers, luck and a wonderful future. In China, the (simplified) characters are pronounced Gong Xi Fa Cai.

But I always cheat and buy in a couple of dishes.  It just makes life easier.

One of my favourites is Xiao Long Bao (little dragon buns) which are pork dumplings in soup all in a thin rice encasing.  They're not difficult to make but they are very time consuming.  So I arrange frozen dumplings onto a disk of greaseproof paper in a bamboo steamer and steam as per the packet.  You traditionally serve them with black rice vinegar to cut through the slightly fatty pork, but I use my own dipping sauce.

Another dish I buy in is spring rolls.  Tesco do some great mini ones in the freezer section which can be bunged in the oven.  Much healthier than frying them traditionally.

These are served with the same dipping sauce as the Xiao Long Bao.  This is very simple: just mix up equally quantities of black rice (Chinkiang) vinegar and light soy sauce in a small bowl.  I then chop off three very thin slices from a red chili and float on the top.

And just as I was about to publish, I spotted this on the internet.  Very appropriate given the year!  May the Horse be with you!

© Disney

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