Happy Lunar New Year!
According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2015, the year of the sheep will bring me an outpouring of inspiration and support from nice people. It has also been predicted that my workload will be heavier compared to last year. Being the type of person who thrives on being busy, I will welcome this openly. I can't wait if this is what this year has in stall for me.
This year, celebrations for Lunar New Year also happens to fall on my birthday, which means double the celebrations, and lots more food and drink to be had all weekend. I would normally head to my parent’s house for a huge banquet, and when I say huge I mean HUGE. My mum always cooks more food than necessary and I end up with boxes of takeaway food to last me for a week. There would be crab, hot pot, Vietnamese curry, and other vegetable dishes to accompany the main meals. We would then proceed to visit the Buddhist temple, give our food offerings, say a prayer and then visit our relatives where more food and sweets are consumed. It is on these occasions that I’m reminded of how important food is in bringing people together. It’s the glue that binds us together as a family.
I’ll be making my own banquet but on a smaller scale. To be precise, a banquet for two. I love a roast, especially a home cooked chicken roast. I decided to add some Asian flavours to celebrate the festivities. With a side serving of sweet potato and potato mash mixed together with a sprinkling of spring onions (scallions), and blanched bok choy it was the perfect comfort meal I needed.
Wishing you all a prosperous, healthy and happy 2015.
1.5 kg free range chicken
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp grated ginger
2 tbsp mince garlic
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp pepper
Combine the soy sauce, lemon juice, sesame oil, honey, grated ginger, ground ginger, garlic, pepper in a large bowl to make the marinade.
Add the chicken to the bowl with the marinade. Cover and allow to marinade preferably over night. Turn the chicken over in the bowl occasionally.
Preheat the oven to 180º/350ºF/Gas Mark 4. Place the chicken on a rack and roast for 1.5 hours. Use the excess marinade left over in the bowl to baste the chicken every 15-30 mins. Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Here are some other food inspirations for the Lunar New Year festivities:
Scallion Biscuits with Lap Cheong Gravy to kick start the celebrations in the morning.
How about this Mushroom Asian Salad as an accompaniment to the meal?
You can't go wrong with these dumplings.
No meal would be complete without a cocktail like these Grapefruit & Lemongrass Cocktails.
But if you prefer something non-alcoholic you could try these Lemongrass Mint Spritzers.
And this Matcha Green Tea Cake with Black Sesame Frosting & Brittle for dessert. Yum!