Sunday, February 18, 2007

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

To all I wish “Peace and Prosperity” in the Chinese New Year of the Pig. Tonight we celebrated with a contemporary twist to traditional dishes. We began with a trip to the Asian Supermarket for a few ingredients and plans to watch some of the festivities it was hosting. It was so well attended I could hardly get into the parking lot! So I didn’t get to see any dancing or martial arts demos, but since I had my camera, I thought I would share some pictures of the market I brag about all the time. Although there wasn't a cloud in the sky, it was super windy and cold.



Sorry about the close-up of the cart bin in the next shot. There are 3 more wings this size in the center, with 7 restaurants and various retail shops.

My menu selections for tonight were based on foods that symbolize health, prosperity, happiness, good fortune, and family unity. Chase and I are interested in neither fertility nor longevity. In fact, I specifically avoided the fertility foods – yikes! Our main course was Jai, or Buddha’s Delight, symbolizing happiness, prosperity, and purification. The stirfry included tofu, broccoli, shitakes, bamboo shoots, carrots, bok choy, water chestnuts, green beans, snow peas, and peanuts.


The Jai was served with jasmine rice with green onions, wakame, and almonds, which symbolizes harmony and good luck.



And baked spring rolls filled with broccoli slaw, red pepper, and daikon radish. Spring rolls symbolize wealth.



For dessert I tried my hand at a recipe I found at Vegalicious – Rice Balls with a Chocolate Heart and an orange sauce. Rice balls symbolize family unity and happiness, and oranges symbolize good luck and prosperity. A day before, I prepared the rice and decided to use the Chocolove Bar that had been in my pantry over a year. It’s so good. I can’t believe I didn’t eat it for all that time! Can you see the little heart in each square?



The rice balls were a little difficult to form, especially after I shoved the chocolate into them. I rolled them in panko crumbs, then set them in the fridge. After dinner, I prepared the sauce and fried the rice balls. These were quite difficult to work with. First I should say I really suck at frying. Two balls fell apart as I was frying them. In the meantime the sauce had jelled and was no longer a syrup. But here is what I ended up with, not much like the photo at Vegalicious!



The taste was nice, especially the chocolate. And the orange with the chocolate tasted a lot better than I had anticipated. I should have taken the easy and foolproof route and made a rice pudding with orange juice and chocolate chunks. Plus my house smells like fried stuff, which I really really don’t like.

If you have a holiday tomorrow, I hope you enjoy your time off. Even though the courthouses are closed, the law firms will be hard at work!

21 comments:

Harmonia said...

What a post! Good grub! lol! Everything looks great! LOVE the market pics, too!

Candi said...

Lucky you! I love the shop! It looks like such a nice day out, though in reality it was cold!

I laughed out loud at your line: In fact, I specifically avoided the fertility foods – yikes! LOL!!

Everything looks great. Dessert is so fancy! I love the hearts in the chocolate!

springsandwells said...

What a super neato post!

I wanted to do something special for the Year of the Pig, but I didn't get around to it until a bit too late in the day. It's great that you have such a great asian market. Lucky you!

I love your various ingredients and everything they represent. :) I'm with you on avoiding the fertility foods. hee hee.

Also, your comment "I suck at frying" cracked me up. I do too! I think that I suck at it because my heart is never in it. I am always feeling grossed out by frying things... so somehow they always turn out terribly. Sigh!

Happy Year of the Pig! Oink!

laura jesser said...

Wow, how neat! It's too bad that you didn't get to see the festivities at the Asian market--that would have been cool. Next time, right? The rice balls for dessert look fantastic and different. And I LOVE Chocolove bars--they're my favorite.

Vivacious Vegan said...

Happy New Year! I like your menu selections and I too would passon the fertility foods but I'm curious about the omission of longevity.

Your Asian market looks wonderful. Mine is 45 minutes away and is a tiny hole in the wall.

Vivacious Vegan said...

Happy New Year! I like your menu selections and I too would passon the fertility foods but I'm curious about the omission of longevity.

Your Asian market looks wonderful. Mine is 45 minutes away and is a tiny hole in the wall.

Kati said...

Happy Year of the Pig! Your feast looks wonderful. I can't believe what a huge Asian market you have - lucky you!

aTxVegn said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone.

Amey, I don't mind that I can't fry. My heart's not in it either and that's okay.

Laura, the market hosts local events all the time. It's such a fun place to hang out, and there's an asian sandwich shop that I am really intrigued by. I need to see if it has anything vegan.

Crystal, about longevity. Chase and I discovered some time ago during a casual discussion that we just don't desire to live to a record-setting age. We're not ready to leave yet, but we figure maybe 80 is long enough to hang around. I know there's a book out now by John Robins, How to Live to be 100, I think. Totally not interested. Maybe that's another weird thing about me!

Midwest Vegan said...

This should be your year since it's the year of the pig! I'm a rat. I am so envious of your Asian market. Wow - what a place! Your meal looks beautiful and a great way to start the Chinese new year.

Urban Vegan said...

Happy New Year! Looks like you're bound for good fortune with all that lucky, yummy food.

erica said...

Why am I looking at food blogs, today of all days?! (when I'm fasting, I mean). Your stir fry looks way better than my ginger apple juice. Really, I love bamboo shoots. There's this "Lover's Eggplant" a Chinese place here Portland does that is absolutely amazing, chock-full of onion and bamboo shoots. Mmm

Emmy said...

Happy Chinese New Year :) That store is huge! How lucky to have such a wonderful resource nearby. Buddha's Delight is one my favorite things and yours looks great. Especially with that yummy rice.

Dori said...

I'm impressed that someone can keep good chocolate around a whole year! The hearts on the op of that are perfect for February!

The cart coral, oh ah (just kidding). :)

Bakehouse Dori

Twisted Cinderella said...

That looks wonderful! Mmmmm . . . yummy!

bazu said...

Happy new year to you too! What great food. Those rice balls look especially intriguing.
I also enjoyed reading about your Nu Age meal in your last post. I'm embarrassed to say the dessert picture was the one that really got me. Oh la la, that cake...

scottishvegan said...

Wow! There’s no way I could keep a bar of chocolate in my house for over a year...over an hour maybe!! He he!!

KleoPatra said...

Everything looks SO good! Wow! Happy year of the chazar (pig in Hebrew) to you!!

i'm so all about spring rolls... i could eat 'em ALL the time. The ones you have here are lovely, truly!

Melody said...

Lovely feast!

Nikki said...

What gorgeous food! Those rice balls are truly tempting!

funwithyourfood said...

Richard bought me a WHOLE BOX of assorted choco-love bars as a gift once. they are aweessoomme.

Teddy

Cute Ass said...

womp womp wooooomp! booooring! i was looking for foods that symbolize unity....not just rice and fatteing weird food....u must be fat!