In the Chinese calendar 2016 has just been heralded in as The Year of the Monkey. No better time for me to share an Asian inspired recipe. Chinese New Year lasts for 15 days and it's timing is dictated by the lunar calendar, thus it falls on a different date each year. Also known as The Spring Festival it is the most important holiday on the Chinese Calendar. The celebration is older than even the Great Wall itself! Upon checking the Chinese Zodiac it turns out that myself and my husband are both Rats, my Daughter is Monkey and son a Horse. Apparently despite it being my daughter's year it's a sign of bad luck not good and she needs to deck herself out in the auspicious colour of red to avoid offending Tai Sui, the God of Age in her Zodiac year.
There has been a wonderful three part series on the BBC this past week "Chinese New Year : The Biggest Celebration on Earth" If you missed it I'd urge you to catch up on iPlayer while you can. It provides a wonderful insight into this massive annual celebration and the three episodes cover migration, reunion and celebration. I was enthralled by the stunning Harbin Ice and Snow Festival and amazing fireworks and dashuhua displays and fascinated by traditions such as ice swimming and family portraits. The Hairy Bikers Si and Dave covered the food side of the celebrations in their own inimitable style and had my mouth watering. Would you believe that a sixth of the wolds population travel home to be with their families for Chinese New Year? It really is the world's biggest party.
My Asian Kale, Noodle and Coconut Broth is super quick and easy to make and shows that there's a lot more to Chinese cookery than the same boring old stir fry or the monosodium glutamate heavy dishes of the local takeaway. Once all the prep is done you can have it on the table in less than 10 minutes. There are no complicated specialty ingredients required so you can feel confident in tackling the recipe with products from Blue Dragon. The base of the broth is the holy trinity of Chinese cooking - spring onion, garlic and ginger and it's spiced up with red chili and ground coriander and then cooled down with coconut milk and seasoned with soy sauce. There's a real freshness about it's flavour and whilst I've kept it vegetarian, meat eaters could add chicken, salmon or prawns.
Asian Kale, Noodle & Coconut Broth
1 Tsp Blue Dragon Sesame Oil
Thumb sized piece of Fresh Ginger, peeled and very finely chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, peeled and crushed
1 Red Chili, de-seeded. Half sliced, half finely chopped
1 Carrot very finely diced
1Tsp Ground Coriander
4 Spring Onions, sliced
100g Kale, hard stems removed and finely sliced
2 Nests (approx 100g) Blue Dragon Medium Egg Noodles
1200ml Stock made with 2 Vegetable Stock Cubes
1 Tin Blue Dragon Coconut Milk (400ml)
3 Tbsp Blue Dragon Light Soy Sauce
White & Black Sesame Seeds
Put the sesame oil in a large pan and fry the ginger, garlic, chopped chili, carrot, coriander and three of the spring onions. (Keep aside the forth spring onion and half sliced chili for garnish)
Cook for 3-4 minutes until softened.
Add the kale, noodles and stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Pour in the coconut milk and gently warm through. Season with Soy Sauce.
Serve topped with the reserved spring onion, red chili and sprinkle with white and black sesame seeds.
For further #MagicineveryMeal inspiration from dishes featuring Blue Dragon products take a look at the recipes below from some of my blogging colleagues. Gong Hey Fat Choy!
King Prawn & Salmon Crispy Won Tons - Emily's Recipes and Reviews
Sweet and Spicy Belly Pork (Hong Shao Rou) - Supper in the Suburbs
Spicy Sesame & Edamame Noodles With Black Bean Tenderstem - The Veg Space
Disclosure: This is a commissioned post for the Foodies100 Chinese New Year recipe challenge sponsored by Blue Dragon. The range of Blue Dragon products is available in all major supermarkets at an RRP from £0.69. To find out more, visit www.BlueDragon.co.uk