Today, January 31st, marks the beginning of the celebration of Chinese New Year. Families around the world will gather for meals, gifts of money in red envelopes and decorations. We have Chinese families, living in my neighbourhood, and you can see the smile on their faces today.
Did you know that Chinese New Year has been celebrated for about 4,700 years? And that if you were born in 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002 or 2014 it is your year! This year is the Year of the Horse and horse people are popular, cheerful, kind, talkative and hardworking.
If you want to experience the tradition, hear the fire crackers, Ottawa Chinatown will have the Lunar New Year Lion Dance Parade on February 8 at 1 pm. An event not to be missed.
Flower arrangements and food hold a significant place for many Chinese during the celebrations. What do Chinese eat for Wealth and Prosperity? Tangerines, Tray of Togertherness, Long Noodles, Nian Gao, Pomelo, Whole Fish, Jiaozi, Dried Oysters, Lion's Head Meatballs and Lettuce Wraps. The word for lettuce sounds like rising fortune in Cantonese.
And to celebrate Chinese New Year I prepared Lettuce Wraps. Everyone in the family can make their own lettuce wraps. My family enjoyed this dish and I will not wait for next Lunar New Year to make it again.
Gong hey fat choy!
Asian Lettuce Wraps
500g lean ground pork
1 jar Sweet & Sour Stir Fry Sauce like Blue Dragon
15 ml sesame oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
10 ml fresh ground ginger
2 green onions, minced
15 ml fresh lime juice
250 ml cooked rice
Cilantro to taste
2- Add the garlic, the jalapeno, green onion, fresh lime juice and ground ginger. Cook one minute.
3- Add one jar of Sweet & Sour Stir Fry Sauce. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
4- To assemble, take one Boston lettuce piece. Top with 15 ml to 30 ml of rice. Top with 30 ml of the pork mixture. Top with one cucumber piece and cilantro. Wrap and eat!