Gung hay fat choy! Or Happy New Year in Cantonese. This year the Chinese lunar new year starts on Saturday 28 January and celebrations carry on to 15 February 2017. Chinese New Year starts the year of the rooster. New year is a time to spend with your family and celebrate with food and feasts.
Traditional Chinese new year meals can be symbolic and include dumplings, spring rolls, fish, rice balls, sweet glutinous rice cakes and lots more delectables. I adore tofu and spices so developed this Ma Po Tofu dish to be gluten free and vegan (and easy to make at home).
Ma Po Tofu is (probably not a traditional Chinese New Year dish but it is) a wonderful main dish served with Perfect Plain Rice and you can also go crazy with other favourites.
I am lucky enough to live close to several Chinese and Vietnamese supermarket but even then many of the base or key ingredients in dishes I know I would love are not gluten free or vegan. Spicy bean paste, dumplings, spring roll wrappers, soya sauce, miso, kimchi etc. So I work out with what I have – which is quite a lot really. Not totally authentic but pretty good.
I am still reading The Art of Fermentation* by Sandor Ellix Katz and day-dreaming about fermenting my own kimchi, sauerkraut, kombu etc… Still very much in the fantasty rather than planning world but I will get to it. I will need to work out where to store the fermenting beauties but that is for another day.