Thursday marks the start of Chinese New Year! This year, we celebrate the Year of the Sheep. I grew up celebrating Chinese New Year with many traditions, but I hate to admit since I moved out of my parents’ place and coupled with the fact that Kyle is not Chinese, I don’t practice a lot of those traditions anymore. I remember visiting friends and relatives door to door, in our brand new red outfits, gifts in hand to wish them many good fortunes and in return, receiving red pockets.
As we begin to think about starting a family of our own in the not so distant future, I’d really like to introduce some of those Chinese traditions back into our home. The beauty of being a interracial relationship is that we get the privilege of learning and sharing each other’s cultures. Living in a multicultural city such as Toronto also gives us many opportunities to observe other traditions. That’s one of the reasons why I love this city so much!
If my experience seems all too familiar to you, or you’d simply like to enjoy a delicious recipe, I hope you’ll join me in celebrating Chinese New Year with this fabulous New Year Rice Cake Pasta.
- 4 pieces T&T® Shiitake Mushrooms
- 2 pieces lean pork and/or chicken sausages (lap-cheung)
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 tsp chopped garlic
- 1 tsp chopped ginger (optional, I don’t like ginger so omitted this from my recipe)
- 1 cup yellow beans cut in half
- 1 small red pepper cut in strips
- 1 package of New Year Rice Cakes
- 1 tbsp T&T® teriyaki sauce
- 1 tbsp T&T® soy sauce
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- green onions to garnish
Step by Step
1. Bring water and rice cakes to boil, 2-3 minutes. Depending on the packaging, you will need to separate the rice cake pieces apart.
2. Rinse and soak the T&T® Shiitake Mushrooms in 1 cup hot water for 30 to 45 minutes in advance, or until mushrooms are softened completely.
3. Remove the mushroom caps and julienne.
4. Halve the pork and/or chicken sausages horizontally, then julienned diagonally. (Can be substituted by carrots or onion)
5. Heat the wok/pan on high and add oil, garlic and ginger, mix well.
6. Add the sausage and mushrooms. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
7. Add the yellow beans, stir and cook for 30 seconds. Add the red pepper and stir and cook for another 30 seconds.
8. Drain and rinse rice cakes in cold water, empty rice cakes into the wok and stir well.
9. Add ½ cup of mushroom water, mix well. Add teriyaki sauce, soy sauce and sugar, stir well. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Discard remaining mushroom water.
10. Remove lid, stir and cook for another minute and serve.
I love rice cakes and surprisingly this is the first time I’ve ever made them myself! If you’ve never tried rice cakes before, they have a similar texture to gnocchi pasta – a little bit chewy. All grocery items are available at your local T&T®, Loblaws®, Real Canadian Superstore® or No Frills®.
I hope you’ll give this recipe a try and please share with me some of your Chinese New Year traditions or if you have any questions!