Start A Prosperous Chinese New Year With A “Chef’s Specialty” Homemade Recipe
(NAPSA)-WITH fireworks, dancing dragons and fabulous food, the Chinese New Year has all the makings of a festive celebration. Chinese communities from around the world take part in the festivities, recognizing the new lunar year as a fresh start and a chance to show gratitude for life’s blessings. January 23, 2012 will mark the start of this year’s celebration and will usher in the Year of the Dragon (4710). With 15 days to celebrate, Chinese New Year provides plenty of opportunities for family and friends to come together for a delicious meal. Whether it’s a casual potluck or a formal affair, these gatherings are a special time to observe the promise of prosperity and the delights of the table. When hosting a New Year’s party, it’s important to stay true to the symbolism and traditions of the holiday. Since the festival is a time to rejoice with loved ones, hosts can cut down on the amount of time they spend in the kitchen and enjoy more quality time with guests. It might seem easier said than done, but here’s a secret: It’s all in the planning. If you choose recipes that are easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time, you’ll be able to whip up a meal that is sure to please your guests. Fried food symbolizes gold and prosperity in Chinese New Year traditions, so General Tso’s Chicken-a sweet and spicy, deepfried dish-is the perfect meal to commemorate the holiday. It has become a staple at North American Chinese restaurants over the past few decades and is even listed as a “Chef’s Specialty” on some menus. Making this popular restaurant meal at home may seem like quite the undertaking, but in reality, it’s simple if you make a few tweaks to the recipe. Simple variations like using a pre-packaged seasoning mix to avoid long marinating times can make all the difference. Kikkoman’s Kara-çge Soy-ginger Seasoned Coating Mix, for example, infuses a ginger-soy flavor to the dish without requiring any extra marinating time. And if you cut the chicken into pieces beforehand, you’ll have the dish on the table in mere minutes. So get your apron on, and follow the recipe for Easy General Tso’s Chicken. Serve it over a bed of rice or with vegetables and your guests will never know just how simple it was to make. For more Chinese New Year entertaining tips and recipes, download Kikkoman’s official Chinese New Year Celebration Guide at www.kikkomanusa.com.
Easy General Tso’s Chicken
Makes 4 servings Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes 1/2 cup light corn syrup 2 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons Kikkoman Seasoned Rice Vinegar 1 tablespoon Kikkoman Soy Sauce 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper 1 clove garlic, minced 1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless thighs 1 pouch Kikkoman Kara-çge Soy-ginger Seasoned
Coating Mix Vegetable oil for frying 1 tablespoon sesame seeds In a bowl, combine corn syrup, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, red pepper and garlic. Rinse chicken and cut into 1-inch square pieces. Place chicken and Kara-çge in a sealable plastic bag and shake to coat chicken. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. In batches, add chicken and cook about 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Drain on paper towels. Drain off all but 1 teaspoon oil from skillet. Return all the chicken to the skillet, add corn syrup mixture and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
A restaurant-quality meal is just 30 minutes away with Easy General Tso’s Chicken.