迷你年夜飯 / Mini Chinese New Year Gathering

蛇年行大運 / Happy Snake Year

新的一年又到了! 在國外住的越久, 越會懷念小時候大肆過年的感覺。今年姊姊剛好來紐約出差, 所以當然馬上下廚做了一頓小小的年夜飯嘍。今年是第一年做全素的年夜飯, 自然要多點思考多點創意, 但我在廚房玩的不亦樂乎!

It's Chinese New Year again! It has been many years since I left Taiwan, with each year passing, I miss the true new year festivities more and more. This year, my older sister coincidentally stopped by NYC for a business trip, so yup, I ran into the kitchen and made a small new year's eve meal for the three of us. It was my first time making a vegan new year's meal, a lot of creativity and thinking was required, but I had so much fun in the kitchen!

蛇年行大運 / Happy Snake Year

全素的餃子我想了一陣子, 還是希望保留最喜愛的高麗菜, 但配料還能加些什麼呢? 考慮了瓠瓜, 但不是季節也買不到, 所以決定用容易入手的佛手瓜, 蛋白質的部分就用之前就自己做好的凍豆腐。依照往常的蔬菜切丁後撒鹽出水擰乾後, 拌入壓碎了的凍豆腐, 少許薑末, 2大匙的醬油溜就完成了餡料。

I thought long and hard about the vegan dumplings, I definitely wanted to keep my favorite ingredient, green cabbage, but what else could I add to the filling? I thought about adding calabash, but it's totally out of season, so I bought the easy to find chayote. For the protein of the dumpling, I added the frozen tofu that I made days before (Throw your tofu into the freezer for a few days. Before using, thaw it out and squeeze out the access water, add to stew or stir-fry, you will be pleasantly surprised by the texture, I kid you not!). As usual, I diced the veggies, mixed them with salt and let sit for 15 minutes, squeezed out the access water and mix with meshed frozen tofu, some minced ginger, 2 tbsp of miso tamari, and the filling was done.

蛇年行大運 / Happy Snake Year

煮完試吃後非常滿意, 全素水餃真的不難呢, 下次再來試試其他的內餡!

The taste test received a high score, vegan dumplings is NOT difficult at all, I'm excited to come up with new fillings in the future!

蛇年行大運 / Happy Snake Year

過年習俗桌上要有魚有年糕, 所以我想出了好辦法, 將媽媽從台灣寄來的紅豆年糕切成長條, 外面裹上自己做的芋泥(很簡單, 芋頭切丁蒸熟, 拌入糖及椰子油), 用餃子皮包成魚的形狀, 蒸好不就成了一條條的小魚了嗎?

It is tradition for Chinese to have fish and rice cake in the new year's eve meal. How do I come up with a vegan fish without resorting to the processed food section? I made dessert! I cut the red bean rice cake my mom sent from Taiwan into small rectangular blocks, wrap them around the sweet taro mesh I made (cubed the taro, steam it, mesh it with some sugar of choice and coconut oil until smooth), then wrap these sweet blocks into dumplings skins and folded the skin into fish shapes. Steamed fish for dessert!

蛇年行大運 / Happy Snake Year

另外兩道加了兩道菜, 一個是簡單的蒜炒豆苗, 另一道是比較費時的鑲油豆腐, 費時的是準備工作, 真正料理的時間其實非常的短。將香菇, 金針菇, 荸薺, 紅蘿蔔切丁, 薑切末。起油鍋把薑末炒香, 其他材料都入鍋加點鹽麴和白胡椒粉炒熟後盛入碗中備用。在剛炒好的餡料上磨山藥泥, 量的多寡不一定, 我是大約以餡料4:山藥泥1的比例。山藥泥除了有強大的營養成分, 另一個作用是讓餡料黏稠, 所以接下來就是仔細的把碗中的材料混合攪拌。接下來把油豆腐一個個挖出四方形的空洞, 挖出來的油豆腐可以順手加入餃子餡料喔, 把攪拌好的餡料填滿油豆腐, 入鍋蒸5-7分鐘。最後放上香菜葉點綴, 比較重口味的朋友們可以再灑上薄醬油或任何自己喜歡的醬汁。

I added two other dishes to the table, one is a simple stir fried pea shoots with garlic, the other is veggie stuffed fried-tofu cube (you can get fried-tofu cubes in Chinatown). The stuffed tofu dish took some time to prepare but the actual cooking time was really short. First, dice some shitake mushroom, enoki mushroom, fresh water chestnut, and carrots, mince a small amount of ginger. In a heated pan, add some oil, first add minced ginger to the pan and stir fry for a minute until fragrant, then add in the rest of the ingredients, with some shio koji and ground white pepper, stir fry for 3-5 minutes then set aside in a bowl. Grind some raw mountain yam into the same bowl, It's completely up to your personal taste in terms of how much mountain yam to add to the bowl. I adore mountain yam so I added 1 part of mountain yam to 4 parts of veggies. The mountain yam is not only nutritious, it also becomes a binding agend for the filling. Now mix everything together and mix it well. The next step is to cut openings to the fried-tofu cubes and spoon out the middle until you have hallowed tofu cubes. Don't throw what you spoon out away, throw them into the dumpling filling! Now stuff each tofu cube with the mountain yam/veggie mixture you just made, place all stuffed cubes on a plate and steam for 5-7 minutes. Now the finishing touches, for decoration, place a cilantro leaf on top of each tofu cube. If you prefer heavier flavors, you can sprinkle some soy sauce on top of the steamed tofu cubes or any sauces you come up with really, it could be spicy or sweet too. It really depends on the flavors you like.

蛇年行大運 / Happy Snake Year
蛇年行大運 / Happy Snake Year

這是我們的迷你三人年夜飯, 翡翠元寶, 鮮蔬金磚, 蒜茸豆苗, 年(糕)年有魚(芋)。

So this is our mini three-person new year's eve dinner, Evergreen Yuan Bao, Veggie Golden Blocks, Garlic Pea Shoots, Nian Nian You Yu (rice cake with taro shaped like fish).

蛇年行大運 / Happy Snake Year

除夕前的暴風雪留下了這個奇特形狀的冰柱長得非常像龍爪, 似乎是來為龍年的最後一天道別。在龍年, 我這小家庭有了不少改變, 今年新年新希望絕對是在私人寫作時間和工作時間上取得更好的平衡, 心裡也盤算著要把這一整年的全素心得好好寫出來和你們分享, 我把大綱都想好了。當然也會恢復替10/10 Apothecary, Malin+Goetz, Hello NYC寫文, 謝謝你們持續的支持。我也還是會在FB粉絲頁持續的分享日常生活。在此祝所有朋友們蛇年行大運, 事事順心, 財源廣進!

The blizzard left a strange icicle by our window on New Year's Eve. It looks sort of like a dragon feet, it's as if the dragon year is saying goodbye on the last day. During the year of dragon, my tiny little family went through quite a few changes in life. My biggest wish for this year is again finding better balance in working and writing. And I really want to share my experiences and thoughts about our vegan journey in the past year, I came up with the general outline already, just gotta sit down and do it. And of course, I will resume working with 10/10 Apothecary, Malin+Goetz Taiwan, and Hello NYC to share my observations of New York, thank you for all of your support. And as always, I'll continue to share daily life and links on the FB page. To all my friends, happy snake year, hope all your wishes come true, and as the Chinese love to say, hope you have a profitable year no matter what you do!