Friday, February 13, 2015

Celebrating Chinese New Year with Children

We love Chinese New Year; last year was our first year celebrating.  I spent all day in the kitchen preparing food.  This year I was thinking of ways we could include more activities so I started searching online.

This blog post is a compilation of fun ideas I found around the web, all put in one place just for you!


Crafts: 

 These images do not belong to me, they came from the creators of these crafts and the links posted will take you right to them.

Chinese New Year Firecrackers from Paper Tubes




Chinese Paper Lanterns and Dragons




Printables:

Year of the Ram Red Envelope

TONS of printable books, coloring pages, mostly learning tools.
These are not just New Year related, but general info on China as well.  Great resource!



History and Traditions:

The Lantern Festival, Traditional foods, Red Envelopes and more. 
This link is about the history.

Traditions during the New Year Festival 



Food:

Many Many Many recipes from Rasa Malaysia.  
I have made one or two from this site that were good, but I can't vouch for all of them.

Many Many Many more recipes from Steamy Kitchen

And for the picky eaters out there...  Try these Longevity Noodles.  This is a good one kids can help with because it is simple. The recipe comes from an authentic Dim Sum cook book.



Recipes:

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Longevity Noodles (It's a basic egg noodle recipe)

3 large eggs
2 2/3 tsp water
3 cups unsifted all purpose flour

Beat the eggs with the water, then add flour.  Beat in the first 2 cups in the mixer and knead in the last cup by hand.  Knead until dough is smooth (about 10 minutes).  Divide dough into two balls, keep one covered with a damp cloth while you work on the other.

Roll it out thin and slice it with a knife, or use a noodle press/roller.  The idea with longevity noodles is to make the noodles as long as you can to signify a long life.

From here you can lay them out to dry, or cook them immediately.  I tend to make these early in the day and they are dry by the time I use them.

If you don't want to make them, you can buy them.
This is an example of what you are looking for if you buy the noodles at the market.
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The following recipe comes from another cook book,  Chinese Kitchen.  I recommend these two books if you want to make authentic Chinese food.
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Longevity Noodles

10 cups cold water
5 oz soybean sprouts
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 pound egg noodles

Sauce Ingredients:

3 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup Chicken Stock

1 Tbsp peanut oil
One 1/4 inch thick slice from fresh ginger, lightly smashed
1/4 pound snow peas
3 fresh large water chestnuts, but into 1/8 inch slices

Boil the water, blanch the sprouts for 15 seconds and then remove and reserve.  Then salt the water and cook the noodles for 5 minutes if they are home made noodles, 1 minute if they are Chinese egg noodles purchased prefried.

Drain the noodles, loosen them gently with chopsticks.  Reserve. 

Combine the sauce ingredients (first three of them) in a small bowl and reserve.

Heat frying pan over high heat for 45 seconds.  Add peanut oil and coat the pan.  Add the ginger and cook for 10 seconds.  Add the peas, stir and cook for 1 minute, or until they turn bright green.  Add the water chestnuts and cook for 30 seconds.  Add the sprouts, stir well, cook for 1 minute.  Stir the sauce, pour into the pan and heat to a boil.  Add the noodles and cook, stirring well to combine.  Cook until the sauce is absorbed, about 90 seconds.

Transfer to a platter and serve.