South Yorkshire's Oriental community will today mark Chinese New Year in suitably celebratory style.
All involved are understandably cock-a-hoop about cock-a-doodle-doo festivities toasting what promises to be firecracking year of the rooster, here illustrated by past Sheffield parade and accompanied by all you need to know quiz including what connects "resourceful" roost-rulers Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Bob Marley and, erm, Prince Philip!
To mark today's red letter day - lucky lucre-filled red envelope day in case of Chinese children - we spotlight ways to ensure parties properly go with a bang as authentic ale Tsingtao toasts hoppy new year for all (of a certain age!)
Top tips to crow about:
Clean Your Home – according to Chinese tradition, cleaning the house will ‘sweep away bad luck’ which may have accumulated inside over the past year and the clean house is then ready for good luck to start entering again.
Decorate – red lanterns, streamers and balloons are ideal, red is the main celebratory colour and symbolises good luck. Try to arrange decorations in quantities of eight, as it’s a very lucky number in Chinese folklore.
Cook – create your own Chinese cuisine at home, healthier than a takeaway and your guests will be impressed. There are some easy to cook, authentic Chinese recipes on the Legacy of Taste site, which are ideal for entertaining: https://www.legacyoftaste.com/category/food-drink/
Firecrackers – to really make your party go with a bang, set off some firecrackers, which are said to scare bad spirits away.
And below, as timely added extra, is TV chef and cookery author Ching He Haung's Tsingtao Beer batter prawns in sweet and sour sauce recipe, further utilising brew bottled and imported from 'Beer Town' Quingdao where world’s second largest lager brand is crafted with Laoshan Mountains mineral-rich spring water, handpicked native rice and love.
(Serves 2 as a main or 4 to share)
This makes for an indulgent dish. It can be served as an appetiser or as a main. Juicy Tiger prawns are coated in a Tsingtao Beer batter, deep-fried until golden and then laced in a fruity sweet and sour sauce.
For vegetarians, you can substitute the prawns with any vegetables in season, such as baby corn, asparagus, mushrooms and tofu. For a main dish, serve with Jasmine rice or serve carb-free with some gem lettuce.
15 (200g) shelled deveined Tiger prawns, tail on
8 tablespoons corn flour
50ml Tsingtao beer
1 free range egg yolk
Pinch of sea salt and ground white pepper
½ red pepper, deseeded and diced into 1cm squares
2 spring onions, sliced into 2inch pieces
For the sweet and sour sauce:
1 tablespoon grated ginger
100ml vegetable stock
50ml Tsingtao beer
1 tablespoon clear rice vinegar
2 tablespoon runny honey
1 tablespoon soft brown sugar
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 small tin of pineapple chunks (or fresh)
2 tablespoons pineapple juice from the tin
1. Into a bowl, add the beer, cornstarch and egg and mix together to make a batter. Season the batter with salt and ground white pepper.
2. Add all the sauce ingredients into a jug, mix well. Heat a small wok over high heat and add the sauce to the wok. Cook until the sweet and sour sauce is thick and sticky, keep on a very low heat and toss through the diced red pepper and spring onions.
3. Heat a wok over high heat to 180 degrees (to test the oil, drop in a small cube of bread and if it turns golden brown in 15 seconds you know it is ready). Dip each prawn into the beer batter mixture and gently drop into the oil. Fry for two minutes until golden. Remove the prawns with a slotted spoon and drain any excess oil on absorbent kitchen paper. Add the prawns to the sauce and toss together in the wok. Garnish with some finely sliced spring onions and serve immediately with some cooked Jasmine rice or some gem lettuce leaves as an appetiser.
Tip: You can re-use the fried oil, just strain it into a heatproof container.r lives and lifestyles.