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Celebrating Chinese New Year
Article in images

Ching-He Huang's five spice chicken, part 1


© Getty Images/Jupiterimages
Five Spice Chicken, Shanghainese nian gao, and Mushroom Stir Fry – the perfect delicious supper! (Serves 2)

Traditionally Shanghainese nian gao is a rice cake, made from rice flour and salt, and you can buy them ready-sliced to be stir fried in any meat or fish dish. They become slightly soft and “bouncy” like the texture of smooth fishcakes or like Italian gnocchi. Nian gao are usually eaten around Chinese New Year. You can buy them from good specialist Chinese supermarkets. If you can’t get hold of these then just leave them out. Nian gao means, “rice cake”. Nian is a homonym for “sticky” so you remain “close with your relatives” and gao is a homonym for “higher” so you reach a “higher status”.

If you cannot get Nian gao, don’t worry because this recipe also makes a simple supper, whatever the occasion. It is quick and easy to do. When a normal stir-fry is flavoured with stock, Chinese seasoning and a touch of corn flour, it makes the perfect sauce as an accompaniment.

This is a great dish served with Jasmine rice or brown rice if you are watching what you eat; the rice soaks up the yummy sauce. You could vary the meat too, and use pork or turkey and even strips of beef - it would be just as good. If you cannot find oyster sauce - try using hoi sin or yellow-bean which are available in all good supermarkets.

You'll find the recipe on the next page.


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