Happy Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year! Edited


Bang the GongGong hay fat choy — that’s happy Chinese New Year in Mandarin (and about the extent of my Mandarin, too).We now enter the Year of the Horse. The horse is supposed to be a happy, easy-going sign but experts in the field say the year may be a dodgy one. I am not an expert in the field, but an up-and-down year you can probably count on. So nourish yourself.

Here’s a recipe from my book Feeding the Hungry Ghost — a simplified version of Buddha’s Delight, the traditional mild and meatless monk’s stew that brings good health and good fortune. Its selling point isn’t spice, but a symphony of textures. It delighted an enlightened guy like Buddha. May it work for you, too.

Hungry Ghost Mood Modifier

2 teaspoons canola or peanut oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger (about a thumb-sized piece), peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 scallions, chopped thin
1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 rib celery, chopped
1 red pepper, cut into matchsticks
1 cup cabbage, shredded
4 ounces firm tofu (1/4th of a 1-pound package), cut into cubes
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Asian rice vinegar*
1 teaspoon agave or honey
1 teaspoon sesame oil*
1 8-ounce package shirataki,* rinsed well and drainedIn a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger and scallions, and stir for about 2 minutes, or until vegetables soften.Add carrots, celery and red pepper and continue cooking for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Add cabbage and tofu, stirring occasionally to prevent vegetables and tofu from sticking.

In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey or agave and sesame oil until blended. Pour over vegetables and tofu and stir gently.

Add shirataki and toss. Cook for another few minutes, until the sauce is mostly absorbed and the stir-fry is heated through.

Makes 2 servings.

Ellen Kanner with Tomatoes_Chinese

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