Chinese New Year is tomorrow so I thought I’d try to put together a few recipes that you can make to celebrate. 2016 is the Year of the Monkey and people born in the Year of the Monkey are characterised as quick-witted, curious, innovative and mischievous!

I love Chinese food but I don’t really cook it that often but after this feast I cooked I think I’m going to try it a bit more as it was really tasty. I actually think I preferred it to takeaway Chinese as I find that can be a bit too greasy and salty.

First up on the menu was Crispy Chilli Beef which is a dish I enjoy when eating Chinese and after doing recipe research I found that it wasn’t a complicated method or ingredient list. I used this BBC Good Food recipe which was easy to follow and actually very quick to cook.

crispy-chilli-beef

Next up on the menu was Crispy Seaweed, this is a real indulgence as you would think with all that green it be good for you but it is fried and salty!

The ingredients are simple and again very quick to cook. All you will need is kaleChinese five spice, vegetable oilsalt and sugar.  Simply heat the oil in a deep pan and when the oil is hot add the kale and a pinch of the spice, and seasoning. Fry the kale until it is crispy and then remove from the pan and drain on kitchen towel.

crispy-seaweed

The last dish I made was Peanut Chicken, this was a bit of an experiment recipe so probably not completely traditional. For the sauce I put about 6tbsp peanut butter, small piece of ginger, 300ml chicken stock and 2tbsp soy sauce into a bowl and used a stick blender to blitz. You can alter the peanut butter/chicken stock quantity depending on how thick you like the sauce. When I’ve made it previously I added a red chilli but this time with the spicy beef I decided to skip the chilli. I simply cooked some chicken breast cut into pieces and then poured the sauce on top.

peanut-chicken

I then served all of this with some noodles, but some rice would be good and prawn crackers on the side, you could really go all out with the extras for a big feast! In the photos above I used my mosaic placemats to serve and think they looked really good in use.

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