The most bad-asstastic Chinese Zodiac is finally here…Year of the Dragon. I wanted to throw down on a meal fit for the occasion. So channeling all 25.4% of Chinese that’s in me, I took a little trip to the epicenter of Asian food markets, 99 Ranch Market, to grab all the essentials.
A dumpling, basically the tamales of the East, takes all day to prepare and seconds to devour. Didn’t try to over complicate it. Just kept it traditional, pork, cabbage, mushrooms, and boil. A teaspoon here and there of spices and sauces was thrown in for the filling. No recipe to follow, just what tasted right. The dough was a bitch to roll out. I had to call reinforcements, making it a family affair.
Taking a queue from the French and their enjoyment of hide prizes in King cakes, I tucked a coin in one of the forty-eight dumplings for a lucky person to discover and reap the good fortunes of the New Year (after the dentist visit to replace a crown).
There is definitely affection for the color red to bring good fortune, wholeness in food symbolizing family unity and oranges for luck. So it was a no brainer for this next dish, fried whole red snapper in ginger sauce napping on a bed of orange slices.
I had a mixed-drink idea that would have had a stampede of Manolos rushing to the bar. A dragon fruit cocktail with minced ginger to commemorate the New Year that belongs to the Dragon. I set off on my journey to find the allusive fruit only to come back empty handed. So like a sixteen-year-old girl the day after, I went to Plan B. Chinese plum nectar was the perfect mixer to balance the spice of ginger.