Friday, February 12, 2021

Happy Lunar New Year 2021 - February 12th

Today is the Lunar New Year! Many Asian calendars are based on the Lunisolar Calendar, where the year is based on the cycles of the moon. Seeing as how Chi is from Korea, Theresa is half Korean, and the kids are a quarter Korean, of course we'll be celebrating today. 

For dinner, we're making lots of different foods celebrating all sorts of Asian cultures. From Korea, there's Bulgolgi Chicken (Dak Bulgolgi), Spicy Chicken (Dak Gui), Mandu, and Kimchi. From Japan, tempura green beans and spicy dipping sauce. From China, there's Cream Cheese Wontons. And the rice could be from anywhere.  

I know Moon Cakes are traditional, and I did look up recipes, but the ingredients are not something I have on hand so much. Golden syrup, lotus paste, lye water. 

We love the dipping sauce from PF Changs for the tempura green beans, so Theresa went to work early in the day in order to give the flavors a chance to mix together. She's using a recipe from for the P.F. Changs Green Bean Sauce. Using that sauce bottle to crush the garlic of course. 

I manned the grill to cook up the chicken. That's looking tasty. 

Then I set to work making the tempura batter. I wasn't loving my previous recipe for tempura. It seemed like even though I followed the recipe, I was always having to add more flour to thicken things up. Because of that, Theresa found me another recipe for tempura from I sifted the flour, corn starch, and baking powder, a couple times to aerate it and mix it together. Only difference I would change for next time is to add more salt. The recipe also suggested dipping the green beans in the flour mixture to coat them before adding the liquid. 

I put a can of club soda in the freezer 30 minutes before I was ready to use it in order to make everything nice and cold. The result was a batter that coated the beans fantastically. 

A rare sight. Theresa doesn't like cooking near oil. But she did a great job. 

I brought the kids a treat from the first batch. They were busy playing Minecraft together, but they took a quick timeout for a fried green bean. 

This is going to be a tasty meal indeed! 
I'm always curious what Alexa does and doesn't know how to do. I asked her to "Play Korean Classical Music" and she found a channel for us to listen to as we ate our dinner. 

The spicy chicken thighs were so good. 

Knowing the kids don't particularly care for spicy foods, I grilled up some bulgogi flavored chicken. 

There never does seem to be enough tempura green beans, so tonight we made it a mission to make enough for everyone to have as much as they wanted. This tray was piled super high with green beans. 

Cream Cheese wontons are so good. There's nothing that needs to cook through, so it just a quick splash in the oil to crisp the outside wrapper and warm the cream cheese. 

Lastly are these mandu. Using the same mix as our homemade wontons, we rolled out some canned biscuit dough and stuffed them. Normally they are steamed, but this time we opted to try to bake them. 

I have such a delicious plate tonight. 

The kids tried and ended up liking the spicy dipping sauce for the green beans too. It's really good!

Richard and Chi thought everything was really tasty! 

Ian showing off his green bean that has a couple antenna. 

Everything was great, but the standout today was the tempura green beans. This is all that was left of that giant plate. And I think we've found a new favorite tempura recipe too! These were light and super crunchy! Even after the meal was over, these still had a nice crunch to them. 
Happy Lunar New Year! Here's hoping for a good year!


  1. Happy Lunar New Year to all of you, too! That was quite a celebratory meal. Light and crunchy tempura is the secret...makes the green beans and anything else extra delicious :-) Those spicy chicken thighs look especially good, too. I'm with Theresa on deep frying oil..."ouch", when that oil "pops" :-) EOM

    1. Happy New Year! I'm happy I found a batter that works with no modifications! Now I need to figure out what else we can make with it. Since this was written, we've made Onion Rings as well with this batter and it was delicious!