Metricon brought the Year of the Rat in with a joyous event at our Signature by Metricon Doulton showhome in Burwood East in Melbourne. We hosted special guests including Instagram influencers, Melbourne Victory players Matt Acton and Leigh Broxham, as well as Masterchef 2017 winner and celebrity chef, Diana Chan – who cooked for everyone in attendance.

Metricon's Doulton showhome decked out in Chinese red lanterns

Metricon's Doulton showhome decked out in red Chinese lanterns


Diana started the night by saying “this is the third year I’ve been here with Metricon, and it’s a real honour to be cooking in front of you showing you a couple of things I love to eat”. She enjoyed cooking in the roomy Doulton kitchen, joking that her home has only half the bench space, while she prepared her first dish for guests, Dan Dan Noodles.

A close up of the Dan Dan Noodles - with pork mince, bok choy and pickled mustard greens.

Diana's Dan Dan Noodles topped with pork mince, bok choy and preserved mustard greens


Diana said, “I’m the kind of person that loves noodles. I think you’re either a noodle or a rice person. It’s not very Asian of me to not like rice – it’s not that I don’t like rice – I love special fried rice. But, I’m a noodle person, and I absolutely love noodles which is why I want to show you one of my favourite dishes tonight.”

And once they tasted Diana’s Dan Dan noodles, it’s fair to say that most in the room became noodle converts too – they were a beautiful mix of sweet and spicy.

Diana Chan creating the Dan Dan sauce in a wok.
Diana Chan laughing while serving up noodles from a bowl.

After devouring Diana’s Dan Dan noodles, guests were treated to an energetic Lion Dance performance. The troupe danced through the Doulton from the front door to the outdoor room, where the lion and drummers gave us a spectacular show, including throwing oranges from its mouth for guests to catch!

The lion dancers in the backyard of the Doulton showhome.
One of the traditional lion dancer drummers.

Guests then watched Diana prepare dessert - sweet potato churros with a yuzu curd.

“This dish is for anyone with a sweet tooth,” Diana said. “It’s a little bit different; it’s my take on a Malaysian dish called kuih keria you get in the street stalls which is basically a donut made with sweet potato. I’m going to turn it into something a bit lighter and serve it with a yuzu curd.”

After the demonstration was over guests could be heard oohing and aahing as they savoured the Sichuan sugar dusted morsels. Without a doubt, a few guests are now rushing out to buy deep fryers to replicate the amazing recipe.

Diana's amazing sweet potato churros with yuzu sauce


We were lucky to have Diana included in celebrations this year as she’s been busy filming her new television show Asia Unplated with Diana Chan on SBS 2. The series showcases the best cuisine Asia has to offer, with each episode featuring foods from a different county. Diana cooks with friend and Melbourne-based chef Jerry Mai who came to our event to cheer Diana on, cooking royalty Gary Mehigan, Metricon favourite Sashi Cheliah and more to highlight the fantastic flavours coming out of the Asian continent.

Diana also has her own range of dumplings in a variety of delicious flavours. While cooking, she explained that over 150,000 dumplings are made every day! We served them up at a dumpling station, and they were an absolute hit. You can pick up Diana’s dumplings from Coles and Woolworths, perfect for keeping in the freezer for a quick meal or serving at parties.

Leigh and Matt from Melbourne Victory enjoying Diana's dumplingsLeigh and Matt from Melbourne Victory enjoying Diana's dumplings


Metricon loves celebrating the Lunar New Year each year. For us, it’s a mark of respect for the cultural diversity of our customers, employees and the communities we work within. We wish everyone all the best in the Year of the Rat – the year of new beginnings, the year of wealth and the year of surplus.

Gong Xi Fa Cai!


Try your hand at creating Diana’s Lunar New Year treats with the recipes below.

Dan Dan noodles

(serves 4)

Top down image of Dan Dan Noodles.


Ingredients

Dan dan sauce

  • 1½ tbsp Chinese sesame paste (or tahini)
  • 2 tbsp Chinese chilli paste in oil 
  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • ¼ tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 tbsp chilli oil
  • ½ cup warm water
  • Pinch of salt 

 
Mince pork sauce

  • 2 tsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Shaoxing wine
  • ½ tsp five-spice powder

 
Mince pork topping

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 250g minced pork
  • 30g sui mi ya cai (preserved mustard greens), finely chopped

 
To serve

  • 500g white fresh wheat noodles, medium thickness
  • 2 bunches choy sum, trimmed
  • ½ bunch spring onions, finely sliced
  • Roasted crushed peanuts

 
Method
 

  1. To make the dan dan sauce, combine all the ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl and mix. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, mix the mince pork sauce ingredients.
  3. To cook the minced pork, heat one tablespoon of oil in a wok, add pork and fry. Add the pork topping sauce and cook for one minute until the liquid evaporates, then transfer into a bowl and set aside.
  4. ​Return the wok to the stove and add the remaining oil. Add the sui mi ya cai, stir-fry for 1 minute until heated through, then remove into a separate bowl.
  5. Cook the noodles according to packet instructions and strain when done.
  6. Blanch the choy sum in boiling water for one minute, then drain.
  7. Divide the dan dan sauce between four bowls. Top with noodles, choy sum, minced pork and sui mi ya cai. Garnish with peanuts and spring onions.

 
 

Sweet Potato Churros

(makes 20)

Top down shot of Diana's churros.
 
Ingredients

  • 125ml water
  • 50g butter
  • 2g salt
  • 150g plain flour
  • 5g baking powder
  • 25g cornflour
  • 70g egg
  • 350g cooked sweet potatoes, mashed
  • Oil for deep frying

 
Szechuan pepper sugar

  • 1 tsp ground szechuan pepper
  • 1 cup caster sugar

 
Yuzu curd

  • 600g cold butter, cubed
  • 375g sugar
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • Juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • Juice and zest of 2 limes
  • ½ cup/25g Yuzu juice 
  • Pinch salt

 
Method
 

  1. For the yuzu curd, whisk the eggs in a bowl over a pot of hot water (double boiler), over medium heat. Add the sugar and continue whisking for 15 minutes or until thickened. Add a pinch of salt.
  2. Remove the pot and bowl from the heat and gradually add the cold butter, whisking continuously. Add yuzu, zest and juice, combine well and then chill in the fridge until set.
  3. For the churros, in a medium saucepan, boil water, butter and salt.
  4. Add in the flour, cornflour and baking powder and mix until blended.
  5. Put the mixture into a food processor and pulse until the dough combines. Add in the egg into the batter and pulse to combine again.
  6. Add the sweet potato into the food processor and mix thoroughly until fully combined.
  7. Place the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.