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Diana Chan's favourite Lunar New Year recipes

Metricon

Ever wondered what a celebrity chef cooks for Lunar New Year? We invited MasterChef Australia 2017 champion Diana Chan to celebrate the night with us at our gorgeous Doulton show home and take us through how to cook some of her favourite festive dishes.

With a Chinese-Malaysian heritage, Diana's signature cooking style favours fresh, seasonal ingredients that are cooked simply but superbly. It's all about letting the produce shine on the plate. These are her exclusive recipes.

Crab eggnests

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, beaten and strained
  • 150g cooked crab meat
  • 100g bean sprouts
  • ½ bunch Thai basil, leaves only
  • ½ bunch Vietnamese mint, leaves only
  • ½ bunch coriander, leaves only
  • 1 long red chilli, deseeded and julienned
  • ½ cup roasted granulated peanuts

Dressing:

  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

Method:

  1. Strain the eggs, then leave for a few hours to settle. This allows the proteins in the egg to break down so that it streams when you make the eggnet rather than clumping together. Place the mixture into a squeeze bottle.
  2. Heat some oil in a non-stick pan. Using the nozzle, drizzle the mixture over the pan in opposite directions to form a cross-hatch pattern.
  3. Once the egg sets, transfer to a plate. Repeat. You should be able to make 8 eggnets. If making ahead of time, cool and cover with cling film to stop them from drying out.
  4. Meanwhile, place the rest of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix together
  5. For the dressing by mixing all the ingredients together until sugar has fully dissolved.
  6. Pour the dressing over the crab mixture.
  7. To assemble, place the ingredients in the middle of the eggnet and fold over tucking in the sides.

DIY Fortune cookies

Makes 30

Ingredients:

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

To decorate:

  • White chocolate
  • Cream
  • Hundreds and thousands
  • Rose petals

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat, and have your fortune strips ready to go.
  2. In a stand mixer (or large bowl with a hand mixer), whip the egg whites and sugar on high speed for about 2 minutes, until frothy. Whip in the melted butter, vanilla extract, and water until incorporated. Add the flour and mix until fully incorporated
  3. With a tablespoon measure, spoon the batter onto the parchment paper and spread it out into an even 3 inch circle. I recommend not doing any more than 2-3 at a time, since they set very quickly and you will not be able to fold more than that.
  4. Bake the fortune cookies for 7-8 minutes, until the edges brown slightly. If you let them brown too much, they will snap when you shape them. Conversely, if they don’t brown a little bit, they will also break (but tear, rather than snapping).
  5. When each batch of fortune cookies finishes baking, remove them from the oven and quickly flip the circle over, and fold your fortune cookie in half, into a semicircle. This is when you slip your note into the cookie (quickly) because if you slip it in right at the beginning, the cookie will be too hot and your paper will stick to the cookie. Place your semicircle onto the edge of a cup, and quickly fold the ends down, to crimp into a fortune cookie shape (see above tutorial video if needed).
  6. Place the cookie in a muffin tin to let it cool and hold its shape.
  7. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  8. Decorate fortune cookies to your liking.

Pork and prawn wontons

Pork and prawn wontons:

  • 250g raw prawn meat
  • 250g pork mince
  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp finely sliced spring onion
  • 1 ½ tsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 tsp shao hsing wine
  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp sesame oil
  • 20 fresh wonton wrappers, about 7cm square (from Asian grocers)

Vegetarian wonton:

  • 20g shitake mushrooms
  • 50g of chopped chives
  • 20g of green bean vermicelli noodles (rehydrated in hot water until translucent and drained)
  • 1 ½ tsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 tsp shao hsing wine
  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp sesame oil
  • 20 fresh wonton wrappers (same as above)

Method:

1. For the pork and prawn wontons, combine the pork mince and prawn meat with remaining ingredients, except wonton wrappers, in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. For the vegetarian wontons, cut the mushrooms into small cubes. Cut the vermicelli noodles finely and mix together in a bowl with the mushrooms and chopped chives. Mix in the rest of the ingredients except for the wonton wrappers.

3. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Make wontons, see below for instructions. Drop wontons, in batches, into the water and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until they are just cooked. To test, you will need to remove one using a slotted spoon and cut into it with a sharp knife to see that the prawns are cooked through. Remove wontons with a slotted spoon and drain. Repeat process with remaining wontons.

4. Serve immediately with the dipping sauces.

Filling and shaping method:

  1. Place a rounded teaspoon of the filling in the centre of a wonton wrapper.
  2. Dip your finger in water and moisten the bottom edge of the wrapper.
  3. Fold the wrapper in half, toward you, to enclose the filling.
  4. Press lightly to seal.
  5. Hold the wonton lengthways between your hands with the folded edge facing down. Fold the sealed edge of the wonton back on itself then lightly moisten one corner of the folded edge with water.
  6. Finally, taking the two ends in your fingers, bring them together with a twisting action, and press them lightly to join.
  7. Repeat with remaining filling and wrappers.

Dipping sauces:

  • Chilli and lime:
  • 2 tbsp srirarcha sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp hot water

Method:

  1. Place the sugar and water in a bowl and let it dissolve.
  2. Place the srirarcha sauce and lime juice in another bowl and mix together. Mix in the sugar mixture until fully incorporated and set aside.

Sesame dressing

  • 1 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp of grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp of finely chopped spring onions

Method:

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and set aside until ready to serve.

SSS Dressing (Sweet, Sour, Salty)

  • 3 tbsp of light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp of finely sliced coriander root
  • 1 tsp of grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp of caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp of black vinegar
  • ¼ tsp chilli oil

Method:

Combine soy, coriander, ginger, spring onions, ginger, sugar, vinegar and chilli oil in a bowl and set aside.

Crispy pork belly bao with sticky sauce

Makes 20 serves

Crispy pork belly ingredients:

  • 1kg boneless pork belly
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 ½ tbsp of five spice powder
  • Table salt

For the sticky sauce:

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 star anise
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 whole dried red chillies, sliced
  • pinch salt
  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar

Wasabi mayo:

  • ½ cup kewpie mayo
  • 1 tbsp of wasabi paste (not powder)

Pickles:

  • 5 radishes, thinly sliced using a mandolin
  • 2 carrots, fine julienne
  • 2 cucumbers, fine julienne
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup caster sugar

Mantou buns:

Bought from Asian grocers frozen - 20 pieces

Method:

  1. Score the pork belly skin to create a diamond pattern, 1cm apart. Rub the five spice powder all over the pork belly and rub table salt in between the scored skin and all over the piece of pork.
  2. Place the pork belly on a rack in a roasting tray and add in the chicken stock into the tray. Cover with some baking paper and then foil over the baking paper.
  3. Place the tray into the oven to roast for 45 mins at 180C. Remove the foil and baking paper and roast for another 45 mins. Turn the grill on for the last 15 mins to allow the skin to crisp up.
  4. In the meantime, make the sauce.
  5. For the Caramel Sauce, place brown sugar in a small saucepan with a ½ a cup of the chicken stock over low heat and stir until dissolved. Add remaining chicken stock, star anise, cloves, cinnamon and chillies and continue to simmer for a further 10 minutes. Add red wine vinegar and soy and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until slightly reduced.
  6. Add a pinch of salt, reduce heat to low, and continue to cook until the sauce has reduced to a syrup consistency, about 30-40 minutes. Adjust seasoning with the soy and red wine vinegar to taste if required.
  7. Prepare the mantou buns by placing them in a steamer basket and steaming for approximately 10 mins or until buns have defrosted and warmed through.
  8. Remove from heat, and strain through a sieve into a jug then set aside until needed.
  9. For the wasabi mayo, mix the kewpie mayo and wasabi paste together until fully combined. Pour into a piping bag and set aside until ready to serve.
  10. For the pickles, place the vinegar, water and sugar into a small saucepan and heat until all the sugar is dissolved.Remove from heat and let it cool for 5 mins. Place the prepared vegetables into the pickling liquid. Strain and set aside until ready to use.

We loved having Diana Chan back in the Doulton Show Home kitchen to help us celebrate Lunar New Year in 2019. Want to attend one of our special events? Visit our events page, or subscribe to our newsletters and stay up to date with all the latest things happening at Metricon.