With Chinese New Year (also known as Lunar New Year) around the corner, we asked London-based blogger and Instagramer, Erica Tang @thechinesefoodie to share her top tips on celebrating the New Year – whether you’re out and about (for a stroll of course) or staying in!
I was born in Hubei, China. I moved to London 4 years ago to study, and I now work in the city. My partner is British, we actually met in China, and we cook & eat Chinese food at home mainly, as we used to when we lived there. Working from home since covid has given me a lot more time to cook, to rediscover some of the comfort foods I used to be able to get from street stands in Wuhan, by actually attempting to make them from scratch at home. Before the pandemic, my partner and I used to go to the theatre after work, have meals out in restaurants and Chinatown, and the Soho area has many of our favourite places.
2021 is a Year of the Ox
February 12th 2021 – January 31st 2022.
China Exchange provides ample opportunities to understand China, Chinese culture and Chinatown. I’ve been to a few events there, including a rare screening of the 1987 film Ping Pong (filmed in Chinatown). They also organise exhibitions about Chinese art, the history of Chinatown London etc.
Keep an eye on Chinatown’s special festive decorations when the time comes! There’s usually a parade across Chinatown, Trafalgar Square and the West End. Shops and restaurants will also have their own promotions and perhaps special meals to help you celebrate!
(Due to COVID the celebrations will be taking place online. On 14 February, you can enjoy an extravaganza of past Chinese New Year performances in London from home).
Milk tea is my go to drink whenever I’m in the Chinatown / Soho area. So many fine choices to choose from including Biju, Xinfutang, Kova, Yi Fang, Woo Tea… And if you love matcha as I do, Tsujiri London is the place for tasty matcha desserts and drinks!
Pictured: matcha desserts from Tsujiri London
I love Four Seasons’ Hog Maw Chicken soup and roast duck. Food House Chinatown has amazing BBQ skewers, grilled fish and hot pot. Jinli, Er Mei and Barshu all do nice Sichuan food. There are so many choices for a lovely festive meal in Chinatown, Soho.
Erica’s Lamb & Coriander Dumpling Filling
- Approx 300g lamb mince
- Chopped coriander (I used 2 handfuls)
- Chopped spring onion whites (1 handful)
- 1.5-2 tbsp spice water (pre-boil with some star anise, sichuan peppercorn, and cumin)
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp cooking wine,
- Some finely chopped ginger
1. Mince in oil, add 1-2 tsp spice water, stir in one direction for 1-2 mins.
2. Repeat step 1 a few times until stringy (you can use chopsticks or a fork but I find it easy to just use my hand).
3. Add in the other ingredients and seasoning and mix well.
4. Wrap with store bought wrappers or make your own (for 100g flour use 50-60g water, plus a pinch of salt).
5. Boil or pan fry and serve with some vinegar and chilli oil
Follow @thechinesefoodie for more recipes and honest reviews!
How will you be celebrating Chinese New Year? Share your thoughts in the comment box below!
This article was originally published in the Winter issue of My Soho Times.
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