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General Tso’s chicken with a twist, fantastic authentic egg rolls, and a collection of fun ideas for celebrating the Chinese New Year, and the Year of the Sheep!
Chinese New Year is the longest and most important of the celebrations in the Chinese calendar. It is celebrated in a variety of ways across China, with each providence celebrating with their own traditions. However, some of those traditions carry over and are used across China, such as Red Packets, which are red envelopes of money that are given to the children and are used to ward off evil, celebrating luck in the coming year, and eating delicious foods, including traditional appetizers, as a family. We went with Tai Pei egg and spring rolls which come in chicken, pork, shrimp, and vegetable varieties, and offer authentic flavors and a perfect easy peasy addition to your celebration. There is just something I love about biting into a crunchy egg roll wrapper and having my mouth flooded with fresh flavors, add a sweet and sour dipping sauce and I am hooked!
In addition to the crunchy and flavorful egg and spring rolls, this year for Chinese New Year I decided to celebrate with some of the traditions and a main dish recipe that perfectly complimented the fresh, crisp veggie spring rolls and chicken egg rolls I served: General Tso’s Chicken with a twist! I love introducing my kids to new ideas and cultures, and any excuse for a party!
So I took a look at what some of the traditions are. There are fireworks, which is awesome! I absolutely love fireworks, but decided to skip that for my party since my kids are little, and fire and little kids don’t exactly mesh well.
Another tradition is a family feast. I LOVE this idea because I am all about the food. So I did some recipe testing, and came up with this fantastic recipe for General Tso’s chicken, but I put a little twist on it to keep things interesting.
The twist: I used pineapple juice instead of water to make it extra sweet and tangy and fun! This is amazing. I like mine with a kick so I put in a little bit of sriracha too, but my kids said it was too spicy so I left it out of the recipe!
Recipe inspired by : Carlsbad Cravings
General Tso's Chicken Chinese New Year Celebration
- 2-3 lbs of chicken cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 egg
- 1 tbs water
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbs ground ginger
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/3 cup rice wine not rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tbs white vinegar
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp red curry paste
- a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 Tbs minced garlic
- 1/3 cup pineapple juice
- 1/2 inch fresh ginger root chopped really small
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 2 Tbs corn starch
- Vegetables of choice
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Cut chicken into bite sized pieces
- Whisk 1 tbs of water and egg together, and coat chicken pieces with the egg
- In a plastic bag, mix together the flour, pepper, salt, and ground ginger
- Take chicken pieces coated in egg and dredge in the flour mixture
- Get a cookie sheet and put a cooling rack on top, then place chicken pieces on top of cooling rack, and spray with cooking spray.
- Bake for 15 minutes, flip half way through, then turn oven on to broil, and broil 2 minutes per side to crisp up the chicken.
- While chicken is cooking, in a large bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients, except the corn starch
- In a heavy sauce pan, stir together sugars and water and bring to a boil, stir constantly until sugar melts, then remove from heat right away (Should be a caramel like mixture)
- Pour into sauce mixture, and stir together. Then whisk in the corn starch to thicken
- Put in a pan with vegetables of choice (Sugar snap peas or broccoli) and sautee for 1-2 minutes, then put cooked chicken in, toss to coat and serve over rice!
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.
During Chinese New Year, people typically wear red. In fact, red is the color of the celebration because it symbolizes fire, which according to legend will drive away bad luck. I thought it would be fun to incorporate the red with red napkins, red lanterns, and of course, “lucky money” filled red envelopes.
Another fun custom is that of lanterns being used. These lanterns are often painted, and are works of art. They are hung on temples or carried in parades. And I think they are beautiful. So I went out and bought some red lanterns to use to decorate our table and make our Chinese New Year celebration even more exciting.
And like any New Year celebration, one of the traditions of Chinese New Year is Shou Sui, which means “after the New Year’s Eve dinner.” It is the tradition of staying up all night (or at least til midnight) after enjoying a family feast together. Our feast included the General Tso’s chicken, but as I already mentioned, it also included a fantastic, authentic, Tai Pei® frozen appetizer tray of spring rolls and egg rolls. I loved this because you get all the authentic flavor without any of the work. They literally cook in just minutes, and have crispy wrappers, fresh cut veggies, and hearty chicken, and other meats (pork and shrimp), or a vegetable only option, which make for great flavor. I love using these because they are so convenient, come with a fantastic dipping sauce (or you could make your own), and taste great! Did I mention they are baked? Big plus. And the box contains microwave instructions for those that don’t even want to preheat their oven!
Tai Pei® frozen appetizers are an easy and fun way to share the authentic fun of Chinese New Year, and you can pick them up at your local Walmart, so even better!
To learn more about Chinese New Year, and how you can use Tai Pei® authentic appetizers that cook up in just minutes to celebrate, check out the Chinese New Year app on the Tai Pei® Facebook page. When visiting, look for The Red Envelope tab which includes a coupon (While supplies last).
If you love Chinese food be sure to check out some of the other options offered here on Eazy Peazy Mealz: