Year of the Snake - 9th Feb 2013

Post date: 27-Jan-2013 19:44:04

The good news is that the year of the Water Snake 2013 will see better times thanks to its well-balanced element combinations. Goodwill will be abundant. Apparently (I do not vouch for the accuracy of this) a new sense of peace will fill the year and countries will display better diplomacy and goodwill among each other. Having said that, the prediction we put out last year, the year of the Dragon, was a fast-moving year with weather disasters - and I think that seemed pretty accurate. Less extreme weather this coming year, apparently.

To celebrate, we will be holding our signature Chinese New Year supper which will include the traditional Chinese New Year dumplings, both sweet and savoury, which are usually a communal family cooking event with everyone sitting round the table, rolling and cooking and chatting. I can tell you that it will be like that here at PSC, with our "family" of volunteers doing exactly that. Also on the menu will be the very special Oyster Pancakes - a speciality of Fujian province (where my family is originally from) that I've recently perfected, and a couple of special dishes from Hong Kong from our volunteer Louise Wong, who has been researching historic Hong Kong recipes.

So - on the menu will be:

Chinese pickles and Preserved Cucumbers in XO sauce - I remember these from the start of banquets when I was a child

Jiaozi/Guo Tie or Potsticker dumplings - These dumplings signify family reunion. In northern China families traditionally spend New Year's Eve together preparing the dumplings, which are eaten at midnight. Crescent-shaped Jiaozi are a symbol of wealth and prosperity because of their resemblance to ancient Chinese money (silver ingots).

Oyster Pancake - My cousin's favourite, I've been trying to work out how to make these for years!

Velveted Chicken with black beans and peppers - "Velveting" chicken is a complicated cooking technique that results in meltingly tender chicken

Braised Pak Choi - with supreme stock and ginger

Dry Fried Spare Ribs - Another classic Hong Kong dish

Spring Onion noodles with Cha Siu - noodles signify longevity - it's important not to cut them!

Song Dynasty Bean Sprouts - a dish that dates back to somewhere between 960 and 1279....

Steamed whole Cantonese Seabass The word for fish, "Yu," sounds like the words both for wish and abundance, and serving a fish at the end of the meal symbolizes a wish for abundance in the coming year

Tang Yuen these round sweet dumplings are symbolic of family unity and harmony. Tang stands for reunion and yuen means round or complete.

Cost will be £40 of which £35 will go direct to MSF. Please mail us with bookings on

We will be teaching a dim sum cooking class which will include the 2 dumplings from this menu on the 15th Feb. For more details of this and other cooking lessons, please click here: Dim Sum Cooking Lesson - it's easier than you think! learn some classic New Year dim sum and impress your friends