Lunar New Year eats


CW food writer Libby Kimber brings you two Asian-inspired dishes in celebration of the Lunar New Year kicking off on 5 February.

Peddler’s noodles

Images and text from Jackfruit and Blue Ginger by Sasha Gill, photography by Sasha Gill (author photo and back cover Steve Brown). Murdoch Books RRP $39.99.

Serves: 4

Prep 10 mins

Cook: 25 mins

  • 4 nests (200g) dried wheat noodles
  • 2 cups (500ml) hot vegetable stock
  • Sliced spring onion (scallion), sesame seeds and chilli oil, to serve


  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1cm ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, very finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), chopped
  • 1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 cup (80g) soy mince
  • Pinch of white pepper


  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 2 tsp peanut butter (optional)
  • ½ tsp white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2–4 tsp chilli oil

First, prepare the mince. Soak soy mince in an equivalent volume of hot water for 5–10 minutes, until it has softened. Before using the soaked soy mince in your dish, you’ll need to drain it well. You can do this by placing a spoonful at a time of the soaked mince in a sieve and pressing down with the back of a spoon to squeeze out excess water before scooping the now-dry mince into a clean bowl.

Pour the oil into a wok or frying pan over medium heat and fry the garlic, ginger and shallot until fragrant, about 3 minutes, then add the spring onions and dark soy sauce. Fry for 2 minutes before adding the drained soy mince and pepper, then continue frying for another 3–4 minutes so the mince is heated right through, and is starting to look dry and fluffy. Cover and set aside.

Cook the noodles according to the package instructions.

For the sauce, whisk the sesame oil, tahini, peanut butter (if using), sugar, light soy sauce, chilli oil and 1 tablespoon water into a smooth paste. Divide between four bowls.

Drain the noodles and divide between the bowls. Toss the noodles in the sauce, then pour ½ cup (125ml) hot stock into each bowl. Add a large spoonful of the mince mixture, then garnish with sliced spring onion, sesame seeds and more chilli oil, if desired.

BBQ marinated calamari

Recipe and images courtesy of Ayam |

Serves: 4

Prep: 15 mins

Cook: 2 mins

  • 400g calamari tubes
  • 2 Tbsp Ayam oyster sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Ayam plum sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ red capsicum, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, cut into thin wedges

Open out calamari tubes, lay flat. Make shallow cuts into the inside of the tubes. Cut into small squares. Combine in a bowl with oyster sauce, plum sauce, garlic and lemon rind. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Heat a barbecue plate to high. Heat oil, add capsicum and onion, stir-fry until tender, transfer to a bowl.

Add calamari mixture to plate or pan, stir-fry for a few seconds until it just changes colour. Add to capsicum and onion in bowl, toss to coat.

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