The year of the tiger

January 20, 1998

January 20, 1998

photo provided by Family Features

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The year of the tiger

The powerful tiger takes over lunar ruling from the diligent ox Wednesday, Jan. 28, marking the beginning of the Chinese New Year. Whatever occurs on this day will set the tone for the rest of the year, which is why it's important to focus on good luck and good fortune. A central part of this tradition is food.

Busy families can enjoy the promise of a flavorful New Year with recipes that rely on simple, traditional ingredients.

One good luck food served at the Chinese New Year is pork. Cubes and strips are perfect for stir-frying dishes, while chops and tenderloins work for grilling. Pork is done when the meat is tender and juicy and reads 160 degrees on an internal meat thermometer.


Soy sauce is a key ingredient in many traditional Chinese dishes. It's a quick, convenient way to add an instant Asian flair to any dish and bring out bold flavors. Soy sauce adds a balanced, robust flavor to dipping sauces, marinades and vegetables.

The Chinese have used pears in their cooking for centuries. Canned pears make it possible to enjoy this fruit year round.

1 6-ounce package frozen pea pods

1 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained

2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, quartered and cut into 1-inch slices

1 rib celery, diagonally sliced into 1/4-inch pieces

1 carrot, peeled and diagonally sliced into 1/4-inch pieces

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup white vinegar

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Place pea pods, water chestnuts, cucumber and celery in a large bowl.

Blanch carrot in boiling water 1 to 2 minutes, until crisp-tender; add to vegetables. Heat vegetable oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat and saute garlic briefly until soft. Add remaining ingredients to skillet and stir to dissolve sugar. Let cool and toss with vegetables. Cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours before serving. Serves 6.

Note: Four cups of any vegetable combination can be substituted in this recipe.

Click here to view more delicious recipes.

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