Celebrated Chinese restaurant, Buddakan, launches a special Chinese New Year menu just in time for the February 10th holiday. The menu features customary dishes, each signifying values such as wealth, happiness and longevity. "We tried to stay traditional with the dishes," says Executive Chef Brian Ray. "But we used some unique flavor combinations in the dishes, like pairing fermented black garlic with sea urchin."
While a trip to the restaurant is a fabulous way to celebrate the New Year, Ray assures us that traditional Chinese cuisine can be made at home. "There are lots of braised dishes and soups that you could make at home," says the chef. "I make a pretty good char sui on the backyard barbecue."
When cooking Cantonese cuisine, Ray recommends reaching for the oyster sauce and limiting the use of oil. "[Oyster sauce] adds richness and depth to dishes," he says. In terms of oil, too much oil and not enough heat causes greasiness in Chinese cuisine.
Lastly, when working with seafood, look for fish with "no fishy smell, clean pink gills and clear eyes," explains Ray. "Shop at busy stores [to] ensure that nothing has been sitting around, [and] ask questions."
Check out the slideshow above to learn how to make a few Buddakan favorites at home for the New Year.