I still had to celebrate this new year of the Ox, though, so I invited the family over yesterday. I did a lot of experimentation and we ate well (I think):
This is Nian Gao--Chinese New Year cake. I believe it is supposed to be a little fluffier, darker, and taller, but it wasn't too bad for my first attempt. Hey--you try steaming a cake and see how good it turns out!
Next came the Cashew Shrimp in Oyster sauce. I kind of made it up as I went along and it turned out amazing! I've never really cooked with shrimp before and thought I'd try my hand at something new. I think the picture's pretty.
And don't forget the fish! The fish is the most important dish at Chinese New Year. Yes, this is a trout. And no, it does not taste quite like bass. But it was fun to try. (I don't think you can find good salt water fish in a landlocked state such as ours.)
The 'Before' picture: