Gung Hai Fat Choy

Feb. 3 marks the beginning of a new year on the Chinese lunar calendar, the year of the rabbit, so why not seize the opportunity to celebrate with some great Asian dishes.

We eat stir-fried dinners regularly because there a nice variety of lightly-cooked fresh vegetables and just a small amount of lean meat, fish or other protein and that’s a good, healthy way to eat.

I almost always include fresh garlic and ginger, both of which are also good for your health, and there’s usually no need to add extra salt, as it’s already in the prepared sauce you spice up the dish with.

Very little oil is needed, so that’s not a significant factor.

In order to get the seven to 10 vegetables a day recommended by Canada’s Food Guide, I try to include vegetables in breakfast as well as lunch and dinner.

So to the traditional egg foo yung, I always add spinach and mushrooms as well as the bean sprouts. I even add vegetables to my scrambled eggs and to omelets in the morning.

Traditionally, preparations for the new year involve a thorough house cleaning and paying out of debts to get ready ahead of time, then a 15-day celebration, so from the date of the new moon to the rise of the full moon.

There’s much socializing and good food, much of it symbolic of good luck.

Enjoy some Chinese cuisine and I wish you good luck in this coming rabbit year.

If you like this column you may also be interested in my upcoming book, to be called Jude’s Kitchen, being published by the Okanagan Institute in the coming months. To reserve your copy, go to

Ground Pork with Bean Curd

You could turn this into a vegetarian dish by omitting the pork and it would be very tasty. It’s a very healthful dish, with the tofu as a lean protein (bean curd) and lots of vegetables.

12 oz. (350 g) extra firm tofu

1 tbsp. (15 ml) minced ginger

1 garlic clove

1 onion

5 mushrooms

1/2 sweet red pepper

2 c. (500 ml) chopped bok choy

drizzle of oil

1/2 c. (125 ml) water

1/2 lb. (227 g) lean ground pork

1 tbsp. (15 ml) brown bean sauce

1 tsp. (5 ml) szechuan sauce

1 tbsp. (15 ml) cornstarch

1 tbsp. (15 ml) cold water

sesame seeds

Rinse tofu and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Mince ginger and garlic; cube onion, mushrooms and red pepper and slice up the bok choy. Set each vegetable aside in a little pile.

Heat a drizzle of oil in a wok over medium-high heat and add a third of the ginger. Give it a stir and add the tofu/bean curd cubes. Brown them a little on all sides, handling carefully so they don’t disintegrate. Remove to a platter.

Add another drizzle of oil, heat it and add another third of the ginger, stirring it for a second. Add the onion and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the mushrooms and bok choy. Stir fry for a few minutes, then add the red pepper and water and cover for a few minutes to steam, but do not overcook.

Remove to a bowl or the lid for the wok and add another drizzle of oil. Add the remaining ginger, then the pork and stir fry until the pink has nearly all gone. Add the garlic, the sauces and the liquid that has accumulated under the vegetables. Bring it to bubbling, re-combine the cornstarch mixture and add it and stir until the sauce becomes translucent and thickens.

Return the vegetables and stir fry briefly, then pour it all over the tofu on the platter.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with rice or noodles.

Serves 2-4.

Spinach Egg Foo Yung

While this may not be part of mainstream Chinese cuisine, it is here in North America, and this is a fresher, brighter, crispier version of the traditional one. I don’t recommend pre-cooking the vegetables because I think they are better still a bit crisp when they arrive on your plate. The sauce is optional, but is very simple to make. I like to add a few fresh, chopped shrimp to this.

1 c. (250 ml) fresh bean sprouts

5 mushrooms

2 c. (500 ml) spinach leaves

3 eggs

2 tsp. (10 ml) olive oil

Rinse a handful of bean sprouts in cold water, drain and pat dry.

Clean mushrooms and cut into small dice.

Wash and chop fresh spinach leaves.

Lightly beat eggs in a large bowl and add vegetables. Mix.

Heat oil or melt butter in a non-stick pan, and pour spoonfuls of the egg and vegetable mixture in, just as you would make pancakes.

Let each little omelette brown for a minute or so before turning and browning the other side. They can be made any size you like.

Keep warm while you make up the rest of them.


1 tbsp. (15 ml) cold water

2 tsp. (10 ml) cornstarch

1/2 c. (125 ml) chicken stock

2 tsp. (10 ml) soy sauce

Dissolve cornstarch in cold water in a small bowl and set aside.

Bring stock to a boil in a small pot and add soy sauce. Stir in re-combined cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly.

When bubbling, thickened and clear, just keep the sauce warm until ready to serve.

Add salt only if needed.

Drizzle a bit of sauce over each omelette.

Serves 4.

Just Posted

Vancouver artist rocks to fight opioid crisis

Jeremy Allingham is set to bring his guitar-focused rock ‘n roll to Kelowna April 6, Vernon June 9

World Down Syndrome Day: The up side of Down

A Kelowna family’s journey with Down Syndrome: ‘There is tremendous beauty in these kids’

Kelowna cops crack down on drivers using cell phones

Drivers caught talking or texting behind the wheel now face a fine totalling $543

Okanagan Falls winery showing international photo project

Liquidity Wines will be sole Canadian show of National Geographic’s Photo Ark

West Kelowna mayor meets finance minister to protest speculation tax

Doug Findlater presents Carole James with booklet of info outlining tax’s impact on his city

Crook’s Corner

Arts and entertainment highlights this week across the Okanagan

B.C. Scientists witness first-ever documented killer whale infanticide

“It’s horrifying and fascinating at the same time.”

Lawyer for one suspect in beating of man with autism says he’s not guilty

Ronjot Singh Dhami will turn himself in, lawyer said

Liberals awarded $100,000 contract to man at centre of Facebook data controversy

Christopher Wylie says his voter-profiling company collected private information from 50 million Facebook users

Facebook’s Zuckerberg admits mistakes in privacy scandal

Zuckerberg admits to privacy scandal involving a Trump-connected data-mining firm, but no apology

Rockets’ Foote a finalist for top WHL D-man

Cal Foote named the Western Conference top defenseman; Foote and Dube named all-stars

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

UPDATE: Former B.C. city councillor sentenced nine months for sexual assault

Dave Murray, convicted this past fall, hired a private investigator to intrude on the victim’s life.

Shots fired in Kamloops

Kamloops RCMP are investigating a report of shots fired and a possible explosion at a trailer court

Most Read