Lunar New Year Vegetarian Stir-Fry 年菜西兰花芦笋清炒鸿禧菇

During Lunar New Year, many Chinese families believe in shoring up good luck with food that symbolizes good health and prosperity.

With good health and happiness in mind, this easy and healthy vegetarian stir-fry is perfect for the Lunar New Year. We have broccoli, asparagus, bell peppers, beech mushrooms, and tofu all in a pot, symbolizing togetherness.

Quite different from the popular vegetarian dish Chap Chai(Braised Vegetables Combo) that often makes its appearance during Lunar New Year, this vegetable combo wins on the crisp fresh bites of vegetables and light-tasting flavors, unlike the soft meld-down texture and deep-layered flavors of a braised dish.

Each ingredient and its symbolism, in my own interpretation:

Mushrooms 鸿禧菇 = 鸿运当头 (Good luck)
Asparagus 芦笋(顺)= 事事顺利 (Smooth-sailing)
Broccoli 西兰花 = 花开富贵 (Prosperity)
Celery 芹(情)菜 = 心情愉快 (Positive mood, good health)
Orange bell peppers 橘(吉)色灯笼椒 = 大吉大利 (Auspicious)
Garlic/leek 蒜(算)头 = 有的算$ (Fortune)
Tofu 豆腐(福)=有福 (Good health, happiness)

Broccoli and Asparagus Stir-Fried with Tofu, Mushrooms (Chinese New Year Veggie Combo) 西兰花芦笋清炒豆腐鸿禧菇
4-5 cloves garlic, finely minced
6oz organic broccoli florets
12-16 asparagus, sliced into finger-lengths (more on preparing asparagus here)
7 oz tofu, sliced into triangles (as shown)
Bunashimeji (brown beech) mushrooms or any other variety
3 celery hearts, sliced to bite-sizes
1organic bell pepper, sliced to bite-sizes (orange, yellow or red)
1tsp light soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp sesame oil for finishing aroma

Directions: In a little cooking oil, saute the mushrooms and tofu with garlic, till the mushrooms softened slightly, add the broccoli and asparagus, give it a good stir, cover the pot and allow the steam to partially cook the vegetables, about 5-6mins, then add the bell peppers, celery, soy sauce and cook further for a few minutes till everything is cooked (the bell peppers and celery need not be totally softened down to be considered cooked, as their crunchy texture is preferred). Salt and pepper to taste, and sesame oil to finish it off.

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