The Year of the Horse: A Chinese New Year Recipe from Andres Valbuena of Martha

Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 10.57.31 AM

Chinese New Year (or Nónglì Xinnián) starts tomorrow, January 31, and what better way to celebrate than with food? None. There is literally no better way to celebrate. And while there are plenty of dining options in Brooklyn where you can go and eat some of the food thought to bring good luck in the new year, maybe you want to stay home and make the food yourself? Well, we chef Andres Valbuena of Fort Greene’s Martha has got you covered with these recipes for whole trout and longevity noodles, both designed to guarantee good fortune in the upcoming Year of the Horse. Or, you know, you could just go eat at Martha, which is never, ever a bad choice (those lamb meatballs with congee are the BEST). Either way, you’re in good shape for the new year. Enjoy!

Yú – Banana Leaf Wrapped Whole Trout with Turmeric Rub

From Andres: “It’s our bastardization of a Malaysian/Thai dish—both countries celebrate the Chinese New Year because of their significant respective Chinese populations. The word ‘yú’ means fish in Chinese, but also means abundance, so it’s a tradition to serve a whole fish and not eat it entirely, saving the leftover for the next day meal. As wise Chinese folks say, ‘niánnián yǒu yú,’  or, ‘may there be abundance every year,’ which sounds the same as ‘let there be fish every year.’
-Whole Rainbow or Brook Trout – About 1 pound – bone out / head on
-Fresh Banana Leaf – enough to wrap the fish
Turmeric Rub:
-1/8 cup fresh Turmeric, peeled and diced
-1/8 cup fresh Galangal, peeled and diced
-1/8 cup fresh Ginger, peeled and diced
-1/8 cup fresh Lemongrass, peeled and sliced thinly
-1tsp fresh Thai Bird Eye Chile, sliced sliced thinly
-5 Fresh Kafir Lime Leaves
-2 Tbsp Fermented Shrimp Paste
-2 Tbsp Fish Sauce
-1/2 disc Palm Sugar
-1/4 cup Rice Paddy Herb
-1/4 cup Cilantro Leaves
-2 Fresh Lime, quartered
-2 Thai Bird Eye Chile, sliced thinly

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the ingredients (one by one) of the turmeric rub in a mortar and mash them to a fine and smooth paste. Rub the fish with the paste — including inside the belly cavity — then wrap the fish with the banana leaf. Place it in the oven and cook for about 25-30 minutes. Once it is done, cut the banana leaf away with scissors and top the fish with fresh herbs and chile. Serve with lime wedges on the side.

Yi Mein aka “Longevity Noodles” – Uncut Egg Noodles With Braised Duck, Flowering Chives & Toasted Pinenuts

From Andres: “Here is another inauthentic classic: Longevity Noodles owe their name to their long, long shape and that translates to a long, long life. They are noodles that are uncut and served like that, ready to be slurped.”

-Buy them in a Chinatown grocery.
Braised Duck:
-4 Duck legs
-1 cup Water
-1 cup Xiao-xing wine
-1/8 cup Kecap manis Sauce
-1 Tbsp Toasted cumin seeds -grounded
-2 Toasted Star Anise
-1 Tbsp toasted Szechuan Peppercorns
-1 Tbsp toasted White Peppercorns
-3 Cloves
-1/4 Ginger, cut roughly
-1/2 Onion, cut roughly
-2 Tbsp Pinenuts, toasted
-2 Tbsp Scallions, sliced on bias
-8 Flowering chives spring, blanched in hot water then sliced
-2 Thai Bird Eye Chile, sliced sliced thinly
Sear the duck legs in a hot pan, until they are golden brown. When done, place aside. In the same pan, and with the duck fat in, cook the onion and ginger along with all the spices. Once the vegetables are softened, add the duck along with the rest of the duck ingredients. Bring to a boil and let boil for 10 minutes, then simmer for 35 minutes. After 45 minutes check the duck meat, which should be soft and falling off the bone. Take the duck out of the sauce and pull the meat, put aside. Strain the sauce and place the meat together with the strained sauce. Meanwhile, cook the noodles in boiling water. Serve them in a bowl, pour the duck sauce over top, and finish with all the garnishes.

Martha: 184 Dekalb Avenue, Fort Greene

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen

Around Brooklyn

See More