Lunar New Year Recipes

All of the following recipes were served at our Lunar New Year 2020 dinner party. This is easily a Keto friendly and GF menu. Be sure to substitute the soy and oyster sauce with GF.

Chao Tom (Shrimp on Sugarcane Skewers)

4 pound shrimp (shell removed & deveined)
2 tablespoon corn starch
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons Salt
1 egg
1 large bulb garlic
1 pork fat (optional)
Sugarcane sticks (split into 4 lengthwise)

Devein, peel and clean shrimp. Puree pork fat in a food processor. Add all ingredients into the food processor and puree until the shrimp is mostly paste. I like to have a few chunks of shrimp in my paste. Oil you fingers with cooking oil before handling the shrimp. This will keep the shrimp from sticking to your fingers. Take a couple of tablespoons of the shrimp mixture and cover 2/3 of the sugarcane sticks. Steam the sticks for 4-5 minutes, then finish by grilling until golden. You may also choose to fry the stick.

Lettuce wraps (Vegetarian)

The key is in the sauce. Depending on your preference, use more or less of any of the “vegetable” ingredients. I like a lot of ginger in mine, so you will taste a bit of bite in my mix. I just smell my mix for ginger and garlic until I am happy.

Dry, dark soy tofu
Wood ear mushrooms, dry S
hitake mushrooms, dry
Black mushrooms, dry
Canned, shredded bamboo shoots (drained and rinsed)
Canned water chestnut (drained and rinsed)
Ground Pepper (to taste)
1 Chopped onion
Finely chopped garlic
Finely chopped ginger
Soy sauce
Oyster sauce
Romaine lettuce

Rinse and soak all of the dry mushrooms overnight. Drain the liquid and reserve about 2 cups for a sauce. Squeeze the mushrooms dry. Finely dice all ingredients to the same size.

Heat a saute pan on high heat until it is hot. Add a good amount of oil (NOT olive oil), saute the onions in the oil until translucent. The ingredients are sort of dry so this will help add some fat. Keep the pan on high heat, add all of the ingredients and saute until everything is hot and allowing some of the ingredients to seer. Add a little sugar (about at least a tsp); a tablespoon or more of soy sauce (depending on how salty your soy sauce is); add a little salt to add more saltiness; add several tablespoons of oyster sauce (ok to use vegetarian oyster sauce). Serve with lettuce leaves. Goi Ga (Chix cabbage salad) Dressing 1/4 c cane vinegar or freshly squeezed lime juice 3 T fish sauce 4 T water 4 T sugar 1/4 t red chili flakes (optional) Salad Finely shredded cabbage 1 finely sliced onion Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro Shredded, boiled chicken breast (I used the chicken from the chicken pho recipe) In a large bowl toss all ingredients, slowly add dressing until liking.

Thit Bo Luc Lac (Shaking Beef)

1 1/2 lbs beef top sirloin, fat trimmed and cut into 1″ cubes
5 cloves crushed garlic
1 small onion, large dice
1 tbsp sugar 1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce 1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp corn starch In a bowl, toss beef and corn starch.
Heat a large wok or pan over high heat.

When very hot add 1 tbsp oil and when it begins to smoke, add an even layer of beef (half), add remaining ingredients giving a quick toss and allow to sear for about 2 minutes, before “shaking” to sear the opposite sides for about another 1-2 minute more to brown all the sides.

Green Beans with black bean sauce
Black bean sauce (be sure to stir the contents of the jar thoroughly before using)
Fresh green beans  
Garlic, crushed or minced
Ginger, peeled and finely grated (optional)
Chu chao oil (optional)
Cooking oil

Wash green beans, cut off the ends and cut in half or as desired; set aside. Heat asaute pan or wok on medium-high heat. When hot add cooking oil until shimmering. Add green beans and cook for 1-2minutes until the beans “brighten” in color. Add garlic, ginger and a pinch of salt. Saute another minute or so, stirring everything together. When the beans are just about to your liking; turn off heat if you are on an electric stove or turn down heat if you are on a gas stove; add a spoonful of black bean sauce, add more if you prefer. Stir until evenly distributed.

Banh Cam (Vietnamese donuts)
1/2 c. sugar + 1/2 c. boiling water
1/2 c.potato flakes (or mashed potato) + 1/2 c. boiling water
2 c.glutinous rice flour
1 tbsp rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 c. white sesame seeds
3 c.vegetable oil for frying

Combine sugar with the hot water and stir until the sugar is dissolved. In a large bowl, add the boiling water to the potato flakes. (you may use the equivalent measurement of homemade mash potatoes. However, you want to use water and not milk thin the potatoes.) Stir until the potatoes are creamy. Add the glutinous rice flour, rice flour, baking powder, oil and sugar water. Mix together working in the dry flour until a soft dough forms. Knead the dough with your hands. Add water if the dough is dry, 1 Tbsp at a time. You may also add water as the dough dries while working. The dough should be soft and smooth, not wet or sticky or dry.

Divide the filling into equal parts and roll them between your hands to make small balls of filling.

Divide the dough into four parts. With a rolling pin, roll the dough to a 1/8" thickness. Cut rounds large enough to cover the filling. Place the filling in the center of the rounds, fold the dough over the filling and pinch the ends together. Roll the ball between your palms to form a smooth ball. Roll the ball in sesame seeds covering the dough completely. Gently roll the ball between your palms pressing the sesame seeds into the dough.  (Alternative: Cut the dough into 1.5" squares, place the filling in the center, place another square over the filling and pinch the edges to seal. )

Over Medium heat, heat oil until the end of a chopstick in the oil sizzles. Turn down heat slightly to Medium Low. Carefully drop the sesame balls into the hot oil. Cook for 1 minute then flip the balls. Fry until they are golden brown, remove from pan and place on paper towels and allow to cool. Best enjoyed warm.


When filling is cool enough to handle, roll into even-sized balls. (It’s easier to roll into balls when the filling is still warm.) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

1 c. peeled split mung bean 
1 1/2 c. water
3 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1/4 c.coconut flakes (optional)

Rinse the mung bean several times with water until the water is clear. Put the beans and water into a rice cooker. Approximately 25 minutes or until tender. Add sugar. Using a flat spoon (the one that comes with the rice cooker works best), mash the beans until creamy and you no longer see the individual beans. The beans should look like mashed potatoes. I used the mini food processor because I like it to be a fine paste. If the mixture is dry, add a little water as needed or coconut milk.
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