Kian Lam Kho will cook up a Chinese New Year dinner at Purple Yam

January 6, 2011

Tea-smoked squab with orange anise sauce

Kian Lam Kho, aka Red Cook, Celebrates the Year of the Rabbit at Purple Yam, Thursday, Jan 27, 2011, 7 & 9:30 pm (2 seatings), $ 60.

Call (718) 940-8188 to make a reservation.

During this past year,  Romy and I have had the pleasure of getting to know Kian who is probably the most easy going cook/chef/teacher of Chinese food ever!  He is famous for his red cooked pork belly in a steamed bun which we featured in our booth at the Hester St-Grub Street Fair down at Essex St last October (and sold out quickly).  Next up is a very special and personal Chinese meal at PY to welcome the year of the Rabbit.  His dumpling/ dimsum class here on January 15 quickly sold out even before Christmas.   Here is how Kian describes the meal he has designed for January 27.

Kian testing out dishes at Purple Yam

Chinese New Year

In the Chinese tradition New Year celebration is not only an observance of time past, but also a celebration of things to come. Often known as the “Spring Festival,” it represents the renewal of life. As such there is a great deal of symbolism attached to Chinese New Year festivities.

Many aspects of the New Year’s celebration are practiced by Chinese everywhere. However, many regional customs developed from local traditions.  The single most important event for the New Year festivities is the family reunion dinner, which is commonly celebrated on New Year’s Eve. Family members return from far away places regardless of where their lives have led them. The meals themselves can reflect a wide variety of local customs. Some people eat a simple meal of dumplings, while others partake in multi-course banquets. Still no matter how the dinner is celebrated, much of the symbolic meaning is the same.

My family follows many of the Southern Chinese traditions. Tangerines are offered to guests to represent spreading of good fortune. In Chinese the word for “tangerine” sounds like the word for “prosperity.”  Sticky rice cakes are also served because their name is a homophone for “New Year cake.”  Towards the end of the dinner, fish is very much obligatory at a family reunion dinner because “fish” is so similar to the Chinese word for “plentiful.”

We’ve designed our Chinese New Year dinner at Purple Yam to reflect many of these customs. We wish you a “prosperous” and “plentiful” new year as you join us in celebrating the arrival of the  Year of the Rabbit!


Assorted Cold Appetizers

Braised Bran Dough

Shrimp Salad with Mustard Mayonnaise

Jellyfish Salad

Spicy Lotus Roots

Red Cooked Pork with Steamed Buns

Pork and Asian Pear Soup

Tea Smoked Squab with Orange Anise Sauce

Stir-Fried Beef with Cumin

Baby Napa Cabbage with Conpoy Sauce

Steamed Carp with Sour Plum Sauce

Steamed Sticky Rice with Pumpkin

Lychee Sorbet with Chinese New Year Cake

Braised bran dough

Shrimp Salad with mustard mayonnaise

Jelly fish salad

Red cooked pork belly

Pork belly with steamed buns and garlic cucumbers

Stir fried beef with cumin, a Muslim Chinese dish

Baby Napa cabbage with conpoy (dried scallops) sauce

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