This weekend we celebrated the year of the rabbit with a party.
The intoxicating scent of paperwhites (narcissus) brings me back to Chinese New Years in Hong Kong.
Calligraphy by Grandpa Jack.
Oranges, chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil, and red candy. It’s important to get the oranges with leaves.
Hung bao, or red envelopes are usually filled with money and given to children. This year, instead of red, I decided on these peach colored envelopes. Not having time to do papercuts, I printed a few pictures off the internet and included them with a couple of dollar bills.
Grandpa Jack shows off his killer knife skills. A dish of many different vegetables, eggs, and mung bean noodles.
Tig makes his famous sesame balls (recipe from Wisdom of a Chinese Kitchen). The rest is takeout from Chinatown. I made some bubble tea.
Pork buns, rice wrapped in lotus leaves (zhong zi) and roasted duck.
Good times by all.
But none of it would be possible without Grandpa Jack and Grandma Jennifer. Thank you. We love you.
Tiny Asteroid Bubble Tea With Lychee Syrup
Bubble tea can be made in a myriad of ways. Here is what we did for our party. Many of the ingredients can be found in Asian grocery stores, or you can order bubble tea supplies on-line.
Jasmine Green tea leaves
2 cans lychees
1 cup large tapioca pearls
6-8 cups water
Large diameter straws
Milk or creamer (optional)
- Brew one pot of jasmine green tea, set aside to cool.
- Boil water in a large pot. Add in the tapioca pearls to boiling water. The tapioca pearls should float in the water. Boil for 10 minutes, then turn the heat off and let the pearls sit for another 10 minutes. Sample to check the consistency of the pearls and cook them longer if they are too hard in the middle. When the pearls are done rinse them in cool water and drain. Store them in a mason jar with some cool water.
- Open the two cans of lychees and reserve the liquid in a separate mason jar or pitcher. If you don’t have access to canned lychees, you can make a simple syrup.
To make your bubble tea, pour jasmine tea into a cup. Add a few spoonfuls of tapioca pearls. Add lychee juice to taste and some ice cubes. If you want to add milk or creamer, it is optional. I prefer to keep it simple so the flavors of the green tea and lychee shine. Drink through a large straw.
There many other recipes and variations on making bubble tea, just do a quick Google for “bubble tea recipe.”
Red is a Dragon: A Book of Colors | Roseanne Thong, Illustrated by Grace Lin. A little girl explores her world in colors, from red firecrackers to jade bracelets.
Bringing in the New Year | Grace Lin. A Chinese American family prepares for the Lunar New Year.
Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats: A Treasury of Chinese Holiday Tales, Activities & Recipes | Nina Simonds, Leslie Swartz, The Children’s Museum Boston, and Meilo So. If you do not have access to an asian food store, the recipes in this book (which I have not tried) and the next are adaptations using more commonly found ingredients.
Wisdom of a Chinese Kitchen: Classic Family recipes for Celebration and Healing | Grace Young. This lovely book is a series of biographical essays with information about Chinese food and healing from a Cantonese perspective.