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Asian Chef Creates Chinese-Zodiac Based Recipes

In Celebration of Chinese New Year, Ying Chang Compestine Shares Twelve New Recipes

In honor of the upcoming Chinese New Year, Ying Chang Compestine, national authority on Asian cuisine and culture, dynamic public speaker and world traveler, has created 12 new "fusion-style" recipes, all specially formulated to complement the personality traits associated with each of the 12 signs of the Chinese Zodiac. The recipes feature delicious quality soup mixes, seasoning blends and sauces from MAGGI TASTE OF ASIA.

Based on the lunar calendar, in 2005 the Chinese New Year starts on February 9 and begins the year of the Rooster. Symbolic of good fortune and abundance, feasting starts on New Year's eve and lasts for 15 days.

According to Chinese astrology, a person is influenced not only by his or her birth month, but also by the year, day and hour of birth. Each of these factors contributes, not only to an individual's personality, but also to other affinities such as natural elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, water), tastes, colors, Yin/Yang balance and (compass) directions. Most well known in Chinese astrology are the 12 animals of the Zodiac-rat, ox, rabbit, tiger, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig-each assigned to consecutive years.

Recognizing that the complex system of Chinese astrology is a powerful tool, Compestine identified that it can be used to incorporate dishes in the diet that harmonize with an individual's natural tendencies. For example, people born in the year of the Rat tend to have "cool" personalities. To add some heat to their lives, Compestine created the dish Invigorating Spicy Crab Soup.

A well-seasoned chef, Compestine is the author of three cookbooks-Secrets of Fat-Free Chinese Cooking, Cooking With Green Tea, and Secrets from a Healthy Asian Kitchen. She is featured on the Discovery Channel's Home Matters and Home and Garden HGTV's Smart Solutions shows, as well as numerous other national programs. Compestine is also the food editor at Body and Soul magazine and has written more than 40 food features for national magazines including Cooking Light, EatingWell, Self, Ski, Men's Health, and Delicious Living. She was born in Wuhan, China.


Zodiac Sign: Rat
With the chill of the first hours of the morning and mid-winter as two guiding forces, those born in the Rat sign are inclined to have Yin (cool) in their character. The Yang (heat) of this recipe, and the crabmeat (which aligns with their element-water), are sure to rejuvenate the intelligent and emotional Rat.

INVIGORATING SPICY CRAB SOUP
(Makes 4 to 6 servings)

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 fresh or dried shiitake mushrooms rehydrated in water, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 pkg. (1.23 oz.) MAGGI® Soup of Asia for Hot & Sour Soup Mix
  • 1 cup fresh or chopped imitation crabmeat
  • 1 large egg, well beaten
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon MAGGI Seasoning Sauce
  • Cilantro leaves (optional)

      HEAT canola oil in large, nonstick wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms; cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute or until fragrant. Add tomatoes; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.

      STIR in Maggi Soup Mix and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil. Add crabmeat; bring to a second boil. Turn off heat. Stir soup in one direction with a chopstick or fork and slowly pour in the beaten egg so the egg forms long threads.

      STIR in sesame oil and Maggi Seasoning Sauce. Garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve hot.


    Zodiac Sign: Pig
    People born in the sign of the Pig have a relaxed attitude that brings equilibrium to daily challenges, which results in a long content life. With shrimp to recall the water element of the Pig sign and long noodles to emphasize their long life expectancy, this recipe is sure to have everyone slurping in the New Year. Noodles are an integral part of Chinese New Year celebrations and represent a wish for a long and happy life.

    LONGEVITY NOODLES WITH SESAME SHRIMP
    (Makes 4 servings)

  • 8 ounces fresh or dry rice noodles or fettuccine, follow package directions and rinse with cold water
  • 1 tablespoon MAGGI Seasoning Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped peeled gingerroot
  • 12 ounces raw shrimp, large, peeled, deveined
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted black or white sesame seeds or toasted nuts 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced diagonally
  • 1 tablespoon MAGGI Cooking Soy Sauce

      COMBINE Maggi Seasoning Sauce, lemon juice and ginger in medium bowl. Add shrimp; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

      HEAT canola oil in large nonstick wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add sesame seeds; cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds or until seeds are toasted and fragrant. Remove shrimp from marinade and add to wok; discard marinade. Cook, stirring constantly, until shrimp is opaque, about 1 minute.

      ADD red and yellow bell peppers; cook for 1 minute. Stir in noodles, green onions and Maggi Cooking Soy Sauce. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes or until heated through. Transfer to serving dish. Serve hot or cold.


    Zodiac Sign: Dog
    When the animal signs were being selected, the Jade Emperor held a race. The Dog and the Rooster were running even, then at a critical moment the Rooster cheated and flew ahead of the Dog, gaining tenth place in the Chinese zodiac. To this day, the Dog has not forgiven the Rooster, and continues to chase him. With this dish, the Dog gets a little revenge! So all those born in the sign of the Dog, stop running and enjoy this delicious meal.

    SWEET JUSTICE KUNG PAO CHICKEN
    (Makes 4 servings)

  • 3/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, precut for stir-frying
  • 1 pkg. (1.94 oz.) MAGGI TASTE OF ASIA Seasoning Blend for Satay Chicken
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh orange peel
  • 4 whole dried chili peppers
  • 1 cup thinly sliced lengthwise leek (white part only)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrot
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 2 tablespoons MAGGI Cooking Soy Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons roasted peanuts
    • COMBINE chicken and Maggi Seasoning Blend in medium bowl; toss to coat. Let stand for 5 minutes.

      HEAT oil in large, nonstick wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add orange peel and chili peppers; cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.

      ADD chicken to wok. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes or until browned and no longer pink in center. Add leek, carrot and celery; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in Maggi Cooking Soy Sauce. Transfer to serving dish. Garnish with peanuts. Serve hot.


    Zodiac Sign: Dragon
    In Chinese astrology, the Jade Emperor elected the Dragon "King of the Water." People in the Dragon sign tend to be attractive, charismatic, and have no problem attracting love and admiration. With such powerful Yang (heat) energy, the coolness of this earthy dish offers the Dragon perfect balance.

    SOOTHING TOFU WITH YOGURT MINT SAUCE
    (Makes 4 servings)

  • 1 block (12 to 16 oz.) extra-firm tofu
  • 1 pkg. (1.23 oz.) MAGGI® Soup of Asia for Bean Curd & Vegetable Soup Mix
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon MAGGI® Seasoning Sauce
  • Yogurt Mint Sauce (recipe follows)

      CUT tofu into 8 equal cubes by first cutting the block into 2 sheets, then cutting both sheets in half and then in quarters.

      MIX Maggi Soup Mix and 1/4 cup warm water in medium bowl. Add tofu; mix well. Cover; marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

      HEAT oil in large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sesame seeds; cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute or until seeds are fragrant. Transfer tofu from marinade to skillet along with Maggi Seasoning Sauce. Pan-fry for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Turn; pan-fry other side for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with Yogurt Mint Sauce.

    YOGURT MINT SAUCE
    (Makes about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons MAGGI® Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
      PLACE yogurt, cucumber, Maggi Sweet Chili Sauce and mint leaves in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.

    Zodiac Sign: Horse
    Like a horse, people born in the sign of the Horse tend to be independent, confident and hard working. And like a horse, they respond to soothing words, tenderness and affection. The Horse sign is associated with the middle days of summer, when Yang (heat) is at its strongest. These cooling spring rolls would be perfect shared during an intimate outing by a lake or under a shade tree.

    REFRESHING VEGETARIAN SPRING ROLLS
    (Makes 12 rolls)

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 8 oz. flavored, baked tofu, shredded
  • 1 cup sunflower greens or bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves, shredded
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into short thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons MAGGI® Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon MAGGI® Seasoning Sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil 12
  • (8-inch) round dried rice paper wrappers
  • Soy and Chili Dipping Sauce (recipe follows)

      HEAT canola oil in large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add tofu; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Turn off heat. Stir in sprouts, basil, bell pepper, Maggi Sweet Chili Sauce, Maggi Seasoning Sauce and sesame oil.

      SOAK one sheet of rice paper wrapper in warm water for about 1 minute or until soft. Transfer wrapper to a dry cutting board.

      ARRANGE 2 tablespoons filling in an even horizontal mound just below the center of the wrapper. Tightly roll up the rice paper to form a tight cylinder, folding in the sides about halfway, as you would to form an egg roll or a blintz. Repeat procedure with remaining wrappers and filling. Cut each spring roll in half on the diagonal. Serve with sauce.


    Zodiac Sign: Monkey
    With an excellent memory and versatility, this slightly more difficult recipe is a snap for those born in the sign of the Monkey. Serving this zesty dish in a cozy, private setting will feed the amorous side of the Monkey's personality. The Yang (hot) elements in this dish balance the Yin (cool) personality of the Monkey. White (Monkey's color) is accented in the scallops, garlic and dumpling wrappers.

    SPICY SCALLOP DUMPLINGS
    (Makes 24 to 26 dumplings)

  • 1/2 lb. fresh scallops, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons MAGGI® TASTE OF ASIATM Seasoning Blend for Satay Chicken
  • 1 tablespoon MAGGI® Cooking Soy Sauce
  • 24 to 26 round (gyoza) dumpling wrappers
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 cup water, divided
  • Soy and Chili Dipping Sauce (recipe follows)
      COMBINE scallops, onion, Maggi Seasoning Blend and Maggi Cooking Soy Sauce in a large bowl; mix well. DIP one edge of wrapper into water. Spoon about 1 1/2 teaspoons of scallop mixture into center of wrapper. Work with 1 wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers to keep them from drying). Fold the wrapper over to form a half circle, pressing the dry edge on to the wet edge. Pinch the edges together to seal. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. Place dumplings on baking sheet. Cover loosely with a towel to keep them from drying. MIX 1 tablespoon oil and 1/2 cup water in large, nonstick skillet. Arrange half of the dumplings in a winding circle in the skillet, leaving just a little space between each one. Cover; cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes or until dumplings turn light brown and puff up. REPEAT procedure with remaining oil, water and dumplings. Serve warm with Soy and Chili Dipping Sauce.

    Zodiac Sign: Ox
    People born in the sign of the Ox are known to be hardworking but reluctant to try new things. With fresh, juicy pineapple that complement the Ox's affinity for yellow, this deliciously different dish is sure to persuade the Ox to try something new, while gaining enough strength to accomplish important tasks.

    REVITALIZING STEAK AND PINEAPPLE WRAP
    (Makes 6 servings)

  • 1 lb. beef flank steak
  • 1 pkg. (1.05 oz.) MAGGI TASTE OF ASIA
  • Seasoning Blend for Thai Chicken Curry
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 (8-inch) soft taco-size flour tortillas, warmed
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple chunks or 2 medium
  • golden delicious apples, peeled, cored and cut into strips
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and cut into strips (about 1 1/2 cups total)
  • Spicy Thai Sauce (recipe follows)
      TRIM any fat or gristle off the steak. Cut steak across grain into 1-inch-wide slices.

      MIX Maggi Seasoning Blend, orange juice and oil in medium bowl. Add steak to marinade; mix well. Cover; refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

      PREHEAT broiler.

      BROIL steak on broiler pan for about 7 minutes or until desired doneness. Let stand for 5 minutes. Cut into bite-size pieces. Discard marinade.

      SPOON about 3 tablespoons steak mixture into each warm tortilla. Top with 1 1/2 tablespoons each of pineapple and cucumber and about 2 teaspoons Spicy Thai Sauce. Roll up tortillas and eat with your fingers. Serve with additional sauce if desired.


    Zodiac Sign: Tiger
    With a love for a challenging and exciting life, people born in the year of the Tiger can be aggressive and sometimes impatient. This salad's Yin (cool) elements balance the Tiger's Yang (heat) life force, and energizes them for more action. The fruits from two trees evoke the Tiger's element — wood — and deliciously fresh ingredients recall their color, green.

    CALMING GRAPEFRUIT AVOCADO SALAD
    (Makes 6 servings)

  • 2 medium pink grapefruits
  • 2 tablespoons MAGGI® Seasoning Sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 4 green lettuce leaves or banana leaves
  • 2 medium avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into thin strips
  • 2 medium yellow tomatoes, each cut into 6 wedges
      HALVE grapefruits. Cut between the rind and the pulp. Hold grapefruits over a bowl to catch juice, and cut between membranes to remove segments.

      WHISK together Maggi Seasoning Sauce, oil and vinegar in small bowl. Mix in grapefruit juice. Set aside.

      LINE large platter with lettuce leaves. Artistically arrange grapefruit segments, avocados, and tomatoes. Drizzle dressing mixture over salad. Serve immediately.


    Zodiac Sign: Rooster
    Influenced by the cool westerly setting sun and the chilly autumn air, people associated with the Rooster sign tend to be relaxed, outgoing and charming. This zesty recipe balances Rooster's Yin (cool) with lots of heat.

    LION'S HEADS MEATBALLS IN SPICY COCONUT SAUCE
    (Makes 10 servings)

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk (light)
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons MAGGI® Seasoning Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon MAGGI® Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 1 pound ground pork or beef (lean) 1
  • packet (1.05 ounces) MAGGI® TASTE OF ASIATM Seasoning Blend for Thai Chicken Curry
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped water chestnuts
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon peeled, finely chopped fresh ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (or Thai basil leaves)
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 package cooked rice (or noodles)

      COMBINE coconut milk, soy milk, Maggi Seasoning Sauce and Maggi Sweet Chili Sauce in small bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

      PLACE pork, Maggi Seasoning Blend, green onions, water chestnuts, cornstarch, sesame oil, ginger and flour in large mixing bowl. Knead by hand until ingredients are thoroughly combined and mixture becomes sticky. Divide mixture into 10 equal portions, about 1/4 cup each. Roll each portion into a ball. Set balls on an oiled plate.

      HEAT cooking oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, swirling to coat sides. Add meatballs and pan-fry, turning occasionally, for about 8 to 10 minutes or until browned on all sides. Drain on paper towel.

      HEAT coconut mixture over medium-high heat to boiling in saucepan. Add meatballs; cover. Reduce heat; cook for 8 minutes. Garnish with basil and lemon peel. Serve hot over noodles or rice.


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