Tuesday, 2 September 2014

An Amoyzing Chinese Moon Festival



If we were to play a Family Fortunes style game and we asked people to name a Chinese celebration I think the top answer would undoubtedly be 'Chinese New Year'. After that I think most people would struggle to name one other answer. However the Chinese calendar is packed is with celebrations and festivals which we can all join in with and enjoy.

The Chinese Moon Festival is also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival as it falls on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunisolar month which in China falls either in September or October. This year the Festival falls on Monday 8th September 2014 and as always coincides with a full moon. For people throughout Asia this is one of the most important festivals of the year.

In many ways it is similar to Harvest Festival that we celebrate in the UK. The key components are family and friends coming together, a thanksgiving for the harvest and the good wishes for future success. With this in mind I was delighted to host our own Mid-Autumn Festival with Amoy.

We decorated our dining room with coloured lights and lanterns hung from the main light. Out came the Chinese bowls and table mats. We like to eat Asian food with chop sticks and my daughter has a special plastic pair which hold together. My son is still content with stabbing his food with a fork but as long as it gets from bowl to mouth what does it matter?

I got sent a selection of Amoy goodies to try but if you want some video tutorials check out Amoy's YouTube channel for some Amoyzing Meals in Minutes with Ching He Huang.

As this festival also falls at a time of year when there is some much great British produce around we decided to use some great fresh vegetables that are also common in Asian cooking. Our dishes included British grown peppers, spring onions, onions, carrots, mange tout, baby sweetcorn, mushrooms and some delicious pak choi.

You may wish to keep to one dish but we wanted to have a proper feast with all different flavours and textures. In order to keep the food warm I used my table-top electric heater. If you don't have one of these you could use tealight heaters.

We decided to make dishes suitable for vegetarians, pescetarians and meat eaters. Each of the stir fry sauces gives you a recipe on the back if you need it but we added our own favourite ingredients to each dish.

First up was the Chow Mein. We decided to keep this vegetarian by stir frying onions, carrots, sliced water chestnuts, mange tout, baby corn, sliced mushrooms and red pepper. This was served with Amoy Rice Noodles.

As this festival is celebrated throughout Asia we thought we would also try the Pad Thai stir fry sauce. For this we used diced pork loin, pak choi, roasted unsalted cashew nuts, spring onions, carrots, red pepper. This was then combined with thick Udon Noodles.

A Chinese Classic enjoyed by most people is Sweet and Sour. You can keep this simple with a selection of peppers or add to it like we did. Our version contained diced chicken breast, mange tout, baby corn, spring onions, carrots, red pepper, onions, roasted unsalted cashew nuts and water chestnuts. We used some more Udon Noodles to mix it all together.

Our last dish was the Sweet Thai Chilli. This seemed to be crying out for some prawns so we used raw king prawns. The vegetables in this dish were carrots, red pepper, mange tout and baby corn.

We don't need much excuse to have a good Chinese meal at home. How are you going to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival? Don't forget to look out for that full moon too!


This post is in conjunction with Amoy. I was sent a selection of products and vouchers to use in the dishes I created. All photographs are my own.

22 comments:

  1. I have to admit I have never heard of this festival. Your noodle dishes look very appetising.

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    1. I hadn't heard of it either but we certainly enjoyed celebrating it!

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  2. Oh yum, we love chinese, but never need a reason to eat it!¬

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    1. We don't need much encouragement either! It's nice to make an extra special effort though.

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  3. I haven't eaten Chinese food since I was a child! These dishes look lovely - but I'm particularly taken with the little paper lanterns :)

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    1. You don't know what you're missing! The paper lanterns got prettier as the night got darker.

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  4. yum! haven't had chinese food for ages!

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    1. We make it quite regularly but not usually on this scale!

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  5. I am so shocked that Kate hasn't had Chinese since she was a child! Your dishes look lovely x

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    1. I've got a friend who is 32 and has never had Chinese food and as her husband doesn't like it she won't try it either!

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  6. We are huge chinese food fans in this house, so yum!

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    1. We all like Chinese too even the children.

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  7. I love learning about others festivals! Thanks for sharing! Loving the lanterns

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    1. We like exploing other cultures as well. Throughout the year we have different meals for different celebrations.

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    1. It all was very delicious! We were quite stuffed afterwards.

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  9. You have no idea how hungry I am right now reading this! Chinese food is one of the few cuisines we don't cook regularly at home - I must change that.

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    1. We love Chinese and Asian food. Any excuse to use a lot of veggies in cooking!

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  10. Funny, we're having pak choi tonight and chow mein is one of my all-time favourite dishes. Perhaps you could answer a question for me: are pak choi and bok choi the same? It's all called bok choi here in Canada and I wondered if it was just a different phonetic interpretation of the same thing...

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    1. It seems pak choi, bok choi, bok choy and pak choy are all the same thing. What I use has a white bottom bit and soft green leaves if that helps!

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  11. This sounds like a great festival and your feast sounds amazing. I love chinese food :)

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  12. A Pad Thai is one of my favorite meals, the one you have made looks amazing x

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