MANILA -- Happy Ongpauco-Tiu has a go-to "lucky" dish not only for Chinese New Year, but also for other auspicious celebrations such as birthdays.
The chef and entrepreneur, known for her restaurants such as Pamana and Hawaiian BBQ, shared how she prepares Longevity Noodles, saying it can easily be done at home with relatively affordable ingredients.
She said almost all toppings and even the sauce can be changed and adjusted save for the Chinese sausage and misua noodles, which symbolize long life.
"They believe that when they cook this, it will bring good luck," she said during the EastWest Priority Lifestyle Series virtual event on Wednesday. "And the celebrant will have long life."
"My husband is actually Chinese so it's a tradition in our family. You have to eat this for breakfast," she added. "This is for birthdays, but it's also on our buffet table on Chinese New Year."
For her demo, Ongpauco-Tiu used misua, dried mushrooms, garlic, onion, Chinese sausage, and peanuts, as well as a sauce made of oyster sauce, Chinese wine, and chicken powder.
She said more toppings such as shrimp and pork can also be added to make the dish more festive, as she drizzled some sesame oil at the end for added flavor and aroma.
"With pork, I put five-spice and also fry it... You have to pre-cook it just enough so when you saute with the other ingredients, it's still tender," she said.
"For me, there's no right and wrong with cooking. When I cook, as long as I like the taste or flavor, it's fine. When I cook, I always taste," she added.
As for table setting tips for Chinese New Year, Ongpauco-Tiu suggested using red and gold dinnerware, adding fruits in plant or flower arrangements, and placing menu cards or notes in red envelopes or ang pao.
HAPPY ONGPAUCO-TIU'S LONGEVITY NOODLES
- Dried mushrooms
- Chinese sausage
- Oyster sauce
- Chicken powder
- Chinese wine
- Sesame oil
- Green onion
1. Boil the dried mushrooms until cooked, then slice into thin strips.
2. Slice the Chinese sausage, chop the garlic and onions, and boil the misua. Set aside.
3. In a skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and onions, saute for two to three minutes or until onion has softened.
4. Add peanuts and sliced sausages.
5. Saute for 10 seconds or until mixed well and coated with oil.
6. Add oyster sauce, chicken powder, and Chinese wine. Stir.
7. Stir in cooked misua and toss. Serve immediately, drizzle with sesame oil and add green onion on top.