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Chef Ming Tsai Cooks for Chinese New Year

We're halfway through the two-week celebration of the Chinese New Year.

And who better to help ring in the Year of the Tiger than Ming Tsai, host of "Simply Ming" on PBS and chef of his Blue Ginger restaurant/link> in Boston.

On "The Early Show," he shared recipes for some traditional Chinese New year fsvorites.


• Roasted Cranberry-Glazed Chicken with Sticky Rice Stuffing
• Crispy Whole Fish with Orange-Mango Salsa
• Pork and Shrimp Potstickers

Chicken is popular to mark the Chinese New Year, symbolizing a good marriage and the coming together of families (serving the bird whole emphasizes family unity). And the red in the cranberries represents courage, loyalty, honor, success, fortune, fertility, happiness, passion, and summer.

"Early Show" recipes galore!


Roasted Cranberry-Glazed Chicken with Sticky Rice Stuffing

Serves 4

1 6-pound whole organic or free-range chicken, rubbed with oil and seasoned well at least 20 minutes before cooking if you did not have time to brine* it properly
1/2 cup smashed garlic cloves
2 large sweet potatoes, 1-inch dice
2 large fennel, 1/2-inch slices
1 large red onion, sliced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 cup Ocean Spray Craisins
2 small disks palm sugar, chopped finely with a knife
1/2 cup Shaoxing wine or sherry
Combination Rice (recipe below)
Canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to maximum, usually 550 degrees, with roasting pan pre-heating. In a large bowl, combine garlic, potatoes and fennel and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with a little canola oil and toss to coat. When oven is preheated, dump mixture in roasting pan and top with chicken, breast side up. Turn pan once, back to front, until browned, about 15-25 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan coated lightly with oil, combine onion, ginger and cranberries and sweat. Add palm sugar and deglaze with Shaoxing, stirring; allow to reduce by half. Transfer mixture to a blender and blend smooth, drizzling in just enough oil to bring everything together and emulsify. Take care in allowing any steam to escape through the top center of blender cover, using a folded kitchen towel and your hand to cover the opening in the center. Season and check for flavor. After 15-25 minutes of cooking, start to glaze the chicken with cranberry mixture and reduce the heat to 325 degrees. Stir the veggies. Roast for 45-55 minutes more, glazing periodically, until a wing can be moved back and forth with ease. Alternatively, place a thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone -- when it registers 160 degrees, it's done (carry-over cooking will take it to 165 degrees). To serve: mound Combination Rice on platter and top with roasted veggies and glazed chicken family-style.

*Brine method: Use sweet sea water ratio: 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup kosher salt to 1 quart water, multiply as necessary to fully submerge protein in a large container. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Rinse under running water before cooking.

Combination Rice

1 1/2 cups brown rice
1 1/2 cups white rice
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, white and green part separated Kosher salt to taste

Keep white and brown rice separate and rinse each in cold water until the water is clear. Let brown rice soak in water for 1 hour. To cook: drain brown rice and add brown and white rice to rice cooker. Alternatively, place the rice in a medium saucepan fitted with a tight lid. Flatten the rice with your palm and without removing your hand, add water until it touches the middle and highest knuckle of your hand. Add the scallion whites and cover and bring the water to a boil over high heat, 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the rice stand, covered, to plump, for 20 minutes. Check for flavor, season if necessary, and stir in scallion greens.


Crispy Whole Fish with Orange-Mango Salsa

1 whole farmed hybrid bass (6-8 pounds) or the equivalent, eviscerated scaled and scored
2 cups rice flour
Orange-Mango Salsa (recipe below)
Canola oil for frying
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 scallions, green part only, thinly bias-sliced

Season interior and exterior of fish with salt and pepper. Use 5-inch skewers at the opening so that it is tented. Dredge the entire fish in rice flour, shaking off excess. Fill a large roasting pan with 3-inches of oil and heat to 350 degrees. Place fish in pan and cook for 5 minutes per side. A paring knife should easily penetrate the fish. On a platter lined with banana leaf, place the fish, with skewers, standing up for dramatic presentation. Garnish with scallion greens.

Orange-Mango Salsa

3 oranges, supremed and juice reserved
5 large, ripe mangos, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 medium red onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 red jalapeños, stemmed and minced
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons Traditional Spicy Sambal or store-bought sambal or hot pepper sauce
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (from 6 to 8 limes) Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste In a large, nonreactive bowl, combine the oranges and their reserved juice, mangos, onions, jalapeños, ginger, sambal, and lime juice, and blend gently. Season with salt and pepper. Use or refrigerate.

Pork and Shrimp Potstickers

1 pound naturally fed ground pork
1 pound small shrimp, completely peeled, cut into ¼-inch dice
3/4 cup chopped scallions
1 Tablespoon minced ginger
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 package round potsticker wrappers
Canola oil for cooking
Serve with Dim Sum Dipper (recipe below)

In a bowl placed within a larger bowl of ice, mix together the pork, shrimp and scallions. Add the ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil. Do not over-mix. Take a small sample and pan sear or microwave to taste for seasoning.
To fill the pot stickers, place about half-Tablespoon of the filling in the center of each wrapper. Avoid getting filling on the edges of the wrapper, which would prevent proper sealing. Fold each wrapper in half to form a half-moon shape. Seal the top center of each dumpling by pressing between the fingers and, starting at the center, make 3 pleats, working toward the bottom right. Repeat, working toward the bottom left corner. Press the dumplings down gently on the work surface to flatten the bottoms.
Heat a large non-stick skillet over high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat. When the oil shimmers, add the pot stickers, flattened bottoms down, in rows of five, and cook in batches without disturbing until brown, about 6 minutes. Add about ½ cup of water and immediately cover to avoid splattering. Lift the cover and make sure about 1/8-inch of water remains in the pan; if not, add a bit more. Steam until the pot stickers are puffy yet firm and the water has evaporated, 6 to 8 minutes. If the water evaporates before the pot stickers are done, add more in quarter-cup increments. If the pot stickers seem done but water remains in the pan, drain it and return the pan to the stove top.
Continue to cook over high heat to allow the pot stickers to re-crisp on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the pot stickers to a platter and serve with the dipping sauce in individual small bowls.

Dim Sum Dipper

1/2 cup naturally brewed soy sauce
1/4 cup naturally brewed rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sambal
1/2 bunch scallion greens, sliced thinly

Combine all in a bowl and serve with potstickers

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