HAPPY NEW YEAR: Patsy Gerver and Kevin Hu, of China Flute Gourmet Restaurant, celebrate with their shredded pork fillets in peking sauce.
HAPPY NEW YEAR: Patsy Gerver and Kevin Hu, of China Flute Gourmet Restaurant, celebrate with their shredded pork fillets in peking sauce. Jason Dougherty

Celebrate with Chinese New Year cake

CHINESE New Year Turnip Cake will be on the menu at the Lau house this weekend as the Nambour family celebrates Chinese New Year.

Humphrey Lau, of China King Restaurant in Nambour, has been celebrating the event in Australia for the past 21 years with family and friends.

Although he understands most Australians may not indulge in the traditions, many with Chinese ties participate in public and private celebrations.

Humphrey’s wife cooks the Chinese New Year Turnip Cake each year throughout the 15 days of festivities.

The cake is not sweet, but can be enjoyed any time of the day.

It should be stored chilled, but must be heated before eating, either in the microwave or in a few tablespoons of oil in the frypan.

The 2011 Year of the Rabbit started yesterday and celebrations will continue for the next 15 days.

The Chinese New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are the two biggest days celebrated.

The Rabbit is expected to bring a much-needed change from last year, which was the Year of the Tiger, and will run through until January 22 next year.

The Chinese predict this year will be the one in which to calm your nerves, catch your breath and negotiate with others.

Those born in the year of the Rabbit are known to be wise, fragile, considerate, fashionable and kind.

Those who are most compatible with Rabbits are either born in the Year of the Sheep or the Boar and are least compatible with the Rooster, Tiger and the Horse.

Famous people born in the year of the Rabbit include Angelina Jolie, Drew Barrymore and Tina Turner.

Chinese Flute Gourmet Restaurant on the Nicklin Way at Wurtulla is welcoming customers to join in celebrations this weekend.

Chef Kevin Hu and restaurant manager Patsy Gerver are excited about the celebrations – one of the busiest times of the year for the restaurant.

“It’s the beginning of a new year and hopefully everything will be better, brighter and stronger than last year,” Patsy said.

“It’s a family get-together and reunion to celebrate the New Year and enjoy a feast.

“Businesses are in prosperity with good fortune and should grasp the opportunity and pursuit for better reward this year.”

Chinese Flute Gourmet is holding special demonstrations and entertainment tomorrow and Sunday.

This includes a group of Lion Dancers inside and outside the restaurant, and a kung fu demonstration from 7pm each night.

A 10-course banquet is available on the nights and includes a starter, entrée, soup, main meal, dessert and more.

Chinese Flute has limit seating available on Sunday night and is booked-out tomorrow night.

The banquet is $55 per adult and $4 per age year for children up to 12 years.

To book, call Patsy on 5493 2386.


Original recipe yield: 6 to 8 serves


2 tbs vegetable oil

8 ounces (about 230g) Chinese dried mushrooms, soaked overnight in water

1/3 cup dried shrimp, soaked in water overnight and drained

1 pound (about 450g) pork sausage, sliced

1 tbs vegetable oil

2 slices fresh ginger root

3 turnips, shredded

1 ½ tsp Chinese five-spice powder

2 tsp salt

½ tsp chicken bouillon granules

1 tbs ground white pepper

2/3 pound (300g) white rice flour


Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add mushrooms, shrimp and sausages and sauté for 1/2 minute. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Heat 1 more tablespoon oil in wok/skillet. Add ginger and sauté a bit. Add shredded turnips and stir fry for about 3 minutes (do not remove turnip water).

Add 5-spice powder, salt, chicken bouillon and white pepper and toss all together until evenly distributed. Extract ginger slices from mixture.

Turn off heat. Top turnip mixture with rice flour and use chopsticks to toss and mix flour in evenly.

Add reserved sausage mixture and toss to mix in.

Remove mixture from wok/skillet and place into a 9x2 inch deep round cake pan.

Clean wok/skillet, fill with water and bring to a boil.

Place cake pan on a round wire rack over boiling water. Reduce heat to low and let the steaming cake batter simmer for 45 minutes.

(Note: you can also use a large bamboo steamer if you have one).

When cake is steamed through, slice into pieces and serve hot or cool on wire rack before covering tightly with plastic wrap and placing in refrigerator to chill.

It should always be eaten hot after re-heating either in the microwave, or frying in a few tablespoons of oil.

This cake can be kept for a week in the fridge.


Serves 4


200g shredded pork fillets

100g shredded bamboo shoots

50g shredded carrot

5g coriander

5g granulated nuts

10g shredded shallots

2 tbs vegetable oil

8 pancake pieces (available from Asian supermarkets)

Sauce 1: 2g bicarbonate powder, 2g chicken powder, 1g salt, 10g potato flour

Sauce 2: 1 tbs dark vinegar, ½ tbs light soy sauce, 5g sugar, 5g chicken powder, 2g salt, ½ cup chicken sock


1. Mix sauce 1 with shredded pork fillet for 30 minutes; leave to marinade.

2. Heat up wok and add vegetable oil, place marinated pork fillet and stir fry until half-cooked, then add sauce 2, bamboo shoots, carrots and cook for 2 minutes.

3. Place the above on a dinner plate and sprinkle shallots, coriander, and granulated nuts on top.

4. Wrap shredded pork and vegetable in a pancake.

5. Serve.

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