A Tray Of Prosperity
On Chinese New Year, many families prepare a Tray of Prosperity, a special six-sided platter with connecting containers filled with candied fruits, melon and lotus seeds. These foods symbolize riches, longevity, or the blessing of more children. I like to replace the traditional foods with cut vegetables, a more colorful, healthful version of the traditional prosperity tray.
2 red peppers, rinsed and drained
1 yellow pepper, rinsed and drained
1 package baby carrots, weighing about 1 pound
For the Peanut Dip
1 cup smooth peanut butter, or more as needed
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon mined fresh ginger
7 tablespoons water, or more as needed
- Using a paring knife, cut off the top and bottom of the peppers. Remove the seeds and cut each pepper in half along the length. Then cut each half along the length into 3 to 4 strips, removing any white membrane. Cut each strip on the diagonal into pieces about 1 1/2 inches long. Arrange the peppers and carrots in separate piles in a decorative basket, leaving a small space in the middle for the dip.
- Put the peanut butter in a blender or a food processor fitted with a steel blade, then add the soy sauce, rice wine, black vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, minced garlic, and ginger, blending until smooth after each addition. Add the water and continue blending. The dip should be stiff, but still creamy. If the dip seems too thick, add a little more water; if it seems too thin, add more peanut butter. Scoop into a small bowl and place in the basket of vegetables. Serve.