Lobsters, crabs and more for an early New Year dinner in Chinatown

Crabs steamed with sticky rice in lotus leaves at Sunshine Seafood Restaurant in Manhattan Chinatown

Crabs (we already finished one) steamed with sticky rice in lotus leaves

Every year before Chinese New Year my brother-in-law treats his employees (and all of us) to a celebratory dinner at the Sunshine Seafood Restaurant on Bowery Street in Manhattan’s Chinatown. The filling meal always includes popular Chinese banquet staples like lobsters stir fried in a ginger and scallion sauce, crispy fried chicken (which looks nothing like KFC or Popeye’s) and battered shrimp with broccoli and honeyed walnuts in a sweet, creamy mayonnaise based sauce.

Four stir fried lobsters in a ginger and scallion sauce at Sunshine Seafood Restaurant in Manhattan's Chinatown

Four lobsters stir fried in a ginger and scallion sauce is a tough act to follow

He’ll also order a few steaks pan fried Chinese style (not nearly as good as a properly broiled or outdoor grilled steak but still very tasty), at least one fried rice or noodle dish for the benefit of the kids and ABC’s like me — this year he went with a rice dish that included fried eggs, bacon, crab meat and dried scallops — and some vegetables.

He has also taken a liking to a superb dish that consists of twin Dungeness (I think) crabs atop a hearty bed of sticky, glutinous rice (which soaks up the juices from the crab meat and eggs) all wrapped up in a giant lotus leaf and steamed to perfection. Absolutely amazing.

Then, we close out the meal with the traditional two-pronged attack of sweet red bean soup with tapioca and juicy sliced oranges. No fortune cookies here.

We just got back from this year’s dinner which was a nice way to end a busy day. I definitely ate more carbs than I should have, but I’m not gonna sweat it too much considering this is something that happens only once a year… and I’m already anticipating next year’s spread!

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