The chef Simpson Wong, a native of Malaysia who ran the restaurant Wong in Manhattan (now closed), was born in a Year of the Rabbit, this year’s Lunar New Year zodiac animal. So was Dr. Henry Wu, a cardiologist, scientist and Mr. Wong’s partner in life and in this new Asian-inspired ice cream project, Two Rabbits. Dr. Wu formulated a base that he says is high in beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids. Introduced in time for the annual celebration and ready to ship, the confections offer tastes devised by Mr. Wong, including makrut lime, Vietnamese coffee, sweet soy sauce, pineapple and curry leaves, to name a few. Specifically, there’s GoGoma with goji berries, gochujang and Clementine marmalade; Pineapple Tart with cloves; Thai Twist with turmeric, tea and makrut lime; Hanoi Joe with coffee and bits of pandan biscotti; Mala Cocoa with sweet soy sauce and a kick from Sichuan peppercorns in a chocolate base; and BoBo Chacha, a vegan variety with coconut, palm sugar and curry leaves.
Two Rabbits Ice Cream, $14.95 per pint, tworabbitsicecream.com.
Cheesy Popcorn for Super Bowl Snacking
With less than a month to go before the Super Bowl, and with the Academy Awards on the horizon, it’s time to consider accompanying nibbles. Bowls of popcorn are often the default, and new contenders on that front are two savory varieties seasoned with Vermont’s Cabot cheeses, sharp Cheddar and pepper Jack. It’s well-made popcorn, with plump kernels and appetite-whetting flavors.
Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cheese Popcorn, Pepper Jack Seasoned Cheese Popcorn, $4.99 plus shipping for 4.5 ounces, cabotcreamery.com.
Chocolate Bars With Lychee, Miso and More
Chocolate bars with Asian flavors from two companies are now sold by the Mala Market, based in Nashville. Fossa Chocolate from Singapore offers elegant jasmine green tea, and subtle lychee rose, both in a milk chocolate base; and more forceful chile peanut praline dark chocolate, a variety inspired by satay sauce. From Deux Cranes, a company in Los Gatos, Calif., which often draws inspiration from Japan, come milk chocolate with ginger, sesame and buckwheat; green matcha with caramelized sesame; and dark chocolate crunchy with miso almonds.
Fossa Chocolate bars, three for $36; Deux Cranes chocolate bars, three for $36, themalamarket.com.
Learn More About Lunar New Year
The holiday, which this year falls on Jan. 22, is widely celebrated around the world — and always with good food.
- Grab a Slice: Eating or giving fruit is a beloved Lunar New Year tradition, expressing love and thought to bring good luck.
- A Tasty Beginning: The foods associated with the celebration often symbolize promises for a better year ahead. Here are some dishes to try.
- A Family Affair: In Vietnam, Lunar New Year is known as Tet. Our writer explores how the diaspora, including her family, marks the occasion.
A ‘Friendship’ Gift Box for Lunar New Year
Pearl River Mart, the encyclopedic emporium filled with Asian goods in SoHo and Chelsea Market, is now in its 51st year in business and has assembled a swell Lunar New Year gift box. Called the Friendship Box, it’s filled with sweets, a Chinese almanac, a plush red rabbit, red envelopes, lucky charms and more. The stores also sell individual themed items like stickers, mugs, zodiac statues and scented candles.
Lunar New Year Friendship Box, $50, pearlriver.com.
A Shortcut to Cassoulet From Blue Apron
With winter finally setting in, now is the time to dish up cassoulet, the hearty southwestern French casserole of beans, duck and pork. You could spend seven hours with Paula Wolfert’s cookbook as your guide, not including the duck confit. Or take a shortcutof justan hour and a half with Blue Apron’s new Fireside Feast Box, available this month and next and offering a decent, well-flavored version of the dish that serves four generously. The kit comes with duck confit and all the ingredients (except for olive oil and ground pepper), but it leaves the chopping, browning, baking and other preparations to the cook. I missed chunks of pork sausage and the smidgen of tomato often included in cassoulet, but both are easily added. The kit also includes the components for a fine green salad with citrus, garlic herb bread and everything you need to bake your own biscotti with chocolate dipping sauce for dessert. Order by Friday for shipping next week.
Blue Apron subscription or market, $159.99 including shipping, blueapron.com.
A Lunar New Year Sampler of Lucky Foods
A ready-to-eat sampler of symbolic foods for the Lunar New Year, as represented by the various stalls in the new Urban Hawker food hall in Midtown, is now available to take away. Yue Sang prosperity salad with smoked salmon from White Restaurant; spicy fried chicken from Ashes Burnnit; lobster longevity noodles from Prawnaholic Collections; dried scallop fried rice from Mr Fried Rice, and salted egg fried fish from Smokin’ Joe to serve four to six people is $288. Red Lantern bottled cocktail, which serves five, can be added for $28.88. They’re available for pickup at the market at a scheduled time, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; orders require a 48-hour notice; the menu is available to order online through Feb. 10.
135 West 50th Street, urbanhawkertogo.com/lunarnewyear.
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