Tsingtao has a new look – a newly designed bottle to reflect its status as a premium world beer. Brewed, bottled and imported from Quingdao, this genuine import is crafted with mineral-rich spring water from the Laoshan Mountains and handpicked native rice, which gives its clean, crisp taste and makes it a great accompaniment to food.  It’s also a fantastic ingredient in all kinds of Chinese dishes, including vegan and vegetarian ones like this below from Victor Yu, head chef at luxury Chinese restaurant, Yu in Alderley Edge, Cheshire.

Tsingtao Salt & Pepper Tempura Vegetables

Ingredients:
Batter mix: 200g plain flour, ½ tsp golden sugar, 300ml Tsingtao Beer, 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
Mix of vegetables such as oyster mushrooms, aubergine, baby pak choi, spring onions, cut into big chunks
Salt & pepper mix: 1 small diced shallot, 1 sliced spring onion, ½ tsp of salt, ¼ tsp of 5 spice powder, ½ tsp of sugar

Method:
Mix all the ingredients for the batter mixture in a bowl and cut the vegetables (pak choi and mushrooms in half, aubergine into 3cm cubes, spring onion into 3 cm long batons). Prepare the salt and pepper mix, chop the shallots into small dice and the chilli and spring onion into thin slices. Mix together with salt, sugar and 5 spice powder.

Heat the oil to 190 and dip each vegetable in the batter mixture and deep fry until golden brown. Fry the salt and pepper mix in a dry hot frying pan, add the vegetables and toss to mix well.

Chinese New Year, from Friday 16 February, will be known as Year of the Dog and the Earth Dog more specifically for 2018.

It is traditionally believed that those people born under the year of the dog possess the best traits of human nature, being honest, loyal, friendly and smart – with a strong sense of responsibility.  That said, they are also thought to be stubborn and bad socialisers – so maybe ease them in gently to your Chinese New Year party!

Most Chinese New Year party preparations start a week before New Year’s Eve, so there’s plenty of time to get your beer on ice and use some of the tips below for a truly authentic celebration.

Clean Your Home – according to Chinese tradition, cleaning the house will ‘sweep away bad luck’ which may have accumulated inside over the past year and the clean house is then ready for good luck to start entering again.

Decorate – red is the main celebratory colour and symbolises good luck. Try to arrange decorations in quantities of eight, as it’s a very lucky number in Chinese folklore.

Firecrackers –make your party go with a bang by setting of firecrackers, which are said to scare bad spirits away.

Hand out money – prepare red and gold envelopes (Lai See) with money inside, which symbolise prosperity and good luck, to give as gifts to young children.

Cook – create your own Chinese cuisine at home, healthier than a takeaway and your guests will be impressed.

Foods you can eat at Chinese New Year for luck include:

Noodles – for happiness and longevity
Dumplings and spring rolls – for wealth
Tangyuan (sweet rice balls) – family togetherness
Niangao (glutinous rice cake) – higher income
Tangerines and oranges – fullness and wealth
Fish – an increase in prosperity