Menu of the day: Welcoming the Year of the Sheep

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Happy New Year, everyone!

Well, we started the New Year last January, but at Monol, everybody celebrated the Lunar New Year, known to the Chinese as the Spring Festival, to welcome the Year of the Sheep. Naturally, Monol prepared a feast for everyone last February 18.

The buffet table was longer than usual. Of course, more food needs more space! Because of this big celebration, our diligent cooks prepared two main courses and three side dishes, compared to the usual menu of one main course and two side dishes.

So what was for dinner to welcome the Year of the Sheep?

Main courses:
Beef Camto (Braised beef)
Chicken and Pork Barbecue

Beef Camto braised in soy sauce, sesame oil, Sprite, sugar, and a bit of gin.

Beef Camto braised in soy sauce, sesame oil, Sprite, sugar, and a bit of gin.

Side dishes:
Haeol Pa-chion (squid pancake with onion leeks)
Toppoki (Korean rice cake in chili sauce)
Spaghetti

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The squid pancake was made very flavorful by the onion leeks!

The tteokbokki for the Lunar New Year was mixed with Odeng (Korean fishcake) to give it a much sweeter flavor!

The tteokbokki for the Lunar New Year was mixed with Odeng (Korean fishcake) to give it a much sweeter flavor!

Soups:
Tukmandu and Takkuk soup

The combination of the Mandu (dumplings) and the  Korean rice cake made this soup not only rich but very fulfilling!

The combination of the Mandu (dumplings) and the Korean rice cake made this soup not only rich but also very fulfilling!

The Salad Bar

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As always, the salad bar was boasting with colors!

Since the celebration of the Lunar New Year is special, we decided to deviate from our usual “Menu of the Day” format and share a little trivia about this festivity instead of our recipes.

Did you know that…?

The Lunar New Year, known to the Chinese as the Spring Festival, was based on an old legend about a mythical monster named Nian that was said to terrorize people during the first day of the year. Later on, one of the villagers discovered that Nian was apparently scared of the color red and firecrackers. When the start of the year came near, some people started to paint their doors red, while the others hung red lanterns. True enough, when Nian went to the village to torment the people, he backed off from seeing the color red everywhere and from the firecrackers lit up by the community. Since then, Nian never visited the village again.

Until now, this tradition is still inculcated among the people. Red lanterns are hung in front of houses and red papers with greetings and wishes of “Good Luck” are given to everybody. Naturally, just like the old legend, after pushing a monstrous being away from their community, everybody celebrate this day to start a year full of possibilities, opportunities, and success.

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