By Monica Pryts/Staff Writer
GROVE CITY —
The owner of a local Chinese restaurant is looking forward to celebrating Chinese New Year with his family and with his customers, who can join in the fun this Friday (Jan. 31) with a special five-course meal he has planned.
“It’s a major holiday,” Ken Kuang said of Chinese New Year, which is Jan. 31; 2014 is the Year of the Horse.
Kuang owns Bobo Rice Bowl, 138 S. Broad St., a restaurant in the heart of downtown Grove City that is in its second year and also serves Japanese, Thai and Asian fusion cuisine.
It’s named after his son, Bobo, 5; and he and his wife of six years, Meixing, also have a daughter, Michelle, 2.
“The new year is good for the kids,” he said of the excitement surrounding the holiday.
Chinese New Year is China’s most important holiday, and it is very similar to New Year’s Day - a time to make resolutions, set off fireworks, focus on family and friends and enjoy a special meal, said Kuang, who moved to the United States from China in the 1980s.
The five-course meal Bobo’s is offering for Chinese New Year will be buy-one get-one free and includes an appetizer, salad, soup, entree and dessert; there’s a long list of menu options, and the deal is good for a month.
Bobo’s served the same meal for Chinese New Year in 2013 and the restaurant had a decent turnout that included several local families who have children they adopted from China, Kuang said.
He hopes those families return this year and he appreciates the fact that they’re keeping the children’s Chinese culture alive.
In the midst of serving customers on Friday, Kuang will take the time to celebrate with his own family and call his relatives, who live in the Chicago area.
“Usually all the phones are jammed,” he joked of all the calls made and received on Chinese New Year.
Kuang, who has one brother and one sister, recalled some of his childhood memories of the holiday -- decorating the house, drinking tea and getting candy, new clothes and shoes, and red packets filled with money -- traditions that are still observed.
“It’s the biggest day in China,” he said, adding it also means time off work and school for many families.
According to the Associated Press, Chinese New Year is also known as Spring Festival and it represents the world’s largest seasonal migration of people as families reunite.
The Spring Festival transportation period lasts 40 days from Jan. 16.
Lian Weiliang, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planning agency, said they expect 200 million more journeys than in 2013.
Bobo Rice Bowl, 138 S. Broad St., Grove City, is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Phone: 724-458-6090 and online at www.boboricebowlgrove.com
Recipe for stir-fry chicken and three color pepper
1/2 green pepper, 1/2 red pepper, 1/2 yellow pepper (seeded, shredded)
1 piece of chicken breast, shredded
1 tsp chopped spring onion optional
1/2 tsp minced *Ginger Garlic Paste
1/2 tsp oyster sauce, optional
1 tsp soy sauce
a pinch of pepper powder
1 tsp cooking wine
1/4 tsp salt
Few drops of sesame oil
1/2 tsp corn starch
Minced ginger garlic and spring onion
Shred peppers and chicken, marinate chicken for 10-20 minutes.
In a cooking pan/wok, add 2 tbsp of vegetable oil, heat and give the shredded green, yellow, red pepper a super fast stir, like 30 seconds. Then drain, and keep it aside (this will keep the crunchiness and color).
Stir fry ginger garlic and spring onion with the remaining oil in the cooking pan. When it is fragrant, stir in the marinated chicken and give it a good stir to break it into individual pieces.
Add seasoning and shredded green, yellow, red pepper, stir well, and it’s done.