British Columbia·Our Vancouver

Celebrating Lunar New Year with Chef Clement Chan

Clement Chan remembers and honours his family's favourite dishes at the Lunar New Year table by showing Gloria his mushroom bok choy recipe

Chef shares his favourite family dishes ahead of Lunar New Year celebrations

Clement Chan of Torafuko shows us his favourite dishes for the holiday 4:58

Clement Chan was born and raised in Vancouver. He's a graduate of the culinary school at Vancouver Community College and went on to work at many the of the city's most notable restaurants.

He now operates both the Le Tigre food truck and the new restaurant Torafuko.

For Chan, Lunar New Year was always a busy time of preparing meals for the one occasion each year where everyone in the family sits at the same big table.

That means a lot of food has to be prepared. Each dish has its own special significance for the occasion and the desire for good luck in the new year.

His favourite dish for the holiday is the below recipe for braised Chinese mushrooms. 

Watch him teach Gloria Macarenko how to make it on Our Vancouver.

Braised Chinese Mushrooms and Sesame Bok Choy

Serves: 8                         
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes


2 cups (500 mL) dried flower mushrooms
2 cups (500 mL) boiling water
¾ cup (175 mL) chicken broth
2 tbsp (25 mL) oyster Sauce
1 tbsp (15 mL) Chinese rice wine (Shao Hsing) or dry sherry
2 tsp (10 mL) soy sauce
2 tsp (10 mL) dark soy sauce
2 tsp (10 mL) crushed Chinese rock sugar or granulated sugar
2 tbsp (25 mL) pure canola oil
2 tsp (10 mL) pure corn starch
2 tsp (10 mL) sesame oil 
675 g Shanghai bok choy (about 6 heads), halved lengthwise (cut large heads into quarters for even cooking.)
2 green onions, thinly sliced diagonally


1. Place mushrooms in large heatproof bowl. Add boiling water. Arrange mushrooms stem side up. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let stand until softened, 30 to 45 minutes. Drain: squeeze out excess liquid from mushrooms. Remove and discard stems.

2. Meanwhile, stir together broth, oyster sauce, rice wine, soy sauce, dark soy sauce and sugar in small bowl until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

3. Heat canola oil in 10-inch (25 cm) skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms: cook, turning often, until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add broth mixture; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer, turning mushrooms occasionally, until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. (If necessary, add water, 1/4 cup at a time, while cooking to prevent mushrooms from drying out.)  

4. Stir together cornstarch, 1 tsp sesame oil and 1/4 cup water in small bowl until smooth. Stir into mushroom mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is glossy, about 30 seconds. 

5. Meanwhile, bring large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add bok choy and remaining 1 tsp sesame oil; cook until tender-crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain.

6. Arrange bok choy in circle along edge of plate with leaves pointing inward. Spoon mushroom mixture into centre of circle, over top of leaves. Sprinkle with green onions. 

Chef's Tip: You can start soaking the mushrooms the night before. Place mushrooms in large bowl and add 2 cups cold water. Arrange plate directly over surface of water to keep mushrooms submerged. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let soak overnight in fridge.

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