We found Steph a.k.a. Lucky Dragon Supper Club on Instagram and instantly fell for her zippy, delicious and hilarious cooking content.
The name Lucky Dragon Supper Club is evocative of classic Chinese restaurants with a playful dose of nostalgia. Steph describes the supper club name as "a little ode to the way we interact and socialise with our nearest and dearest."
The account actually began as a shared endeavour between friends during lockdowns to stay connected with each other, but since then Steph has continued to share her recipes.
With family in Shanghai, Steph has often traveled to China to celebrate Lunar New Year, but this year she celebrated with family at home — helping her mum put on a spread, and documenting her family's LNY menu.
Learn more about Steph's food philosophy and cook her Soy-Braised Whole Chicken with a Ginger and Green Onion Sauce.
Hey Steph! What did you have for lunch today?
Hey babes! I made banh mi with leftover rotisserie chicken. Maggi seasoning is the secret. It was DIVINE.
Yum! We love your delicious (and hilarious) video content, when did you decide to dip your toes into sharing your recipes on TikTok and IG?
Thank you so much! I started sharing recipes to socials throughout the lockdowns we had in Sydney. Originally the IG account was created with my then housemates so we could share our food adventures to friends and family. After moving out, we wanted to keep Lucky Dragon Supper Club alive so I decided to keep the content coming!
The recipes you share on Lucky Dragon Supper Club span all cuisines, but what would you say is your personal food philosophy?
Food has always been an integral part of social gatherings for me.. like babe where are we eating?! what are we cooking? etc. Whenever I’m in the kitchen I tend to lean toward balance. Balance means two things: (1) The utilisation of various textures, flavours, ingredients without overdoing it and (2) hey is this good for me? If I’m shopping for produce I lean toward seasonality and practicality. Finally whenever I’m out at a restaurant I like to try things that spark curiosity.
How do you like to shop for food?
How I want to shop: spend time browsing each aisle and each stall as a fun activity.
How I actually shop: only buying what I need for the week. I’m usually in and out very quickly.
I love Cabramatta. The produce is stunning, abundant and on top of that the place is bursting with places to eat. Since Cabramatta isn’t local to me, I don’t go there often. I do the bulk of my shop at my local asian grocer. Produce is decent, seasonal and cost effective. I buy meat at my local butcher and visit the fish markets whenever I can.
Take us into your pantry – what are five things we’d always find on any given day?
Mi goreng, Lap cheung (chinese sausage), Anchovies, Kewpie mayonnaise and pickled mustard greens. RANDOM I know.
How do you celebrate Lunar New Year? How are you celebrating this year?
Before the P word, we would fly to Shanghai to celebrate with my mum’s side of the family. You’d think going to a major city like Shanghai over the LNY period would be beaming, but the major cities are usually dead as everyone goes to their hometown / country town to celebrate with family. I loved going to China to celebrate because that is where most of my family is. Oh and more family members = more red pockets ;)
Whenever we celebrate LNY at home, it is the one time a year my mum goes all out. In Chinese households there are dishes that we eat to bring health, wealth and prosperity into the new year. The cuisine my mum cooks is a mixture of Shanghainese and Cantonese flavours.
Mum spends time prepping each of these dishes. This year she prepared 15 dishes or so. Many are the hot hits of the household but also dishes that are eaten during the LNY period, which include:
- Rice cakes: nian gao is a homophone for a tall year—in other words, serving them during new year celebrations is meant to signify growth. For example, good grades, good promotion etc.
- Spring rolls: chun juan take their name from the holiday for which they're traditionally prepared: the Spring Festival (chunjie), AKA Lunar New Year. The crisp golden rolls symbolise bars of gold and bring wealth and prosperity in the year to come.
- Sticky Rice Balls: Tang yuan is a homophone and symbol of unity and family togetherness
- Whole Fish: word for fish is yu (魚) which is a homophone for the word surplus (余), and we have a saying: nin nin yau yu, which sounds like every year have fish but can translate to every year have surplus. We also have the fish whole as it represents abundance for the year ahead.
- Egg skin dumplings: dan jiao. Dumplings are a symbolic food to bring prosperity into the year. The shape and colour of these lil things resemble a gold coin.
What’s it like on those occasions where you’ve been able to visit family in Shanghai?
My uncle makes the BEST spring rolls. I’m not just saying that - they are perfect. They’re not overpacked, and loosely rolled and for that reason I believe it has a great balance of textures. Lightly crisp on the outside, soft and pillowy on the inside. He would come out of the kitchen and place a mountain of piping hot golden spring rolls on our already packed dining table. Nothing would wipe the smile off his face.
Any tips on how we can celebrate LNY at home?
Cultures who celebrate LNY have a variety of traditions and customs so think about the dishes you’d like on the table and do your best to understand the significance of each one! It’s a time of togetherness and celebration, so gather your friends around and put on a spread. If you have a red item of clothing, this is a lucky colour to wear to bring prosperity and good fortune into the new year.
And cook her Soy-Braised Whole Chicken with a Ginger and Green Onion Sauce.