Happy Chinese New Year! Tomorrow begins the year of the horse. Let’s festoon ourselves in red and gold and get ready to eat.
Here are 10 symbolically rich and very delicious Chinese recipes for the New Year:
- Spring RollsTraditional spring rolls are all golden and shiny like gold bars. They symbolize wealth for a prosperous new year and are a major crowd-pleaser if you’re entertaining.
- Foo Chow Nian Gao This tasty cake has been a Chinese new years tradition since ancient times. The name nian gao translates to year cake and is a homonym of higher year in Mandarin. The moist cake symbolizes bounty, good fortune and longevity. Higher year, indeed.
- Jai aka Buddha’s Delight This vegetarian stew dish is perfect to honor the Buddhist tradition of not killing any animal, land or sea, on the first day of the year.
- Flowering Chives Stir Fry with Pork This dish symbolizes eternity, which is a nice sentiment to keep in mind as New Years tend to make me selfishly contemplate mortality.
- Peking DuckMy mouth is watering. Is there anything as delicious and decadent as traditional Peking Duck? No. Duck symbolizes fidelity, which doesn’t really matter to me, but tasty duck skin does matter and that’s why I need to learn how to make this.
- Lion’s Head Meat BallsThis dish easily has the best name of all meals ever. These fluffy meatballs are supposed to look like the heads of the symbolically powerful and strong lion; if you were wondering where that fantastic title came from.
- Jiaozi Dumplings According to A Beautiful Day Blog, people in northern China stay up on Lunar new year’s eve to wrap these dumplings and eat them in the first hour of the fresh year. In the olden days, a coin would be hidden in one dumpling and the person who bit into the coin dumpling would have a prosperous year.
- Lettuce Wraps Lettuce cups are lucky, you can fill them with chicken like in this recipe or fill them with other symbolically lucky foods. They’re very yummy and easily customizable year round.
- Tea Eggs These are gorgeous and so easy to make. They hardly require any ingredients and eggs symbolize fertility (wink).
- Sweet and Sour Pork
Grace Young mentions in ”Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen,” that this dish is a favorite for families hoping for many grandchildren. So, hopefully my parents won’t be eating it any time soon.
Here’s to a happy and healthy Chinese new year to you and yours, from Blisstree.
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