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Taste.Company | Dishes to Bring Good Luck This Chinese New Year

Dishes to Bring Good Luck This Chinese New Year

February 7, 2018 7:00 pm by Cat Lo

Chinese New Year is just around the corner, but aside from the addicting tikoy you expect to binge on this Lunar New Year, what other lucky delights can you enjoy this season? Check out these yummy-to-the-tummy dishes (and other ways to bring you good luck HERE. They’re not only superbly delicious, but they also have interesting facts and legends behind them!

1. Dumplings

Who doesn’t love a good dumpling dish—be it steamed, fried, or boiled? Everyone has his or her own preferred dumpling filling too, whether it’s ground pork and shrimp or an assortment of veggies. To make sure that you rein in all the good luck this Lunar New Year, you should have a good number of pleats for more prosperity. Dumplings, when served, should also be arranged in lines because arranging them in circles means one’s life will simply go round and round in loops. In some practices, a white thread is placed inside a dumpling, and whoever eats that particular piece will gain longevity—if you don’t mind swallowing a piece of thread, that is!


2. Whole Fish

“Big fish and big meat” is a good luck staple during Chinese New Year as a symbol of abundance. There are Chinese homophonic references to the word “fish” which can mean “to have surplus”. This is why some practices leave the fish as the last dish left at the table, while some regions practice leaving the head and the tail of the fish intact. Other interesting practices include placing the head of the fish facing toward elders and distinguished guests for respect, while others practice having the one who faces the fish head eat first above all diners—how cool is that? You can check out more prosperity dishes and practices in other countries HERE: http://www.mochimag.com/article/traditional-lunar-new-year-dishes-prosperity/.


3. Spring Rolls

Made to symbolize prosperous bars of gold, spring rolls are made from wheat wrappers with different fillings of shredded cabbage, carrots, bean sprouts, pork, oyster sauce, ginger, and other variants. They are usually deep fried to bring on that crunchy goodness. The “spring” in spring rolls is actually named after the “Spring Festival”, which means it’s the perfect good luck dish this Chinese New Year.


4. Longevity Noodles

Also known as “long life noodles”, these two-foot-long noodles are popular not just during Lunar New Year but also on birthdays. They can be served fried with oyster sauce, or cooked in a warm and comforting broth to symbolize a long and happy life. Isn’t oriental cuisine just fabulous? And while you’re soaking in all the culture, you can start following these Asian-American food bloggers as well for more inspiration! http://taste.company/taste/asian-american-food-blogger/


5. Fortune Fruits

Fruits that are available during colder months include pomelos, tangerines, kumquats, and oranges. Because of their round shape and their golden color, these fruits are given as gifts to bring good luck throughout the whole year. They symbolize fullness, wealth, and prosperity to whoever the recipient may be!

6. Prosperity Cakes and Chinese New Year Cakes

These rice flour cakes or “fa gao” are fluffy, dense, and split on the top when baked. These top “blossoms” are seen as pseudo-petals that symbolize more prosperity the more they are split. In addition to that, of course, we can’t have a single Chinese New Year go by without celebrating the gastronomic wonder that is the glutinous Lunar New Year rice cake. These “nian gao” or “year cakes” have homophonic meanings that refer to a higher position, a higher income, or a general higher improvement in the status of your life. This means that the more you eat them, the more prosperous or “higher” your life will become! You can find out how to make your own tikoy HERE: https://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/chinese-food/chinese-new-year-cake.htm . So the next time someone spots you binging on tikoy, just tell them you’re raking in as much good luck as you possibly can!


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