With the Chinese New Year around the corner, I would like to introduce some Chinese food traditions from my view point. Different regions might have different practices.
From where I came from, i.e. South East Asia, the Chinese New Year celebration starts on Chinese New Year eve. The family will gather for a family union dinner. The dinner will be one of the more lavish one with whole fish, chicken, dried oyster, black moss (fatt choy), mushroom, etc. The name of the dishes are usually of good fortune, happiness, etc. Some of the name of the dishes are Good Deed will Prosper (Yau Yue Tim Hoe Si), Prosperity in Abundance (Foo Kwai Weng Wah), Happiness All Over (Hee Ha Tai Siew), etc.
In my family, we like to have hotpot on Chinese New Year eve. There is less preparation and everyone will gather around the hotpot to enjoy a meal. It’s all about reunion and sitting down for a meal together in today’s busy world where such occasion is rare.
For the Northern Chinese people, making and eating dumpling on Chinese New Year eve is a way of getting everyone in the kitchen to work and share. The shape of the dumpling resembles the gold ingot used in the old days in China. It signifies prosperity.
|Green Cabbage and Egg Dumpling|
|Garlic Chives Dumpling|
|Pan Fried Napa Cabbage (Suey Choy) Dumpling|
|Boiled Pork and Cabbage Dumplings|
Above are some of the dumpling recipes that were shared on chowtimes.com.
On the first day of Chinese New Year, my late mum usually cooked a big pot of Vegetarian Dish (Loh Hon Zhai). Most Buddhists will abstain from meat consumption on the first day because it is believed that this will ensure longevity for them. Continue reading