Updated: Jan 23, 2020
Chinese New Year is a time for families to gather together over New Year's Eve reunion dinner. More than steamboats and receiving red packets, if you are hosting a Chinese New Year Party at your place, don't forget these 8 auspicious food items to impress your guest.
(Photo Credits: Ahmad Iskandar Photography, taken from Time Out)
According to the age-old tradition, the fish symbolizes abundance and ripe harvest. Other than its symbolism, fish is a great source of protein. Research has also shown that white meat has lower saturated fat as compared to red meat (such as beef and pork), making it a healthier choice. Did you know that flipping the fish is also considered inauspicious? The Chinese also believe that if you were to flip the fish while on a boat, instead of lifting it up, you would cause the boat to capsize.
(Photo Credits: @schche_)
2. Poon Choi
The less known and more indulgent dish that is popular among the Chinese is the Pon Chai. The Pon Cai is a big pot of hearty broth made of oyster sauce simmered with indulgent ingredients such as prawn, abalone, scallops, roasted duck and more. Make your own pon cai with this recipe here. For a healthier version, use low-sodium soya sauce for a guilt-free meal.
(Photo Credits: EC Kitchen SG)
3. Pineapple Tarts
(Photo Credits: Nonya Cooking)
Pineapples, called "ong lai" in Hokkein, means the ushering in of prosperity. The highly raved pineapples tarts is definitely something that will not be missed at every household you will be visiting this Chinese New Year. The delectable little snack was said to have originated from the Peranakans or the Strait Chinese. These Chinese New Year treats are usually stored in either octagonal or circular containers to represent the number eight.
In Chinese homes, families gather together to make shoe-shaped dumpling together on New Year's Eve. Dumplings resemble the ancient gold and silver ingots in the ancient Chinese Dynasty. Made with love and lots of sweat, these delightful dumplings are either steamed or pan-fried and enjoyed together as the clock strikes midnight, welcoming the arrival of Chinese New Year.
5. Longevity Noodles
Whether stir-fried, boiled or served with soup, the longevity noodles is a staple at birthday celebrations and Chinese festive seasons. The noodles are uncut to bless the celebrant with prosperity and long life. The delicious and easy-to-make stir fry longevity noodles are cooked with mushroom and leafy greens for that extra texture and umami flavour.
(Photo Credits: Food and Wine)
The Yusheng is a Cantonese style raw fish salad that is tossed at reunion dinner. Condiments such as plum sauce, peanuts, seasame seeds and deep fried flour crisps are poured into the large salad bowl as blessings are pronounced upon family and friends. The Chinese believe that the higher the salad is being tossed, the further one would go in life.
7. Spring Rolls
Spring rolls are often eaten during the Chinese New Year holiday to welcome the arrival of spring. Stuffed with mushrooms, cabbage and carrots, the spring rolls are often fried to golden perfection. Opt for a healthier version by rolling your own spring roll, Vietstyle. Wet your Vietnamese spring roll wrapper with water before filling them with ingredients. Roll 'em up and pop them in your mouth for a burst of spring flavour.
8. Glutinous Rice Balls (Tang Yuan)
The Chinese glutinous rice balls, also known as the Tang Yuan, is a well-loved dessert made of glutinous rice flour and sweet filling. Served with a sweet soup made of rock sugar and peanuts, the Glutinous Rice Balls represents sweetness and harmony in the family. To prevent overconsumption of calories, share your bowl of tang yuan with your family. Anyway, sharing is always caring.
( Photo Credits: Hungry Go Where)