Chinese don't eat Chinese sauerkraut (酸菜 suāncài /swann-tseye/) dumplings at Spring Festival, because it implies a poor and difficult future. The Chinese New Year’s Eve meal is the most important dinner of the year. The fish should be the last dish left with some left over, as this has auspicious homophonics for there being surpluses every year. Cakes have a special place in Chinese New Year celebrations because their sweetness symbolizes a rich, sweet life and the often-present layers inside symbolize rising abundance for the coming year. Glutinous rice cake (年糕 Niángāo /nyen-gaoww/) is a lucky food eaten on Chinese New Year's Eve. Not only do the dishes themselves matter, but also the preparation, and ways of serving and eating mean a lot. Fish is a traditional Chinese New Year dish on the Chinese New Year dinner menu. First they mix the dough, second make the dough into round "wrappers" with a rolling pin, third fill the wrappers with stuffing, fourth pinch the "wrapper" together into the desired shape, and fifth cook them. 年年有余 (Niánnián yǒu yú /nyen-nyen yo yoo/): May you always have more than you need! The New Year's Eve dinner is very large and sumptuous and traditionally includes dishes of meat (namely, pork and chicken) and fish. This is practiced north of the Yangtze River, but in other areas the head and tail of the fish shouldn't be eaten until the beginning of the year, which expresses the hope that the year will start and finish with surplus. Fillings are wrapped in thin dough wrappers, then fried, when the spring rolls are given their golden-yellow color. Serving the fish with the head and tail intact is also symbolic, meaning a good beginning and good ending to the new year. Get it free when you sign up for our newsletter. Green onions are served as a garnish for color and the dish is usually served with red vinegar on the side. The deep-fried shrimp are then stir-fried in a salt and pepper mixture until coated nicely. In Chinese, "fish" (鱼 Yú /yoo/) sounds like 'surplus'. The head should be placed toward distinguished guests or elders, representing respect. The most famous Chinese fish dishes include steamed weever, West Lake fish with pickled cabbage and chili, steamed fish in vinegar sauce, and boiled fish with spicy broth. Top 10 Easy Recipes to Celebrate Chinese New Year, The Top 10 Main Dish Recipes for Chinese New Year, 20 Lucky Recipes for a Traditional New Year's Dinner, Enjoy These Dessert Recipes for Chinese New Year or Any Time of Year, Top 9 Symbolic Chinese Foods: From Fish to Fowl, 10 Chinese Cabbage (Bok Choy and Napa Cabbage) Recipes, Easy Chinese Cookies and Other Holiday Dishes, Lion's Head Meatballs With Chinese Cabbage. Labor intensive, this dish is often served rolled in Mandarin crepes with hoisin sauce, or sliced in front of guests with a serving per person consisting of more crispy skin than meat. Most reunion dinners (particularly in th… Longevity noodles (长寿面 Chángshòu Miàn /chung-show myen/) unsurprisingly symbolize a wish for longevity. Glutinous rice cake (年糕 Niángāo /nyen-gaoww/) is a lucky food eaten on Chinese New Year's Eve. Iceberg lettuce is commonly used, but any leafy crunchy green with wide leaves works well. Spring rolls are a Cantonese dim sum dish of cylindrical-shaped rolls filled with vegetables, meat, or something sweet. Shredded chicken, green onion, red pepper, water chestnuts, celery, garlic, and ginger are tossed in a sauce of oyster sauce, soy sauce, dry sherry, and sugar. In Chinese people's minds, this means the higher you are the more prosperous your business is a general improvement in life. 团团圆圆 (Tuántuán yuányuán /twann-twann ywen-ywen/ 'group-group round-round'): Happy (family) reunion! Many people are surprised to learn there is actually no lobster in this dish at all—the dish gets its name from having the same sauce as lobster Cantonese, which includes ground pork, chicken broth, and an egg, making it a light-colored sauce. Dumplings, or jiǎo zi 饺子 in Chinese, are the most important course of the traditional Chinese New Year eve feast. This is truly a traditional recipe, calling for blanching, stuffing, and then hanging the duck to dry for several hours. This recipe calls for salted black beans that are mixed with ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil and rubbed on the inside and outside of the whole fish. Fish can be cooked in various ways such as boiling, steaming, and braising. Certain fruits are eaten during the Chinese New Year period, such as tangerines and oranges, and pomeloes. These customs are observed in a lively and light-hearted spirit, full of laughing and banter. The shells protect the shrimp meat during deep-frying so that it tastes extra tender and juicy. By the mid-20th century, this dish became a national symbol of China. For more details, see our, Nazir Azhari Bin Mohd Anis / EyeEm / Getty Images, Top 10 Easy Recipes to Celebrate Chinese New Year, 10 Popular Cantonese-Style Recipes to Try Tonight, 10 Quick and Easy Beginner Chinese Recipes, 10 Deliciously Easy Chinese Chicken Stir-Fries, 20 Lucky Recipes for a Traditional New Year's Dinner. This style of cooking with sauces is popular in Cantonese cuisine, as is the use of ketchup in the sweet and sour sauce. Diners can enjoy the fish only after the one who faces the fish head eats first. Also known as Buddha's Delight, this popular New Year's day dish is loaded with symbolism. The venue will usually be in or near the home of the most senior member of the family. The two people who face the head and tail of fish should drink together, as this is considered to have a lucky meaning. ). The most common Chinese New Year foods include dumplings, fish, spring rolls, and niangao. Cubes of pork are marinated, then deep-fried in a batter to make it extra crispy, and stir-fried with pineapple in a sweet and sour sauce. Given the importance of food in Chinese culture, it is not surprising that certain dishes play a major role in Chinese New Year celebrations. Eating and displaying tangerines and oranges is believed to bring good luck and fortune due to their pronunciation, and even writing. In Chinese culture, duck represents fidelity. Chinese New Year is this Asian country's most important holiday, celebrated with monetary gifts, firecrackers, and plenty of food. Therefore, eating fish at the end of the meal represents a wish for abundance in the year to come. Get it free when you sign up for our newsletter. The Chinese for orange (and tangerine) is 橙 (chéng /chnng/), which sounds the same as the Chinese for 'success' (成). Food & Wine's best Chinese New Year recipes and tips include how to easily fold dumplings, where to find the best Chinese food and a guide to good luck foods for the New Year. Given the importance of food in Chinese culture, it is not surprising that certain dishes play a major role in Chinese New Year celebrations. Most cooks plunge the chicken in iced water after it has been cooked to assure its tenderness and juiciness. Duck symbolizes fidelity in Chinese culture, and Peking duck has a long history that can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty's imperial court menu. Legend has it that the more dumplings you eat during the New Year celebrations, the more money you can make in the New Year. We've rounded up 7 essential Chinese, or Lunar, New Year dishes, and included the symbolism behind them all. They are longer than normal noodles and uncut, either fried and served on a plate, or boiled and served in a bowl with their broth. We've rounded up 7 essential Chinese, or Lunar, New Year dishes, and included the symbolism behind them all. Lucky food is served during the 16-day festival season, especially on Chinese New Year dinner on New Year's Eve, which is believed to bring good luck for the coming year. Foods that are considered lucky or offer good fortune are part of the menu, as are ingredients whose names in Chinese sound similar to other positive words. How they're made: Almost all Chinese people can make dumplings. The more you eat, the more wealth it will bring, as the traditional saying goes. In Chinese, glutinous rice cake sounds like it means "getting higher year-on- by year". Tangerines and oranges are passed out freely during Chinese New Year as the words for tangerine and orange sound like "luck" and "wealth," respectively; pomelos are found everywhere as the Chinese word for them sounds like the verb "to have." To add some color to the dish, you can garnish with fresh scallions. The meatballs are larger than the average Italian or Swedish equivalent and one or two are enough to feed one guest, as during the Chinese New Year's celebrations many dishes are expected at the table. The vegetables are stir-fried in a rich sauce of mushroom soaking liquid, rice wine, soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil, making for a filling and satisfying meal. On New Year's Eve it is a tradition to eat dumplings with cabbage and radish, implying that one's skin will become fair and one's mood will become gentle. From lily buds to bean curd sticks to bamboo shoots, this recipe is filled with symbolic foods, all of which are simmered in a flavorful sauce. Certain dishes are eaten during the Chinese New Year for their symbolic meaning. To help you celebrate the Chinese New Year, choose from a number of popular main dishes, from sweet and sour pork to Peking duck. Sweet rice ball (汤圆 Tāngyuán /tung-ywen/) is the main food for China's Lantern Festival, however, in south China, people eat them throughout the Spring Festival. These round dumplings signify family reunion as most families spend New Year's Eve together preparing them before eating them at midnight. Make your favorite takeout recipes at home with our cookbook! Serving a whole chicken symbolizes wholeness and prosperity. The meatballs are made of pork seasoned with soy sauce, sesame oil, and sherry and simmered in a chicken broth-soy sauce mixture along with the bok choy until everything is tender and cooked through. They are selected as they are particularly round and "golden" in color, symbolizing fullness and wealth, but more obviously for the lucky sound they bring when spoken. The dumplings are flavored with ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic. Spring rolls and egg rolls symbolize wealth because their shape is similar to gold bars. To add some color to the dish, you can garnish with fresh scallions. Many of the individual ingredients in this dish, from lily buds to fungi, also have their own special significance. Popular fillings are minced pork, diced shrimp, fish, ground chicken, beef, and vegetables. Lion's head meatballs is a visually appealing dish from Shanghai consisting of oversized meatballs with bok choy "manes." The word "sour" in the Chinese language sounds like "grandchild," so it is believed this dish will bring many grandchildren when served at family meals. It is a Chinese New Year dish especially popular in East China: Jiangxi, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Fujian, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, etc. If you don't have the proper place to hang the duck, you can place it in a cool room with a fan blowing on it. In this recipe, chicken is poached in ginger-garlic rice wine broth and then left to sit for several hours until it turns white. This recipe calls for deep-frying the chicken, adding a delicious, crispy texture. In this recipe, the whole fish is rubbed inside and out with a mixture of ginger, black beans, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil and then steamed until tender and flaky.
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