It’s all about what they symbolize . . .
Because Chinese New Year is coming up, I thought I would compile some useful posts related to various Chinese dishes and the reasons behind why they are popular during Chinese New Year.
Happy Chinese New Year! And I hope you find these useful!
Lion’s Head Casserole
A Shanghai tradition, this dish resembles lions heads because the greens look like the mane while the meat ball looks like the head. The lion symbolizes power and strength, while the meatballs symbolize family reunion.
Microwave Steamed Fish With Black Bean Sauce (Chilean Sea Bass)
Fish is very classic and is typically served on New Year’s Eve. The word for fish in Chinese also sounds like the word for “wish” and “abundance.” Eating fish at the end of the meal symbolizes a wish for abundance for the coming year.
Jo Tsai (Chinese Chives) with 5-spice Tofu
Flowering chives symbolize eternity and are another popular dish served on New Year’s Eve.
Eggs are a symbol of fertility in Chinese culture, thus making eggs of all sorts popular.
Ro Gen Mian (Ban Genh) – Pork, Bamboo, and Mushroom Soup
Noodles symbolize long life because the strands are long. Make sure not to break the strands when you are eating it!
Finally, homemade dumplings are really popular too, especially in northern China. It’s traditional for families to make dumplings on New Years Eve and then eat the dumplings at midnight. Typically, one of the dumplings will be filled with something special, such as a gold coin or something else. The one who gets that dumpling will have tons of good luck! Dumplings are popular because they resemble ancient Chinese money.
Well, I don’t have a post about how to make dumplings (unless if you count my Din Tai Fung posts), but I’ll at least try to post a tutorial on how to wrap dumplings this week.
Other Side Dishes
Chinese Sticky Rice
Stir Fried Baby Bok Choy
Preserved Salted Mustard Greens with Garlic
Sauteed Hollow Heart Vegetable with Chinese BBQ Sauce
Spicy Tofu (Vegetarian Mapo Tofu)
Taiwanese Meat Sauce over Rice
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