Three Lucky Foods to Feast on this Chinese New Year
The lunar new year is almost upon us and in Chinese culture, food symbolizes new beginnings, prosperity, health, and good luck. This is a time for good fortune, success coming full circle, extended family coming together and a time that brings good luck. Here is a list of some of the most delicious and luckiest foods that you can prepare and feast on.
Did you know that dumplings are said to date back almost 2,000 years and their shape is like an old piece of currency in ancient China? No wonder they are one of the yummiest and most prominent food items at the new year’s table. They are one of the Chinese new year traditional dishes.
Chinese believe that the more dumplings you eat, the richer you be for the New Year. Get your family together and start your own dumpling tradition with these yummy Chicken Mushroom Pot Dumplings.
- 1 tbsp Avocado oil
- 2 cups mushrooms finely chopped
- 1/2 cup green onions sliced finely
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger minced
- 1/2 lb ground chicken
- 1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 30 wonton wrappers
- 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
- red pepper flakes (to taste)
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onions, ginger and garlic until all of the liquid has evaporated. Allow the mixture to cool.
- Mix the mushroom mixture and chicken in a large bowl with soy sauce. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of filling into the center of each wrapper. Wet the edges with water using your fingers and fold into dumplings.
- To steam: line your bamboo steamer with parchment paper. Put some water in a pot or skillet that fits under your steamer and bring to a boil. Steam the dumplings for about 10 minutes.
- To fry: Heat a large skillet over medium-high and spray with avocado oil. Fill with the dumplings in a single layer. Brown the dumplings on both sides and then add ¼ cup water and cover to steam. Once the water has evaporated, remove the dumplings and let them cool.
- To make the dipping sauce, combine the ingredients in a small bowl. Enjoy!
- Whole fish
Fish is a representation of prosperity, wholeness and completeness. Tradition tells us that if you eat the whole wish, it brings you more prosperity in the new year and also consolidates your surplus from last year. This dish is usually served as the last one as a symbol of always moving forward, and never backwards.
This steamed fish will delight your tastebuds and wow your guests.
- 750 g (1½ lb) skinless, boneless firm white fish fillets, such as snapper
- 2 tablespoons salt-reduced soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons white wine or sake
- 2 cm (¾ inch) piece fresh ginger, finely sliced
- 2 carrots, cut into thin matchsticks
- ⅔ cup (60 g) sliced snow peas (mangetout)
- ½ yellow capsicum (bell pepper), seeded and cut into thin matchsticks
- lemon wedges, to serve
- Place the fish in a baking dish that will fit on a rack inside a large frying pan or in the top of a steamer basket.
- Combine the soy sauce and white wine or sake and pour over the fish.
- Top with ginger and carrot.
- Fill the pan with water so that it is about 2.
- 5 cm (1 inch) deep and bring to a simmer.
- Place the rack or steamer basket in the pan.
- Place the baking dish on the rack, cover, and steam the fish for 5–6 minutes.
- Add the snow peas and capsicum to the dish, recover, and continue steaming for about 5 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork and the vegetables are just tender.
- Divide the fish among serving plates, scatter some of the vegetables on top, and serve with lemon wedges on the side.
- The Duck
Duck is an extremely famous Chinese New Year dish and represents a healthy and happy year. Red is considered a colour of great luck in the Chinese culture and that’s one of the reasons why this dish is so popular because the skin of the finished Peking duck is a little red in colour.
You can roast it slowly and make a variety of dishes, even pastries. Here’s a fun recipe to try.
- ½ cup (75 g) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)
- ¼ cup (60 ml) low–fat milk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted, or canola oil
- rice bran or canola oil spray
- 500 g (1 lb) roast Peking duck, meat thinly sliced, skin and bones discarded
- 3 spring onions (scallions)
- ½ Lebanese (short) cucumber, seeded and cut into matchsticks
- ¼ cup (60 ml) hoisin sauce
- To make the pancakes, put the flour, cornflour, milk, eggs, melted butter and ¼ cup (60 ml) water in a bowl and whisk until well combined and smooth.
- Pour into a jug, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside for 15 minutes.
- Heat a wok or large non–stick frying pan over medium heat, lightly spray with oil and, when hot, pour 1½ tablespoons of batter into the wok.
- Working quickly, tilt the wok to spread the mixture out to form a thin pancake with a 15 cm (6 inch) diameter.
- Cook for 2 minutes, then turn and cook the other side for a further 1 minute, flattening any air bubbles that may appear.
- Remove to a plate and keep warm.
- Repeat with the remaining mixture to make 8 pancakes in total.
- To serve, place some of the duck meat in the centre of each pancake, top with some spring onions and cucumber and drizzle over 1 teaspoon hoisin sauce.
- Roll up and serve immediately.
- Alternatively, arrange all of the ingredients on a platter so guests can make their own.
We wish you a very happy Chinese New Year 2022 and we hope the year of the tiger brings you good fortune, strength, power, and prosperity, and may you have a wonderful time with family filled with loud noises and echoing laughter.