Monday, February 4, 2019

Gong Xi Fa Cai! 8 Auspicious Eats for the Chinese New Year

Tomorrow, we say goodbye to the Year of the Earth Dog and welcome the arrival of the Earth Pig. I managed to take a quick peek at my horoscope and things seems to look positive and rosy for those born in my year (ha! I'm not disclosing which year haha sneaky sneaky huh?). I'm sure there'll be lots of Chinese New Year prediction going around tomorrow so better keep a look out for yours and I do wish that your 2019 will be filled with happiness and prosperity too.

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Anyway, despite receiving a good forecast, I still like to play my cards right. It doesn't hurt to take extra steps to bring in more luck, after all. On the foodie front, here are 8 dishes that should be part of your Chinese New Year spread tomorrow night:

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1) Dumplings
This is probably one of the most popular dishes every Chinese New Year. This tiny yummy bags of pork/minced veggies/seafood symbolizes wealth. Shaped like ingots which are the olden day representation of money, thus it's believed that having this on your Chinese New Year table will help you bring in an abundant amount of money/wealth.

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Order this delicious 8 Treasure Chicken from Pepita's Lechon
2) Chicken
This symbolizes unity and good marriage thus having one whole chicken (normally even with the head intact) is included in the menu line-up as the New Year is all about wishing for good relationships too.



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3) Fish
For those who loves doing the lo hei, this line may sound familiar to you -- Nian Nian You Yu (年年有魚). It actually means, may each year bring in more abundance. Thus, following this phase, having one whole fish -- normally steamed on the table is definitely a must. This is also why most Chinese lauriat has one whole steamed fish as part of the list too. However, in today's modern age if you are just a small family of 2 or 4, go for a smaller fish so as not to have any leftovers. Definitely no-no to food wastage.

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Garlic Noodles from Ley's Kitchen
4) Noodles
We all know this, noodles = long life. Thus, whats a Chinese New Year meal without wishing for long long long life for everyone. This also equates to good health too so go ahead and enjoy your noodle dish. If Chinese stir-fried noodles is not up to your liking then you can go for yummy pasta or garlic noodles too!

5) Oranges/Tangerine
You may have notice those tiny trees adorn with tiny orange-like fruits. Those are called kiat kiat and that's considered to be a lucky tree during CNY. Oranges are part of this list because of their perfectly round shape as well as this symbolizes success and luck. The same rule follows for pomelo as well as the Chinese name for pomelo sounds like "to have" which means you're ability to accomplish your goals for the coming year.

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6) Shrimps
You may have noticed how the Chinese just loves their seafood. Shrimps is a symbol for liveliness and happiness thus having a plate of steamed suahe is a common favorite in most Chinese New Year lauriats.

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Fruity Nian Gao from @thehungrychef Nat
7) Tikoy/ Nian Gao / Glutinous Rice
Of course, the ever-famous tikoy. In fact, anything with glutinous rice may be included in your CNY menu as this stands for togetherness (family sticking together). This can come in the form of the traditional Tikoy, Tang Yuan (glutinous rice balls filled with red bean or peanuts) or even Pat Po Kwe (roasted chicken stuffed with glutinous rice).

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8) Buchi / Sesame Balls
Of course, we just can't end our meal without dessert! Sesame seeds represent fertility so for those couples who are praying/hoping/planning/wishing for a baby then have a plate of Buchi to end your Chinese New Year meal.

The Chinese New Year is all about bringing in all the good luck and good wishes for you and your family. It's the perfect time to do away with all the negative vibes, stress and hidden anger. In fact, most Chinese families would take this time to Konmari their homes and would replace broken furniture pieces or appliances with new ones. It's also high time to konmari our lives and to remove all those who have been weighing us down and to stick to those who have been bringing in happiness and love to us.

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Furthermore, this is also not the time to be stress so luckily, we now have Honestbee where we can order an entire spread and have all these delicious dishes delivered straight to our doorstep. This is what I did recently where I ordered from Lugang Cafe for one of our family dinners. I didn't even have to break a sweat as everyone was done on my mobile phone and within minutes, the dependable Honestbee delivery guy was already on our doorstep. Easy peasy!

Wishing you and your family a Happy Chinese New Year! Gong Xi Gong Xi! 
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