Thursday, February 19, 2015

Happy Chinese New Year! Celebrating Across Asia...

Try my recipes for Steamed Fish and Marbled Tea Eggs. Credit: Ram poster by Marten Go.

Chinese New Year is widely celebrated across Asia. Here, sharing with you some of the amazing elaborate food spreads and food customs, in different parts of the world.

In Taiwan, my friend and fellow Food Revolution Ambassador Taiwan, Kate Chou talks about her big reunion dinner...

Chinese New Year’s Eve is on Feb 18th (defined by the last day in lunar year!) It’s the time that all family members will get together and have a bountiful dinner!

When this important day is coming, our grand family chefs, mommy and grandmom will begin to prepare all the food starting very early in the morning because there are lots of ingredients that needs to be prepared for the big feast! There will be more than ten different dishes on our big round dinner table, from vegetables to meats, soup to dessert! Chinese New Year is my favourite festival because aside from the delicious reunion, we also get lucky red envelopes (on Chinese New Year’s eve, elders will pass out red envelopes which has money inside.) Chinese people believe that if you get red envelopes, it will bring you good luck for the rest of year!

In Hong Kong, fellow Super Ambassador Asia, Beatrice Chan shares these symbolic foods and decorations...

Confectionery Box or Candy Box: For serving family and friends who visit our home during CNY. I will serve the candy box & Chinese tea to the elder members of the family and they will give me red money packets. 

Moldy bread can be different shaped.
Prosperous Bread: To make some bread, let it go moldy. The sound of 發霉 (moldy) in Chinese is similar to prosperity. Yet, nowadays we will only let 1-2 go moldy but the rest will be eaten during the holiday. 

Suckling Pig: We call the day starting the lunar new year as 開年, so we will have 開年 lunch (first meal at new year time), with all the relatives to celebrate the new year. To cut into a suckling pig will make everyone very happy, because it is very crispy and delicious.  

Beatrice's Turnip Cake recipe

Turnip Cake: We make Turnip Cake, Taro Cake, New Year Cake (年糕 Nian Gao) etc., for serving the relatives and friends when they visit our home. Traditional recipe for Turnip cake is made with cured meat (臘味 preserved meats) and dried mushrooms but I changed it to dried Porcini Mushroom & Parma Ham this year for a twist. And a nice alternative to those who don't like cured meats. 

Peach Blossom: For better relationship with people and decoration of the home. 

In Vietnam, my husband's extended family with generations, gathered for a happy, fun time eating together!

Eating together also means cooking together- preparing food is a joyous bonding time!

Always a must to serve fish that symbolizes abundance and prosperity!

Cheers everyone from Vietnam!!

I will be celebrating my reunion dinner with my siblings and their families this Saturday with a potluck at my parents' home which promises to be an eventful eating frenzy! Join me back on Sunday for a detailed post....

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