photo: Jiaozi Dumpling (Source: Rasa Malaysia)
Lunar New Year’s just around the corner. For the Chinese, it’s a time for family reunion dinners, indulging in good food with friends, and collecting angbaos (red envelopes containing fresh dollar notes for the young and singles).
Along with the sumptuous banquet, special attention is paid to the food served, not only to uphold traditions, but also to serve food that prosperity and luck.
Tea Leaf Egg
The Tea Leaf Egg is said to bring fertility to those trying to conceive. Considered a light snack, the Tea Leaf egg can accompany festive meals as well. It is hardboiled and infused with black tea and spices add to its marble-like appearance and herbal flavor.
Dumplings like Jiaozi are a classic for those looking to dip their hands into wealth, be it boiled, steamed, fried or baked. Popular fillings consist of minced pork, diced shrimp, fish, ground chicken, beef, and vegetables. The dumplings also signify family reunions and prosperity. For that extra piece of luck, gold coins are inserted into the dumplings.
Spring rolls are symbols of wealth and prosperity. Traditionally eaten during the Spring Festival, these cylindrical-shaped rolls are filled with vegetables, meat, or something sweet. The fillings are encased thin dough wrappers and fried, giving it a golden-yellow color.
photo: Spring Rolls (Source: Marion’s Kitchen)
Longevity noodles are the most popular, found in almost every Chinese household on the eve of the New Year. These are not like the normal noodles that we eat. These noodles are uncut, symbolizing a wish for longevity. Families usually say a prayer and ask for blessings before consuming this traditional Chinese meal.
photo : Longevity Noodles (Source: Food 52)
Yu Sheng, otherwise known as the prosperity salad, is made with shredded vegetables – such as shredded radish, carrots, ginger and onion slices, and crushed peanuts, raw fish. It is topped off with sweet vinegar to tie the lucky dish together. The dish is served as a communal offering, with diners gathering around to toss the salad. The higher the toss, the higher chances for good luck.