Thursday, February 19, 2015

Chinese New Year Foods


KUNG HEI  FAT CHOY!  HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR!

Today is February 19, 2015 and it's Chinese New Year.  It's the time of year where most Asian people celebrate their start of a new year.  

This year is the Year of the Goat
this year is the Wood Goat here's some info from China Highlights

Wood Goats (1955, 2015)

People for whom the Wood element and Goat zodiac sign align for their birth year are amicable, gentle, compassionate, and ready to help others. They get along with their friends and colleagues in life.
They have to do everything themselves because they cannot get help from their family members but, luckily, they have a happy family life owing to their good wife.
Wood Goats often live alone or feel lonely in married life, and their spouse often travels. However, they have a steady marriage bond; what's more, it's very hard for a third person to come between them.

The cool thing about Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year is the fact that they celebrate it with certain foods.  All of these foods are symbolic to certain things relating to health, wealth and luck mostly.  I will try and tell you the ones that I know.  

Here's how the food relates to symbols:


 LONGEVITY NOODLES

The longer the noodle the better.  Never cut your noodles when you are cooking them.  They are meant to be slurped because they symbolize long life.  If you want to live a long life eat long noodles.
















MANDARIN ORANGES

Symbolize Luck and Wealth.  Usually they are placed at the entrance to a home or they are served to guests or brought as gifts.  It is better to have one with a stem on it because that symbolizes life as well.











DUMPLINGS

Dumplings are supposed to symbolize Gold Inglots so the dumplings are meant to symbolize Wealth.

Dumplings are pretty easy to make.  You can buy the wrappers from an Asian grocery store like T&T Supermarket.  You just add the fillings and use a bit of water to seal the wrappers tight and then steam, or pan fry or deep fry.
These dumplings were made with ground pork, green onions, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, salt, and a tiny bit of soy sauce.  Served with a black vinegar dipping sauce.



RED ENVELOPES

Red envelopes with gold chocolate coins are given out to mostly kids during Chinese New Year and they symbolize Happiness and Wealth.   I like this one.  Who doesn't want to get chocolate.








FORTUNE COOKIES

This is not traditional in Asia but has been adopted in North America and given out at the end of the meal in restaurants.



The other Food that I don't have a photo for is a WHOLE FISH.

This symbolizes abundance.  You would cook and serve the fish whole.  The head is a delicacy in some places.  Generally in a lot of Asian cultures they use almost all of the food in some way or another and do not waste very much food.  Bones, fat, skin etc are used in soup broths and other things.  It's a very eco practice that isn't as popular in the West.

Try some Lunar New Year Foods if you can this week.

Some places you can find New Year Celebration foods in Toronto are:

The ShangriLa who have a special Tea menu.
Markham Village have lots of celebration events and lots of restaurants in Markham to try.
Chinatown downtown.  Lot's of restaurants and other events as well.
LUCKEE Susur Lee's restaurant has a special Dim Sum menu as well as other special items for Chinese New Year.
There is also an Event called YUM CHA that takes place on Sat. Feb. 21st.  with a bunch of local restaurants making dim sum.

Try making some dumplings or search out some of these great places to check out.


KUNG HEI FAT CHOY!





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