Steamed whole fish is one of the most common traditional dishes eaten during the Lunar New Year. In Chinese, the word fish is pronounced yu, which is the same pronunciation for the word surplus. Eating fish therefore symbolizes prosperity and prosperity in the coming year. The New Year’s meal will almost always include Dayu Darou, literally big fish and big meat. The phrase is used to describe any sumptuous feast in which animal proteins play a central role, as opposed to everyday eating, which uses meat and seafood

much more sparingly.

These handhelds (chūnjuǎn,) are particularly popular in Eastern China and symbolize wealth. They are called spring rolls because they are eaten during the Spring Festival. Spring rolls are a Cantonese dish. It is a type of dim sum made from thin dough packages filled with vegetables or meat. The rolls are fried until golden brown. This inspired the Chinese saying for “a ton of gold,” which is colloquially used as a wish of prosperity when eating spring rolls

as they look like gold bars.

The rolls in this recipe are filled with minced pork, mushrooms, cabbage and bean sprouts. Shrimp (xiā,) and lobster (lóngxiā,) are both revered as symbols of good luck and good fortune and are therefore a great addition to your New Year’s menu. The Cantonese word for shrimp (“ha”) sounds like laughter, so it means luck over time. Serve them diced in salad wraps, chopped in dumplings, or whole in

them A variant of Chinese kung pao shrimp.

It’s a 30-minute recipe using dried Chinese red chilies, Sichuan peppercorns, cashew nuts, and Sichuan chili oil. According to Kho, the savory version is usually fried in dishes in Shanghai and northern Chinese restaurants. If you’re planning or attending a meeting, here are some traditional Chinese dishes that will be a hit at a New Year’s dinner. While you can eat these hearty fried rolls all year round, they’re a Chinese New Year favorite because they symbolize


And just as Christmas traditions vary depending on the family that is celebrating, every New Year is unique, which means you might not find all of these dishes on every family’s or restaurant’s table, but you’re likely to come across several. Today, making dumplings together for the Chinese New Year is a tradition shared by almost all Chinese families around the world. However, this practice has its roots in northern China, where the wheat used for the tender dumpling shells (jiaozi pi) was once a more common staple food than rice. Like dumplings, the folds in their packaging represent prosperity. So it’s no wonder that they’re just as popular for the Chinese New Year. Kho, another common ingredient in Asian food, says that jujube “is traditional for Chinese New Year because it is red and red is the color of prosperity and

happiness is.

Unlike the bulky, bulbous eggplants (qié zi,) you’re used to, Chinese eggplants are long and thin. Mandarins (chéng,) are one of the happiest fruits in Chinese tradition, but you’re also likely to see oranges, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits on the table. This Chinese chicken with roasted oranges is marinated in star anise, fresh ginger, and Chinese red dates. In rural areas of China, slaughtering a pig for the Spring Festival is a popular tradition and a reward for a year

of hard work.

Whole fish (yú,) is often served steamed (although it can also be cooked or braised) at standard meals, as the Chinese believe it brings prosperity. According to Kho, Tangyuan is usually served on the fifteenth and last day of the Chinese New Year celebration, which is also the Lantern Festival. On winter roads across China, skinned giant fish, ducks and sticks of Chinese sausage hang from racks and poles. They dry and harden to prepare for the Chinese New Year and commemorate ancient sacrifices that took place in the last days of the year following the

winter solstice



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