Chinese New Year

Posted by in The Kitchen

January 29 marks the arrival of The Year of The Dog. How are YOU celebrating?

Chinese New Year, celebrated for centuries, is marked with elaborate and colorful fanfare. Preparations begin weeks, sometimes months before the eagerly awaited New Year’s Eve dinner, to ensure a lucky and prosperous year ahead. Households are cleaned from top to bottom, feuds with enemies are forgiven, all to pave the way for a clean, fresh start for positive energy to enter the home and infuse the lives of the dwellers with wealth and happiness.

The New Year’s Eve dinner is filled with many symbolic items. Just as blackeye peas and cabbage signify money and good luck for the Western New Year, the Chinese consume many food items to ensure prosperity. Soups are steeped with dried, salted turnips, the name of which can mean “good omens.” A black, hair-like fungus called “fat choi” is also found in soups; “fat choi” sounds like the Chinese word for “prosperity.” Noodle dishes, with long, unbroken strands, signify long life. Greens, which are the color of money, are eaten to hopefully bring lots of the “green stuff!” A fresh young chicken is a also sign of prosperity, and its freshness is noted by the whole bird being presented at the table, head and all. The Chinese word for fresh fish, also noted by the head and tail intact, sounds like the Chinese word for “profit.” Dumplings, a literal symbol of fertility and procreation, are eaten for assure the comforts of family.

Whether or not you or your family celebrate Chinese New Year, why not take the opportunity to prepare a few Chinese dishes at home? Even if you don’t believe in the good fortune aspects of the dishes, it can’t hurt to eat some noodles!

The following are just a few of the recipes that can be found elsewhere in my blog. Look for other recipes on

Roasted Chinese Chicken

Shrimp and Eggs with Onions and Spinach

Crispy Lo Mein with Chicken

Steamed Whole Fish

Gung Hay Fat Choy! :icon_razz: