The Lunar New Year is upon us, and what a fun, colourful and food filled time of year it is. This Chinese new year (Today) we’ve compiled a list of Good Luck Foods to share with the one’s you love and to kick off the year of the rat with a culinary bang.
Let’s start with Oranges and Tangerines, a tradition that stems from the like for like sounds of the words for “Gold” and “Orange”, while the word for tangerine sounds similar to the word for luck. Simply displaying these fruits is said to bring great wealth and luck. If you can find some with leaves attached, that’s even better as the leaves represent longevity. However, be weary never group the fruit in fours as the number four is associated with death.
One of our favourite traditions as it speaks to our values, is known as the “Tray of Togetherness.” Typically put out for relatives and friends visiting during the festivities. The tray is partitioned into eight parts (the symbolic number for luck), and each section is filled with specialty items such as preserved kumquats (representing prosperity), coconut (togetherness), longans (to bring many sons) and red melon seeds (for happiness).
For a cleansing start, look to Jai a dish steeped in Buddhist culture. Traditionally made with a combination of sea moss (for prosperity), lotus seeds (for children, birth of sons), noodles for longevity, lily buds for 100 years of harmonious union, Chinese black mushrooms (to fulfill wishes from east to west). This dish is said to help you cleanse yourself with vegetables.
Everyone wishes for long lives, specifically for parents serve mum and dad up with a big plate of long leafy greens, such as Chinese broccoli and long green beans. Be sure to serve them whole, so as not to figuratively cut lives short.
Promote abundance with a beautifully cooked whole fish. It is imperative that the fish is served head to tail, to ensure a good start and finish. Serving it in parts will bring bad luck throughout the year.
And like any celebration there must be cake! Serving desserts promotes a sweet life in the new year. Representing achieving new heights, comes Nian Gao (Year Cake). These steamed sweets are made from glutinous rice, flour, brown sugar and oil. Some versions are filled with red dates to bring early prosperity.