During Chinese New Year, food is considered an important element not only to celebrate the occasion, but also to usher in more luck and good fortune. Here are some ideas to help prepare your establishment for an auspicious start to the new year.
Dumplings are usually associated with money or wealth, and it’s said that the more dumplings you eat during Chinese New Year, the more money you’ll earn in the future. Other than the traditional fillings, you can explore more exotic flavours like farmer’s cheese with Chinese seasonings, fermented bean paste, and hot Sichuan peppercorns. Pair them with different dipping sauces for an explosion of different flavours!
Sweet Rice Cakes
Nian Gao or sweet rice cakes are a must-have during Chinese New Year that represents reaching new heights in the coming year. It’s a simple snack made of glutinous rice that can be prepared in different ways; you can choose to add fresh desiccated coconut, batter then deep fry, or spread chocolate sauce on it. If you’d like to add a traditional touch, serve it with a glass of sweet tea.
8 Treasure Duck
An elegant dish that helps to bring happiness, it’s typically served during reunion lunches or dinners and is shared around the table. It comes with eight different stuffings, hence the name, and you can create a burst of flavours using ingredients such as lean chicken, barley, gingko nut, dried chestnut, lotus seeds, dried mandarin peels, shiitake mushrooms, ginger and more.
Cornflake Crumbs Shrimp
This delectable dish is alleged to bring you liveliness, happiness and good fortune. A great way to prepare the shrimp is to deep fry it with chopped garlic, green leaves and a dash of salted egg powder. If you want to add a little pizzazz, drizzle some buttermilk on top of it. The combination of salted egg powder and buttermilk makes it a perfect candidate to be served with steamed mantou buns, if you so desire.
Sesame Balls with Assorted Fillings
These deep-fried dough balls filled with red bean paste and covered in sesame seeds are a common delicacy in Malaysia, and it’s said to help expand your fortune. It can be made with different fillings such as pandan, kaya, and chocolate. To give it even more of a local flavour, you can use sambal belacan as a spicy substitute. These bite-sized snacks go perfect with a hot cup of coffee or teh tarik.