Kung hei fat choi [moved from Boston board]
In my last post, i found out that chicken stuffed with glutinous (sweet) rice was Chinese New year fare. what other chinese dish can be considered a must-have for Chinese New Year. I know of Nian Gao has to be in the dining table, (is it available in the chinatown groceries yet?) I heard Steamed Fish is a must also.
Please tell us your ideal or real chinese new year food selections.
You need lots of things.
As you've mentioned, fish is a must. It's supposed to be good luck. Most people generally have a dish of each type of meat, beef, pork, chicken, duck.
Nian gao is also a traditional dish, and so are "tang yuan" for dessert sometimes.
At our house, dumplings are a must. When I was little, all of the kids would try and find the one dumpling that was made with sugar. Finding and eating it was supposed to bring good luck in the new year.
And no Chinese New Year passes without a long night of mah jiang.
Sweet trays.... candied lotus seeds, winter melon, lotus root. melon seeds.
We have jai ( veg dish that includes fat choy, dried oysters and lettuce...all of these ingredients sound like something good in chinese) for the new years day dinner. But the family dinner on new years eve we always have a whole fish and a whole chicken...don't know why.
It never occurred to me that rice-stuffed chicken had New Year's connotations, other than it's a good banquet dish. (We are wont to order it year-round in San Fancisco).
I think the traditional musts are jiaozi in the north, sweet nian gao in the south, and tang yuan everywhere. At our house, celebrating Spring Festival demands the Shanghainese specialty soup "yan du xian" and sometimes Wuxi New Year's Soup, which contains a whole poached egg in each serving. My wife makes yuanzi anytime between New Year's day and the Lantern Festival.