This year Chinese New Year falls on February 14th, same day as Valentine’s Day. This year it will be the year of the Tiger. To celebrate, I plan on cooking a three course feast this weekend.
Chinese new year foods is all about symbolism. The dishes and the food ingredients hold symbolic meanings, revolving around good fortune, prosperity, wealth, longevity, etc. Here’s a few traditional Chinese new year foods:
- Dumplings (represents good luck and wealth b/c they resemble ancient Chinese money)
- Fish (the word for fish in Chinese sounds like the word for wish or prosperity)
- Noodles (long life)
- Pomelos (abundance and family unity)
- Oranges and tangerines (happiness, luck, and wealth)
- Whole chicken (family and togetherness)
- Rice cakes or nian gao (symbolizes increasing prosperity every year)
In coming up with a tasty menu, I decided to incorporate some of these elements. Since it is also Valentine’s Day, I think chocolate for dessert is a must!
For now, here’s the tentative menu:
The watercress soup is a straight forward recipe which requires boiling a collection of ingredients. The spinach and tofu dumplings will be based on this recipe found in Food and Wine magazine. For the mock beef dumplings, I plan on seasoning some Lightlife Smart Ground veggie protein crumbles and using that as filling. The noodle dish will be quite simple with shredded flavored firm tofu, crunchy bean sprouts, strips of fried egg, and tasty pieces of thinly sliced beef. For the chocolate brownies, I’ll probably have to cheat and use brownie mix. I’m thinking of using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Brownie Mix, since I’m such a huge fan of their products.
I have most of the ingredients, but still need to do a little grocery shopping. I’m very excited!