15 days of Chinese New Year
The CNY public holidays may be over in Singapore, but the festivities live on! After all, if other countries can have month-long celebrations, why can’t we?
If you’re not done celebrating just yet, we’ve got you covered — read on for our extended Chinese New Year guide on how to enjoy the festivities beyond the usual two days, complete with food and activities to maximise the 2023 huat!
PS Have steamboat ingredients to spare? We’ve got recipe ideas using leftover ingredients.
1. Don’t throw out leftovers! Keep for Day 11
The countless days of feasting have probably left you with a ton of leftover food. It comes as no surprise that Chinese tradition has catered a day specifically for (safely kept) leftovers. Specifically on Day 11, leftover food from previous feasts is eaten as fathers-in-law entertain their sons-in-law.
If you’re scratching your head, thinking of how to repurpose the leftovers, we’ve got two easy recipes for you. One, prawn and veggie tempura. It’s a simple and tasty way to use up any leftover ingredients, easily paired with cold soba or udon for a complete meal.
Second, claypot yong tau foo, where you can just dump everything in, including leftover fishballs, crab sticks and sotong balls overflowing in your fridge. Inviting in-laws is optional.
Prawn and Vegetable Tempura
Prep Time: 45 mins. Serves 3 to 4
Claypot Yong Tau Foo
Prep Time: 1 hour. Serves 4
2. Eat porridge for good luck
You’ve had steamboats, lohei, and (we’re guessing) a ton of other familiar Chinese dishes, so switch it up on Day 7 for porridge instead. In Chinese culture, it’s believed that humans were created on Day 7 of CNY. Traditionally, people eat “Qibao” porridge on this big day to symbolise guarding against diseases and bad luck.
We’ll take any excuse to have a steaming bowl of porridge, or even a hearty bowl of seafood pao fan. Or if you’re sticking to porridge, try our Teochew fish porridge recipe for a warm, happy and healthy tummy. It’s easy to digest and mild on the gut, making for a wonderful post-feasting meal.
Teochew Fish Porridge
Prep Time: 45 mins. Serves 2
Seafood Pao Fan
Prep Time: 1 hour 45 mins. Serves 3 to 4
3. Appease the kitchen’s higher powers with meaty meals
There’s a traditional Chinese belief that the “Kitchen god” comes to earth on CNY, to hang out and watch over the family’s daily activities. It’s said that to give him a big welcome, you have to prepare offerings of food and wine.
Some common foods made for this include chicken, fish and pork dishes. Well, whether you’re following the tradition, or just want another reason to feast, our top recommendation is this beautiful sio bak (roast pork) recipe, complete with an addictive mandarin mustard dip. Not only is pork a symbol of prosperity, but it’s also extremely satisfying to eat alone or as a family.
Sio Bak with Mandarin Mustard
Prep Time: 3 hours (overnight marinate). Serves 6
Not enough time? Try this air-fryer sio bak recipe that takes convenience to the next level.
4. Prepare traditional desserts for Day 15
We know you love ice cream and cakes, but reserve Day 15 for traditional glutinous rice balls. There are two kinds, tangyuan (which has filling), and yuanxiao (without filling), but both are eaten on Day 15 to symbolise togetherness and reunion on Lantern Festival.
Apart from the rice balls, you can also try other interesting desserts such as Fried Nian Gao, a crispy yet chewy, glutinous rice pancake. Think a caramelised exterior and soft, mochi-like Nian Gao within. It’s a perfect sweet and savoury dessert, plus it only takes 15 minutes to make.
Fried Nian Gao
Prep Time: 15 mins. Serves 3 to 4
5. Use up all your oranges
Oranges are essentially emblems of wealth, or “giving gold”. After the first few days of visiting, you might be tempted to throw away these symbols of prosperity, but why not eat them instead? Hint: there’s more to it than orange juice.
For starters, we’ve got deep fried orange chicken to tantalise the tastebuds. It uses a half cup of orange juice, which is easily 2 to 3 oranges worth. For something on the healthier side of the spectrum, try our chicken orange soba salad recipe for a foolproof delicious palate cleanser.
More ideas to use up and cook with oranges here.
Deep Fried Orange Chicken
Prep Time: 15 mins. Serves 3 to 4
Chicken Orange Soba Salad
Prep Time: 1 hour. Serves 6
How to celebrate Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year 2023 is the first fully open one since the pandemic, so we’re milking it as best we can! Extend your celebrations with these 5 simple and effective ways to extend the CNY spirit as far as possible — ending with a sweet treat on Day 15.
If you already follow these traditions or have tried a new recipe, share it with us on the FB Meatmen Group! We’d love to learn and hear from you.
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