CNY Lucky Food
With the new year comes new hope that 2022 will be a lucky year for you. For maximum auspicious value, here is your guide to the foods that are believed to bring you good luck in 2022. For a long time, these items were traditionally considered “lucky” because of their pronunciations and appearances.
Learn what the food items are, and get some inspiration on how to prepare them for a yummy and lucky Chinese New Year meal:
1. For WEALTH: Spring Rolls
Of all the foods, spring rolls look the most like gold bars, hence their association with wealth. Our version is overflowing with a delicious minced pork, mushroom and shrimp filling, all wrapped with a crispy golden skin for a satisfying crunch. The best part, apart from the wealth coming your way, is how clean and oil-free your kitchen will be with this fuss-free air-fryer recipe.
Extra Huat: When enjoying this dish, say “黄金万两” (Huang-jing-wan-liang), which means “a ton of gold”
Preparation Time: 30 minutes Serves 15 rolls.
2. For UNITY: Herbal Emperor Whole Chicken
According to tradition, lucky chicken dishes are prepared whole as a symbol of togetherness and unity of the family. Our recipe uses chicken without the head and feet, but what lacks in literal “wholeness”, makes up for a rich herbal broth made with 9 different herbs, including red dates and wolfberries. By steaming the chicken in the broth, you get deliciously tender and flavourful meat to enjoy for the whole family.
Extra Huat: Adding shitake or black mushrooms represents longevity or seizing opportunities.
Preparation Time: 2 hours. Serves 4.
3. For LOYALTY: Smoked Duck Fried Rice
Peking Duck is such a popular dish at weddings because the duck symbolises fidelity, apparently based on how Mandarin ducks are believed to have one partner for life. The reddish hue of duck meat makes it popular during Chinese New Year as well.
An easy way to serve duck is with our smoked duck fried rice recipe. By using store-bought smoked duck, you can make full use of the fattiness to flavour the rice and enjoy it with succulent duck meat.
Extra Huat: Did you know that rice also represents a link between Heaven and Earth? Traditionally, it’s thought to bring fertility, luck and wealth to the family.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes. Serves 4.
4. For PROSPERITY: Steamed Rabbitfish
Rabbitfish make for great dishes all year round, but during the Chinese New Year season, the rabbitfish sold in markets are usually full of creamy roe or milt — a sign of good luck and prosperity! In our recipe, we steamed the fish for just 3-4 minutes and served the delicate, fresh meat with a show stopping mixture of lime, soy sauce, chilli and garlic.
Extra Huat: “年年有余” (Nian-Nian-You-Yu), which means “May you always have more than you need!”
Preparation Time: 10 minutes. Serves 4.
5. For VITALITY: Ku Lou Yuk (Sweet & Sour Pork)
Red is the luckiest colour in Chinese culture, so it’s no surprise that red foods are a common sight during Chinese New Year. An easy way to incorporate this is with our Ku Lou Yuk recipe. A visually bold dish, it features crispy fried pork pieces with explosions of sweet and savoury flavour with every bite.
Extra Huat: Our recipe also includes pineapple cubes which represent wealth and good luck for an auspicious boost.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes. Serves 4.
6. For HAPPINESS: Cereal Prawns
In mandarin, the word for “prawn” sounds a lot like the word for “laugh”, making prawn and shrimp dishes an auspicious addition to your dinner table. Our homemade cereal prawn recipe replicates the spicy and crunchy zi char dish in just 15 minutes. Take the spice up a notch by adding more chilli padi or curry leaves, or tone it down for a more family-friendly version.
Extra Huat: No particular lucky saying for prawns, but check out 6 other easy prawn recipes (including salted egg prawns) here for a second or third prawn dish to stock up on “happiness”.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes. Serves 4.
7. For ABUNDANCE: Chinese Dumplings
Forget Prada, this “purse” is believed to bring you more abundance in the new year. This Din Tai Fung-style xiao long bao recipe is a fun way to include dumplings in your reunion dinner, bringing with it a piping hot soup filled with rich pork flavours, all packed in a silky dough skin.
If time is scarce, you can also try our pork and chive dumpling recipe for fresh, chewy dumplings that resemble silver ingots. It’s a different kind of dumpling, but still huat all the same.
Extra Huat: Stuffing your face with dumplings? Say “招财进宝” (Zhao-Cai-Jing-Bao), which means “bringing in treasure”.
Preparation Time: 4 hours. Serves 48 dumplings.
8. For LONGEVITY: Longevity Noodles
Rounding up our list is Longevity Noodles, a must-have for Chinese New Year. We use yi mien in this recipe, which is also known as “long life noodles” because of how long each noodle is. Seasoning is key to a great plate, so add the chicken powder, soy sauce, sesame oil and white pepper to taste. For a refreshing kick, add in chives at the end before serving.
Extra Huat: Say ““脸长就是面长”, which loosely translates to “a long face is a long noodle”, implying that you can eat long noodles for a long life.
Preparation Time: 1 hour. Serves 4.
CNY Recipes 2022
Superstitious or not, Chinese New Year is a great time for family and friends to get together and have a sumptuous meal. We hope this list has inspired you to try some new recipes and herald in some luck for 2022 at the same time. If you know any other lucky dishes, do share on our Meatmen FB Cooking Community or leave a comment below!
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