Gather your friends and family and head to Southside to discover a range of traditional Chinese New Year dishes to devour during the festive period…
Whether you’re opting for sweet or savoury, Chinese New Year is the perfect excuse to tuck into a variety of tasty dumplings. With a smooth rounded shape, dumplings are considered a representation of ancient Chinese silver and gold ingots, which typically represent wealth and prosperity.
Traditional fillings include Chinese cabbage, green onion, pork and prawns and whilst pan-fried versions can be ordered at a handful of Southside restaurants, many families will also choose to make dumplings at home as a bonding activity. Dumplings can be cooked by boiling, steaming or frying and if you’d like to make your own, dumpling wrappers are readily available at Day In supermarket in The Arcadian.
A whole steamed fish (complete with its head and tail) is a must-have for Chinese New Year, as it symbolises harmony and family. The word for fish sounds similar to ‘surplus’ and a common phrase used at this time of year is ‘年年有余’, to wish someone a plentiful year ahead. Eating fish is considered a way to encourage wealth, and can be ordered with ginger, spring onions and a splash of soy sauce at the likes of Ken Ho, Chung Ying and China Court in Southside.
Literally meaning ‘New Year cake’, this is unsurprisingly eaten a lot during Chinese New Year. Made from glutinous rice and brown sugar, the pronunciation of the words are similar to ‘tall’, ‘grow’ and ‘year’, so eating Nian Gao represents growth in career, income, health and life. Traditionally sliced into squares, it is sometimes dipped lightly into egg before being pan-fried. Some families will make these at home, but you can also purchase New Year cake at your local Chinese supermarket.
A New Year spread isn’t complete without traditional roast meats. Ranging from roast duck to pork belly and char siu pork, they’re readily available at most Chinese restaurants in Chinatown, with Peach Garden and Look In specialising in Cantonese roast meats.
With a shape that symbolises family reunion, Tangyuan is a dessert that consists ofglutinous rice balls which can be eaten either unfilled or with sweet fillings. Popular fillings include black sesame, peanut paste and red bean. They’re typically served in a translucent, sugary soup flavoured with ginger, and usually eaten on the 15th day of Chinese New Year, which is also the day of the Lantern Festival on the first full moon of the New Year.
During this period, certain fruits are selected for their round shape and golden colours. Tangerines and oranges are often exchanged as gifts and displayed in the home because of their similarity to the word for ‘gold’, and if the tangerines still have the stem and leaves, they represent fertility and an abundant harvest. Pomelos are also popular as they symbolise prosperity.
To find out more about Chinese New Year in Southside, click here!