February has arrived and that means it’s nearly time to celebrate Chinese New Year. Prepare for questionable crafted decorations and lanterns a-plenty, and make sure you’ve done a thorough deep clean! This year the traditional lunisolar calendar states that the New Year fell on 10th. Celebrations usually last for 15 or 16 days - until the next full moon! 🌕 The zodiac symbol associated with the year until the end of January 2025 is arguably the coolest of them all - the Dragon 🐉🐉🐉
Chinese New Year is a time of celebration and feasting, and traditional dishes hold significant symbolic meaning. Here are some recommendations for a festive Chinese New Year feast for you to enjoy with family and friends and exactly what they’ll mean for the year ahead:
Spring Rolls (Chun Juan): Symbolizing wealth and prosperity, spring rolls are often filled with a mixture of vegetables, sometimes with minced meat or shrimp, and deep-fried until golden. Yum!
Dumplings (Jiaozi): Dumplings are a must-have during Chinese New Year, symbolizing wealth and the coming together of the family. They are traditionally filled with minced meat, cabbage, and seasonings, then wrapped in thin dough. Thankfully, if you’re not a dab-hand at making them, you can pick them up at most supermarkets!
Nian Gao (Sticky Rice Cake): This sweet and sticky rice cake represents progress, growth, and the promise of a better year. It's often sliced and pan-fried, sounds delish!
Whole Fish (Yu): Serving a whole fish represents a surplus or abundance as the word for fish, "yu," sounds like the word for abundance in Chinese! It's a symbol of prosperity for the coming year.
Longevity Noodles (Chang Shou Mian): Long noodles represent a long life, and it's customary not to cut them. They are often stir-fried and served with vegetables or meat.
Jai (Buddha's Delight): A vegetarian dish often enjoyed during Chinese New Year, Jai is a mix of various ingredients like mushrooms, tofu, fungus, and noodles. It symbolizes cleansing and purification.
Peking Duck: A familiar dish to us all! Known for its crispy skin and succulent meat, Peking Duck is a symbol of fidelity and good fortune. It's often served with thin pancakes, hoisin sauce, and sliced scallions.
Eight Treasure Rice (Ba Bao Fan): As if you weren’t already stuffed with rice, here’s a rice pudding filled with eight different ingredients, symbolizing, you guessed it - wealth and abundance! The combination of sticky rice, nuts, and dried fruits makes it a delightful treat.
Tangyuan: These sweet glutinous rice balls are traditionally eaten during the Lantern Festival, which marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebration. They symbolize family unity and harmony.
Hot Pot (Huo Guo): A communal way of dining, hot pot involves cooking various ingredients in a flavourful broth at the table. It's a symbol of family reunion and sharing – this one is definitely one we could manage at home!
Each dish carries its own significance, and the combination of these foods in a feast is meant to usher in good luck, prosperity, and happiness for the coming year. If you can’t manage to whip up all of these (don’t blame you!) then we’ve got another option inspired by some of these traditional dishes and flavours! 🥧
Introducing the NEW Duckin’ Pie
We felt inspired to create something a bit different (in the pie world) for Chinese New Year and chefs Marc and Andrew did not disappoint!! The first round of tasting had everyone in silence (with some appreciation noises). It’s rare for a pie to come out perfectly, not requiring any adjustments, but this one did it.
This oriental wonder features incredibly tender slow-cooked duck (cooked sous vide) and finely sliced stir-fried veg in a rich and sticky hoisin-style sauce. Your favourite takeaway dish but make it pie! Don’t miss out on this limited edition quacker and grab some Duckin’ Pies while you can.
go on - take a Chunk!