Chinese New Year 2017 – A Montage

I think my new obsession with video montages are going out of control. Looking back at last year’s Chinese New Year post, our dinner was exactly the same. Well, this year I compiled a short video of my mom prepping the meal. I know my filming skills aren’t the best, but this will have to do for now. Enjoy!  :)

I explained the meaning behind some Chinese dishes on last year’s post. Click here to get caught up!

Chinese New Year Traditions

Chinese New Year was celebrated earlier this month. Every year, my family has several days, where we eat the same foods on New Years Ever, New Years day and the day after that. Every dish has it’s own meaning, translated from Chinese.

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Our dinner always starts off with a soup. The broth is made a few days in advance, just because there’s so much to make prior to the new year. The broth is made from pork bone. The soup has Chinese mushrooms, pig’s stomache, dried bean curd, fat choy , (Chinese meaning: good wealth) and Chinese red dates.

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Next comes a stew consisting of Chinese mushrooms, dried oysters, and fat choy on a bed of greens.

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This is very traditional. My grandma used to make this and now my mom takes on her role. It’s a sweet and sour white radish dish with pork hock. My brother and two aunts love this stuff!

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This is MY favourite, pan fried oysters. From translation, oyster = wealth.

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Instead of duck-lettuce wraps, my mom prepared ox tongue, pork and water chestnut-lettuce wraps. She used a black bean and soy sauce marinade for the ox tongue.

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Shrimp are considered lively and active.  Hopefully, we will still be alive in the new year (of course!).

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Everything has a beginning and an ending. This is represented by eating chicken. Although we don’t eat the chicken’s head and butt, the symbolic representation is very meaningful for traditional Chinese people.

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I can still remember dinner with my grandma, her and the rest of the family would be sat at the dining table (no, that’s different from our dinner table). We ate the same foods as shown here. I wonder what Chinese New Year would be like in 2, 5, 10 years…

Chinese New Year Delights

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This is the perfect post to start off Chinese New Year, Year of the Monkey. My brother has always been fond of preserving  family traditions. Ever since Grandma passed away, we (mainly my mom and him) were always experimenting with recipes that she would make. Not knowing the future, she’s gone and left us with unknowns. This includes making what I call Chinese New Year Delights.

So two weeks ago, my aunt and cousin came over for a date and we tried to replicate four traditional delights. (Apologizes in advance because I do not know the English translation of the food we made, I’m not certain if there is any English name to the below.)

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I call this the half moon (because of the shape). Since we didn’t have a recipe to follow, we made up our own. Surprisingly, it taste better than the ones that Mom’s coworker gave her. The dough ingredients include egg, all purpose flour, water and shortening. The filling has coconut desiccant, brown sugar and crushed peanut. I would say that this is the most difficult from the four. As seen in the pictures (above and below), crimping/ folding the delight is the hardest part. It requires skill and patience. There are some ugly ones in the photos. Haha!

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From the total time it took us to make four different delights, we started making the half moons first and was still making it till the last minute after frying everything else (we had six people working on them).

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Next was making these steamed dumplings. It’s so much easier compared to the half moon. The dough has glutinous rice flour and hot water (using hot water to cook the dough). The filling consists of peas, minced pork, dried shrimp and salt (to taste). It literally took Mom and Aunt W less than 30 minutes to make these, from start to finish.

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This steamer is Grandma’s. I’ve never seen any store sell it here, but it sure still is in good shape. And does the job!

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As the day passed, I got held up from being the photographer to checking the status of the steamed dumplings. Basically I forgot to document the last two delights (shown above). The last two uses the same recipe, except substituting the sugar for brown sugar in one. The dough includes hot water, sugar and all purpose flour. To make the brown circles, roll the dough into little balls and dip with sesame seeds and dry until golden. While the remaining is folded like the steamed dumpling and uses the same filling, except it is fried.

It took about four hours from start to finish. I’ll admit that I didn’t get my hands dirty, hence my photographer status that day. I’m really happy with how everything turned out and everyone was pooped by the end of the day. Of course, all of us tried the delights as they were being cooked and the results were satisfying (even though we hadn’t mastered anything).

Search Google for Chinese New Year Delight photos.