Tarts! Cookies! Dumplings! Celebrate Chinese New Year with these auspicious treats

'I am excited to approach this celebration with a newfound understanding and appreciation for what the food that comes to the table symbolizes'

Chinesenewyear, Recipe İdeas

1/29/2022 8:11:00 AM

'I am excited to approach this celebration with a newfound understanding and appreciation for what the food that comes to the table symbolizes.' ChineseNewYear

'I am excited to approach this celebration with a newfound understanding and appreciation for what the food that comes to the table symbolizes'

The year of the Water Tiger is upon us! So as everyone is cleaning their homes, preparing themselves, and finding ingredients for dishes like Buddha Jumps Over the Wall, I am excited to approach this celebration with a newfound understanding and appreciation for what the food that comes to the table symbolizes.

All that I have learned from my friends, and my friends who guested on the show, includes preparing the home and ourselves for the blessings of the coming year. As my kumare Louren said, celebrating Chinese New Year is all about abundance, prosperity, and long life! This is the perfect way to kick off welcoming the new year!

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Living in New York, my understanding of Chinese food was very different from what it became when I moved here to Manila. We had two Chinese restaurants in our small town. One was strictly for take-out, complete with laminated paper containers and duck sauce in small packets, and the other was a sit-down restaurant that my dad would take us to for family celebrations. Much like my father, Nino enjoys eating Chinese food for our bigger celebrations as we get to sit around the table together and eat family-style. Thankfully, the education and culture that living in Manila has afforded me includes understanding the celebrations of the Lunar New Year, and the meaning behind the traditions and the dishes that are served. The year of the Water Tiger is upon us! So as everyone is cleaning their homes, preparing themselves, and finding ingredients for dishes like Buddha Jumps Over the Wall, I am excited to approach this celebration with a newfound understanding and appreciation for what the food that comes to the table symbolizes. All that I have learned from my friends, and my friends who guested on the show, includes preparing the home and ourselves for the blessings of the coming year. As my kumare Louren said, celebrating Chinese New Year is all about abundance, prosperity, and long life! This is the perfect way to kick off welcoming the new year! YU SHENG. Yu Sheng is a fun salad that the whole family can toss together while expressing their wishes and prayers for the coming year. Photo by Michelle Aventajado. As with any holiday that we celebrate, so many of the traditions we pass on to our families include the food that is brought to the table. Here is where I learned the symbolism behind the following dishes: Pineapple tarts (ong lai) mean “wealth arrives,” and brings sweet life into the new year. Yu Sheng symbolizes abundance, prosperity, and vigor. Dumplings, symbolizing ingots, call in financial well-being. Noodles always symbolize living a long life. Steamed fish (yu) symbolizes fortune and good wealth from head to tail/toe. It is also associated with the word “surplus.” Almond cookies bring good luck as they symbolize gold coins. TARTS. Louie Chua of Burnt Bakery prepares tarts for friends and family and gifts them as part of tradition. Photo by Louie Chua. Even in the preparation of the dishes, with the abundance of colorful ingredients and being in the kitchen together to cook or present, offers the families who celebrate this holiday the opportunity to connect and set the stage for the year to come. No work is to be done, it is a time for visiting family, having tea, and making time to go to the temple – all with meaning and symbolism behind each act of respect and generosity. As a Filipina American who is enjoying all the different sides to Manila, and the education in culture and food, this past episode of Kitchen 143 was super fun and informative. Here are the recipes that I was able to share: COOKIES. These little nuggets of almond goodness have just the right amount of sweetness and are perfect with tea. Photo by Michelle Aventajado. Almond Cookies