Tag - chinese new year
7 posts

High Five Fridays: Weekly Meal Plan, Gung Hay Fat Choy!featured

Chinese New Year is a special time of year for us. It’s a time to celebrate with family and friends, and of course, EAT! Usher in a prosperous new year full of good fortune and plentifulness by making sure there is an abundance of good food on the table. No really, you are actually supposed to have so much food that there are leftovers because it’s good luck! Now that’s my kind of holiday.

These Chinese New Year recipes will have you starting the Year of the Snake off to a sssensational sssstart:

  1. Scallion Pancakes. These are a favorite of mine – crispy, flaky, and full of aromatic scallions. Impress your guests (or yourself) and try your hand at making these at home.
  2. Whole Steamed Sea Bass. Whole fish is a classic Chinese New Year dish because it is supposed to bring good luck and abundance from the beginning of the year all the way to the end, from “head to tail.”
  3. Jiao Zi. Dumplings are also good luck because they are said to resemble purses, thereby hopefully making it rain fortune and riches all year long! The pork and shrimp recipe here is a Hua family favorite.
  4. Homemade Dim Sum. While these may not necessarily be traditional Chinese New Year dishes, they are some of my favorite, and remind me of home (especially that Lo Bok Go). And in the end, that’s what it’s about right? Traditions, family, home. Plus, these dishes will definitely start your new year off on a delicious start. What’s more auspicious than that?
  5. TREAT YO SELF: Almond Cookies. These are a classic treat – crumbly and buttery, almost like a shortbread, but with that lovely almond aroma. My favorite way to enjoy these? With a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

More on Chinese New Year Recipes and Food Traditions:

Happy Chinese New Year: Eat Well & Prosperfeatured

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year, everyone! Today marks the start of the Year of the Rabbit, which means that celebrants of this Lunar New Year festival all over the world will be gathering with family, feasting on lucky dishes, and adorning their homes with fresh flowers and red decorations.

For those of us who are into astrology and fun stuff like that, people born under the sign of the Rabbit are said to be gracious, calm-natured, amiable, intuitive, compassionate, and appreciative of the aesthetic and beautiful in life (among a myriad of other “attributes”). James Beard (born 1903) was a rabbit, Michael Ruhlman (1963) is a rabbit, as is Jamie Oliver (1975). Although fortunetellers’ predictions for this year are tumultuous, it won’t put a damper on the festivities.

The annual Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco will take place Saturday 2/19, 5:15–8:00 pm (Market and Second Street to Kearny and Jackson; here’s the parade route).

After you’ve worked up an appetite, lion dancing and such, continue celebrating with some good Chinese Eats. Here are a few standout dishes that will have firecrackers going off in your mouth:

1) Egg Tarts (Golden Gate Bakery)

Egg Tarts (don tat) are the quintessential Chinese pastry, found in any self-respectable Chinese bakery or dim sum house. Growing up, whenever it was holiday time, someone would always bring a box of these sweet treats to the hostess (kind of like the bundt cake of our culture, if you will). The pink bakery box (why is it that the red ribbon holding it together always had a gazillion impossible knots to get through before you could dig in?) would sit on the kitchen counter all day along with the other items put out for grazing.

Golden Gate Bakery is a mecca for egg tart lovers. Devout worshippers line up out the door as fresh batches of these egg custard pastries — with their warm creamy filling, flaky crust, and gentle price — are churned out.

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Tet Celebrations and Vietnamese Eatsfeatured

Tet (the Vietnamese Lunar New Year celebration) officially kicks off on February 3rd, but the Vietnamese Community Center of San Francisco got the party started early yesterday with its 15th Annual Tet Festival taking place in the Tenderloin’s Little Saigon (Larkin Street, between Eddy and O’Farrell). There were firecrackers and lion dancing, games, arts and crafts, and of course, food.

For those celebrating in the South Bay, the massive Tet Festival in San Jose will be held February 5 & 6 at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds.

This year is the Vietnamese Year of the Cat (the only animal symbol in the Vietnamese zodiac that doesn’t match the Chinese zodiac). Tet is celebrated on the same day as Chinese New Year, and many of the traditions are similar. People travel home to celebrate with their family, houses are cleaned, lucky money is given to children, and special dishes are cooked.

In honor of Tet, here’s a list of some of our favorite Vietnamese Eats in San Francisco:

1) Roasted Dungeness Crab & Garlic Noodles (Crustacean)

The An family fled Saigon in 1975 and settled in San Francisco. Since then, their two restaurants Thanh Long and Crustacean have been delighting the Bay Area with their well-guarded family recipes. The restaurants even have a secret kitchen, a small windowless room within the main kitchen, where only family members are allowed to enter to prepare special signature sauces and dishes like their famous Whole Roasted Dungeness Crab and Garlic Noodles. The crab is succulent and blooming with roasted garlic and fragrant Vietnamese peppercorns. The garlic noodles are addictively good. However, vampires (and first dates) beware, the abundance of roasted garlic in these noodles will stay with you all night.

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TV Debut!featured

Some exciting news…last Friday, Leslie Sbrocco, host of the new food and wine segment on KQED 9’s This Week in Northern California (you may also know her from Check, Please! Bay Area), invited me and another Bay Area Bites blogger, Thy Tran, to chat with her about celebrating the food and traditions of the Lunar New Year.

We chatted about dumplings, more dumplings, traditions, and fun facts about SF’s Chinese New Year Parade. Enjoy the clip!

Chinese New Year: Eye of the Tigerfeatured

February 14, 2010. Doily valentines, conversation hearts, and sugar-coated smooches, step aside. This year, you’ll have to share the spotlight with the Tiger. Rawrrr. {Cue firecrackers and those darned little Pop Pops the kids are still playing with.}

It’s the Year of the Tiger and on February 14th, the first day of the first lunar month in the Chinese calendar this year, the Tiger’s reign will begin. On New Year’s Eve, Asian families all over the world will be celebrating with a dinner feast.

As is customary in Chinese celebrations, food is of the utmost importance and various dishes have symbolic meanings.

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Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: Chinese New Year Dinner–A Lucky Feastfeatured

Happy New Year!! Tomorrow marks the beginning of the Year of the Ox, a sign that embodies prosperity through hard work and determination. The Chinese New Year falls on the first day of the first lunar month in the Chinese calendar. It is the biggest Chinese holiday and is celebrated over the course of 15 days. Typically, on the evening of New Year’s Eve, you gather with family and friends and feast on a big dinner full of “good luck” foods.

Foodbuzz does a fun little promotion where they choose 24 meal ideas submitted by 24 food bloggers, all set to take place on one designated day. Each event is then blogged about over the course of 24 hours. I was thrilled when Foodbuzz accepted my 24,24,24 proposal for this dinner because the timing of it was just perfect for my Chinese New Year celebration .

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Scallion Pancakes: If Yan Can Cook…So Can YOUUU!featured

I adore these Scallion Pancakes often served as an appetizer in Shanghainese restaurants, but I never thought I could actually make them myself. Until now! This recipe for “Mandarin Scallion Pancakes” from Martin Yan’s Chinatown Cooking is wonderful. I grew up watching Yan Can Cook with my mom, with all those fancy knife skills and silly chicken dances.

Check it out…the man Debones a Chicken in 18 Seconds Flat! Ahhh-MAZ-ing

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