We’ve rounded up a list of lucky chinese new year food this 2024!
The Filipino culture is a colorful tapestry that includes Chinese customs and culinary delights. Chinese New Year, originally from China, has become an important occasion celebrated with fervor and joy throughout the Philippines. Filipino communities eagerly embrace the cultural fusion of the lunar new year, adopting cherished customs and savoring iconic dishes that have become synonymous with the Spring Festival.
At the heart of Filipino Chinese New Year celebrations lies a delectable treat that holds a special place in every household’s festivities: tikoy. This sticky-sweet rice cake, known for its auspicious symbolism of unity, prosperity, and familial ties, has become a beloved staple during this festive period. Families gather around steaming plates of tikoy, eagerly slicing into its chewy goodness as they exchange well wishes for the coming year.
However, the culinary journey of Chinese New Year in the Philippines extends beyond tikoy. Filipino households prepare traditional Chinese dishes, each with symbolic significance and tantalizing flavors. Join us as we explore the culinary traditions of Chinese New Year in Filipino culture. From the iconic tikoy to the savory delights symbolizing prosperity and luck, we delve into some of the Chinese New Year foods that will bring you wealth and good luck this 2024!
Lucky Chinese New Year Food this 2024
Changsou Mian aka the longevity noodles is a regular during Lunar New Year celebration. The noodles represent the wish for a long, healthy life– the name is literally translated as ‘long life noodle.’ There’s a belief that the longer the noodle, the longer your stay here on earth. In parts of North China, these noodles can stretch up to two feet in length.
These noodles may be served fried or with soup. Either way, if you are wishing for a long, prosperous life, help yourself a bowl of changsou mian. Be careful! Breaking the noodles during preparation and cooking may mean bad luck ahead!
Another regular at the Chinese new year table, steamed fish symbolizes abundance and prosperity. Fish is pronounced as yu/yoo/ in Chinese, which sounds like surplus. Meaning, if you serve a fish at the beginning of the year, you will have a lot of excess when the year closes. The Chinese in particular, love to have a surplus at the end of the year. They think that when they manage to save something before the year ends, they can double the production the following year.
When serving the fish, there are some rules that you should follow. For instance, you should serve the fish with the head and tail intact, with the head facing the distinguished or elderly guests. They should also be the first one to eat before everybody else.
It is also considered lucky that those who are sitting facing the head and tail should eat together. And to ensure maximum luck, save half of the fish and consume it the next day.
Of course, you shouldn’t serve just any random type of fish. Bream fish and snapper fish are the best candidates but if you want to go down the traditional way, Crucian carp, Chinese mud carp, and Chinese catfish are the best contenders as their names rhyme with the Chinese words for good luck and good fortune.
Did you know that the more you eat dumplings during the spring festival, the more money you make for the rest of the year? Sounds like a plan!
Jiǎozi is a combination of the words exchange and midnight, thus, the Chinese dumplings also represent turning over a new leaf, welcoming new beginnings while saying goodbye to your old habits.
Plus, do you notice the crescent moon shape of this dish? That’s because they are molded from the Chinese Imperial currency called ingot. Since they resemble money, they believe that eating a lot of dumplings will keep your wallets and pockets full for the whole year.
If you are feeling inspired to make your own dumplings, make sure to create a lot of pleats as flat dumplings are believed to attract the opposite of wealth. Make sure to arrange them in a straight line when serving, as the line represents forward movement.
Spring rolls or Chun Juan are called such because they are usually eaten during the Spring Festival in Eastern China.
Crispy and flavorful, these all-time favorites symbolize wealth as they resemble gold bars. They are prepared by filling thin dough wrappers with meat and vegetables such as bean sprouts, carrots, cabbage, and other vegetables. Next, the rolls are deep fried until they turn into a nice golden color. When serving, a side dip made from Shaoxing wine, oyster sauce, and ginger.
Tang yuan or sweet rice balls is another staple during the Chinese Lunar Year’s eve. These delightful gummy balls symbolize unity and family togetherness (due to its round shape). Tang yuan is made from glutinous rice flour mixed with water to create a sticky dough. The dough is rolled into small glutinous rice balls the size of a marble and is filled with sweet fillings such as black sesame paste, red bean paste, chopped peanuts, or meat.
Tang yuan can be either deep fried or steamed and is usually served with hot broth or sweet syrup.
During Chinese New Year’s Eve celebrations, steamed chicken is a traditional dish that symbolizes prosperity, unity, and familial harmony. This delicacy is prepared with meticulous attention to detail and embodies the essence of simplicity and elegance, making it a beloved centerpiece of the festive dining table. The dish typically uses whole chickens marinated with ginger, scallions, and soy sauce. The chicken is then delicately steamed to perfection.
Chinese New Year Cake
Symbolizing prosperity, progress, and the rising of one’s social status, nian gao or sticky-sweet rice cake is eagerly anticipated and enjoyed by families across China and in Chinese communities worldwide. Made from glutinous rice flour and sugar, nian gao boasts a chewy texture and a subtly sweet flavor, making it a delightful treat that is savored during the festive season.
Some variations of nian gao include additions such as red bean paste, sesame seeds, or even savory ingredients like Chinese sausage, adding depth and complexity to its flavor profile. Whether enjoyed on its own or as part of a larger feast, nian gao is a cherished symbol of good fortune and unity, bringing families together to share in the joy of Chinese New Year festivities.
Eight Treasure Rice
Eight Treasure Rice, also known as “Babao Fan” in Mandarin, is a traditional Chinese dish that holds special significance during Chinese New Year celebrations. As its name suggests, this dish is adorned with eight different types of treasures, symbolizing wealth, abundance, and good fortune for the coming year. The treasures can vary widely, but commonly include ingredients such as sweet red bean paste, lotus seeds, chestnuts, dried fruits, nuts, and sometimes even edible flower petals, each contributing its unique texture and flavor to the dish.
Shrimp holds a significant place among the myriad of dishes served during Chinese New Year celebrations, symbolizing happiness, abundance, and good fortune. Known as “xia” in Mandarin, shrimp is revered for its auspicious symbolism, as its pronunciation resembles the word for “laughter” or “happiness” in Chinese. As such, shrimp dishes are often featured prominently on the festive dining table, representing wishes for joy and prosperity in the coming year.
The tradition of lucky foods during Chinese New Year transcends geographical boundaries and cultural borders, weaving its way into the fabric of Filipino celebrations of the Chinese Lunar New Year. Through dishes like tikoy, steamed chicken, and longevity noodles, Filipino communities embrace the rich symbolism and culinary heritage of Chinese culture, adding their own unique twist to these cherished traditions.
As Filipino families gather around the dining table to partake in these symbolic feasts, they not only indulge in delicious flavors but also honor the values of unity, prosperity, and familial ties that these dishes represent. From the sticky sweetness of tikoy symbolizing familial bonds to the savory depths of steamed chicken embodying wishes for prosperity, each dish carries with it a deep sense of tradition and cultural significance.