IN the midst of the revelry over the Chinese New Year celebration today, February 16, 2018, which is when the Year of the Earth Dog officially begins, it is important to set the table with celebration dishes that are believed to bring good luck, good health and good fortune.
1) Long noodles (mian tiao). On top of the list is long noodles, which is always present in any special celebration. This is because noodles are long and, served hot and uncut, this ubiquitous dish is believed by the Chinese to symbolize longevity or long life. So, Good Life offers its various noodle products—Good Life Vermicelli, Egg Noodles, and Bihon—for you to be able to cook different pansit or noodle dishes.
2) Tikoy (nian gao). No Chinese New Year celebration is ever complete without tikoy, a round, sticky rice cake that symbolizes strong family ties and togetherness. It is also given away to friends so that they may experience the same strong bond or closeness among their own respective families. Usually sliced into strips, dipped in beaten egg and cooked in hot oil, tikoy can be made crunchier by coating the tikoy slices with sesame seeds or Good Life Japanese Style Bread Crumbs before frying them to a golden crisp.
3) Fish (yu). During Chinese New Year, a whole fish is served as a way of attracting a surplus or abundant wealth. If serving the fish pan-fried, it can achieve a richer Oriental flavor by marinating it with Good Life Oyster Sauce. For a crusty coating and a crunchy feel when the fish is eaten, it may also be coated with Good Life Japanese Breadcrumbs before frying.
4) Poultry (jia qin). Serving whole chicken with the head and the feet still attached to the body forms part of Chinese New Year dining tradition. It symbolizes unity and good marriage between families. Commonly marinated then air-dried for three hours or until the skin becomes almost paper-thin, the chicken is then flash-fried and coated with spices. Serve the chicken with Good Life Oyster Sauce or chili sauce as dip, with boiled rice and steamed Shanghai cabbage on the side.
5) Vegetables. A classic Yu Sheng Salad is served during the Chinese New Year celebration. The salad—which consists of a number of shredded vegetables, strips of fish, and a variety of sauces and condiments—is the subject of the Prosperity Toss, which symbolizes abundance and prosperity. Everyone tosses the ingredients high up in the air with chopsticks, even making a big mess as it is done, and then everyone partakes of whatever is left of the salad after tossing. Give its sauce a seafood flavor by adding Good Life Oyster Sauce.
6) Dumplings (jiao zhi). They symbolize wealth because they look a lot like the yuan bao or gold ingots used as money in Ancient China. Dumplings are traditionally served boiled with a soy sauce dip on the side. Why not add Good Life Oyster Sauce in the dip to give it as flavorful kick?
7) Spring rolls. In Mainland China, eating spring rolls is a way to welcome the arrival of the new season because it makes use of fresh vegetables. Give your own spring rolls an indulgent Oriental twist by stirring in Good Life Oyster Sauce while the vegetable filling is being cooked, and after rolling the lumpia, fry them until golden brown.
Mooncake and hopia. Because of their round shape and natural sweetness, they symbolize good fortune. So they are given away as gifts.
Gong Xi Fa Cai! Kung Hei Fat Choy! Kiong Hi Huat Chay!