Lately, it feels like holidays are everywhere. During the same time as bean dips and beers for the Super Bowl and candy hearts for Valentine’s Day—and the upcoming Mardi Gras celebration—is a holiday all about generating good fortune.
Lately, it feels like holidays are everywhere. During the same time as bean dips and beers for the Super Bowl and candy hearts for Valentine’s Day—and the upcoming Mardi Gras celebration—is a holiday all about generating good fortune. This Sunday marks the Chinese New Year, and it will be a year of the tiger. According to Chinese Portland resident Agnes Yuen, the tiger symbolizes “a year that will be powerful, passionate, daring and colorful.” Here is a list of nine (a number that means “forever good” in Chinese culture) ways you can start this year off right.
1. Get together with your family for dinner. Yuen stresses the significance of this tradition. “Having dinner with everyone in the family is important because it means the family will be together during the whole year, too,” Yuen said.
2. Serve a chicken, all of it. Another activity that symbolizes togetherness is to feast on an entire chicken. Try roasting it accompanied by slices of lemon.
3. Give a red pocket. Often, in Chinese culture, people will give a small red envelope filled with money to young children and those who are not married for good luck.
4. Enjoy some citrus. The orange symbolizes luck, while the pink-fleshed pomelo represents abundance.
5. Cook up some noodles. They also bring good luck—just make sure not to break them, because it’s bad luck to do so.
6. Eat some crispy egg rolls. These fried treats are associated with wealth because, when stacked up, they resemble gold bars.
7. Go fishing. Eating a fish from head to tail will bring “a good beginning and end to the coming year,” according to Yuen.
8. Replenish your sweet tooth. Eating dried fruit and sweet cake will give you a rich, sweet life in the coming year.
9. Eat your veggies. Lettuce is a word that, according to Yuen, is “pronounced like the Cantonese word for rising fortune,” so try cooking up some lettuce wraps or the veggie recipe below.
100 Flower Blossoms recipe
This dish is meant to wish you a blossoming and beautiful beginning in the new year. You can also add cooked crabmeat to the egg white sauce for an extra dash of abundance in the year of the tiger. Jaden Hair of www.steamykitchen.com and author of The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook: 101 Asian Recipes Simple Enough For Tonight’s Dinner suggests the following recipe.
1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets (8-oz cut florets)
1 small head broccoli, cut into florets (6-oz cut florets)
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon cornstarch w/ 1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon cooking oil (canola, vegetable or peanut)
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
1 egg white
Salt to taste
In a large pot of salted water, boil the cauliflower florets for 1 1/2 minutes. Without removing the cauliflower, add the broccoli florets and the carrot slices to the same pot and cook for another 1 1/2 minutes, until fork tender at the stem.
Rinse the vegetables with cool water to stop the cooking and drain. Lightly salt the vegetables.
In a small bowl or cup, stir together the cornstarch and the water to make cornstarch slurry. Set aside.
Heat a wok or large frying pan until hot. Add the cooking oil and swirl to coat. Turn the heat to medium and add the garlic. Fry 15 to 30 seconds until fragrant, but take care not to burn the garlic. Pour in the vegetable broth and add the salt to taste.
Let the broth come to a boil.
Stir the cornstarch slurry one more time, and then pour into the pan. Stir and let simmer for 30 seconds until broth has thickened.
Slowly pour in the egg white and use a fork or chopsticks to gently swirl in one direction to create long tails. Immediately turn off the heat. Taste the broth, and add additional salt if needed.
Pour mixture over the vegetables and serve.