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What to Eat: Chinese New Year of the Tiger

Unless you are Chinese yourself, or perhaps involved with someone who is, you might not know what to eat on Chinese New Year (of the tiger, this year), assuming you want to be traditional. Chinese people often eat certain items because they symbolize something else.

For instance, chicken (usually served whole) symbolizes happiness, Fish, on the other hand, is eaten because the Chinese word for fish (yu) sounds very similar to the word for plenty. Oranges represent wealth and good fortune because they are China's most plentiful fruit. Make certain never to cut your noodles because their length represents long life! Duck is used for fidelity while eggs represent fertility. Oddly enough tofu is forbidden because its color (white) is the color of death (unlike here).

Steamed dumplings are valued as they are made in the shape of traditional Chinese money (taels of gold). Also called jiaozi, dumplings are simple and easy to make. That said, in my house we just buy them at our local Asian market. I like to serve them with a dipping sauce. I make mine by combining about a half a cup of soy sauce, a tablespoon of sesame oil, a tablespoon of minced scallions and about a teaspoon of minced garlic together. If you like your sauce with a bit more kick to it, just add a little Sriracha sauce. That is also available just about everywhere nowadays.

So, there you are. Know you know what to eat on Chinese New Year. And as they say-Gong Hay Fot Choy! Happy year of the tiger!.

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