Chinese New Year is expected to fall on Friday, 12th of February this year. However, preparations for the festival have started for most people. Our neighbours for instance have started their annual spring cleaning activities. Shopping malls on the other hand have soaked up the atmosphere with their Chinese New Year decorations, festive songs, and storewide sales.
Big Question: Do we celebrate Chinese New Year?
Although K is Chinese, he doesn’t celebrate Chinese New Year and the reason is simply because his family doesn’t celebrate it too. Having said that, we do have family and friends celebrating it and they would always give us delicious food and thoughtful gifts during the festive season.
Not familiar with the food? We’ve got some good news for you. Here’s our list of 5 Chinese New Year food you ought to try in 2021. Most of these food can be found in most supermarkets and even online stores in Malaysia. A quick Google should do the trick. Let’s begin our list!
1. The New Year Cake 年糕 Kuih Bakul
Made of glutinous rice flour, this traditional rice cake can be taken sweet or savoury. These can be found easily in most supermarkets, but if you’re game enough to make your own, you can try these recipes from the Asian Food Network – Nian Gao and What To Cook Today – Easy Nian Gao Recipe (Tikoy / Fa Gao / Kue Bakul).
2. Dumplings 饺子
Dumplings are pieces of dough filled with all sorts of delicious fillings. Traditionally, the people at K’s hometown in the Northwestern part of China prefer to have it boiled and they eat it by dipping the dumplings in chili oil and black vinegar. Laotai Arui did a video on it and you can view it here – Dumplings Halal Recipe | Muslim Chinese Food | Best Chinese Halal Food |饺子
3. Tangyuan 汤圆
These addictive sticky rice balls are made with glutinous rice flour. Often served in a sweet soup, the fillings vary from peanut to red bean. These are chewy in texture and you can easily make these at home using store-bought tangyuan. To make your own from scratch, follow this Tang Yuan Chinese Glutinous Rice Balls 汤圆 recipe shared by the Red House Spice.
4. Yee Sang 魚生
Essentially a salad, most restaurants would offer this during the Chinese New Year period. But with movement restrictions, you could purchase ready-made yee sang from restaurants and supermarkets. All you have to do is assemble the ingredients, pour the sauce, and dig in!
5. Tangerines & Oranges
You can’t really end the list without mentioning the fruits that are synonymous to the festival. It’s fair to say that Chinese New Year is the only festival where you’ll see people buying, eating and gifting boxes of these fruits. In fact, we can’t think of any time of the year where we can find ourselves eating and receiving this many tangerines and oranges.
There are definitely more good food that people usually eat during Chinese New Year and we’d be sharing those in future posts, insha’Allah. In the meantime, you can refer to last years’ post – Top 3 Snacks You Should Try For Chinese New Year.
Are you celebrating Chinese New Year this year? Let us know in the comments section!