In my previous posts, I introduced Chinese New Year Dish made by dumplings and glutinous rice. Apart from these, there are more family dishes for our Chinese New Year food party including fish, spring rolls and chicken feet.
When it comes to Chinese New Year, we would definitely have a fish dish in our family food party, either like the Red Cooked Carp or the Pine Nut Fish (carp).
A fish dish has its special meaning and having fish indicates the abundance in the coming new year.
In Chinese, the pronunciation for fish "鱼" is the same as "余", meaning extra. Directly translate, this can be interpreted as you will have the something extra (such as money) left in your pocket this year. In Chinese tradition, for old generation at least, we prefer saving rather than spending. Therefore, having the money saved in bank account is a good thing.
Here is our family dish Red Cooked Carp (click link or picture to see the post, which includes the recipe and cooking video.)
My mum also makes another lovely dish Pine Nut Fish, the carp is cut to have shape of pine nuts before deep fried and topped with homemade tomato sauce. (Click the picture to the post and see the recipe and cooking video).
It is said that the golden colour of spring rolls makes them look like the gold bars, so it is seen as a symbol of treasure.
For most Chinese festivals, my mum would make the spring rolls at home. I am sure she knows that we all love to have it although we may not know exactly the meaning behind.
The spring rolls I had in the West are usually much bigger than I had in home, because the skin of spring roll my mum made is much thinner.
Because there were not many places selling the spring roll skin, so my mum learnt how to do this by herself. Well, I have to admit that my mother is a super woman, a master chef in our family:)
I will post the recipe for our home made spring roll with video showing how she makes spring roll skin. You may subscribe to my Youtube channel to get the regular update.
In China you can find the cooked chicken feet sold as the snacks too. But in Chinese New Year, chicken feet dish has some special meaning.
According to the local tradition in Hunan, having chicken feet is to wish you have fortune in the New Year as the feet is supposed to help you to grab more money. Does this make sense? :)
Yes, I know that many foreigners dislike the chicken feet. One English house mate used to tell me, “I can’t believe it, how can you eat chicken feet, disgusting!”
I can fully understand this as people in the UK get use to eat a big chunk of meat like chicken breast. For us, chicken breast is just boring and lack of texture.
Just to make things clear, first, the chicken feet are properly cleaned. The outer layer (skin) has been removed, so you are not eating the part that touches the ground. Second, they are tasty. Sure there is not so much meat in it, but it is all about the texture and flavour.
Check this post to see how my mum make the Chinese Chicken Feet dish at home (including recipe and cooking video).
Hope you like our family dishes for Chinese New Year. If so please share with friends on Facebook or Twitter.
You may also like Chinese New Year Food (1): Dumplings and Chinese New Year Food (2): Glutinous Rice.
(Post: 18/01/2016; update: 11/02/2018)