Happy Chinese New Year! I don’t feel bad for saying this more than a week after the start of the lunar New Year because if we were in my motherland, we’d be saying it for two weeks after the Lunar New Year. That’s how long people take to celebrate the new year. It’s a very big deal there.
Unfortunately, it’s not that much of a big deal here, but I still like celebrating it with a delicious family dinner. On the eve of the New Year, my parents put together a bunch of dishes like salted chicken, fish, stewed beef cold cuts, abalone, nian gao, vegetarian chicken and basil, vegetarian kung pao chicken, watercress, abolone, and home-pickled mustard green. Fish is an important New Years Eve dish, but you can’t eat all of it that night because it symbolizes the fortune of one year flowing into the other if you leave some for the next day.
For New Years day dinner, most people tend to eat simpler foods and some even go vegetarian. We made a couple of vegetarian dishes since we still had plenty of leftover chicken and fish from the night before. Even though I mostly ate vegetarian, that night, I made sure to have a piece of the fish so that my fortune from the year before could continue on to 2012.
For New Years Day, Will made Chap Chye (recipe here), a vegetarian New Years Day claypot dish and braised wheat gluten wheels with bamboo. I made fava beans in scallion oil and rapini.