'Chinese New Year' on Serious Eats

Snapshots from Asia: Washing Machine Salad for the Lunar New Year

This Wednesday will be the seventh day of the Lunar New Year, also known as “Ren Ri”—the universal birthday of man. Celebrating families have been feasting for an entire week on a myriad of goodies, but the one festive staple is Yu Sheng—a pun on the Chinese terms for "abundance and growth" which literally means “raw fish.” More

Chinese New Year Recipes

Today marks the first day of Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rat. Although the holiday marks the time for people to clean up their homes, reorganize their lives, pay respect to their ancestors, appease the Kitchen God, and conjure up enough luck to last them through the rest of the year, everyone knows that the central element to celebrating the new year is to stuff yourself with lots of food. Foods chosen for Chinese New year tend to carry auspicious meanings. Wealth may be symbolized by whole fish, dried tofu, oranges, egg rolls, and dumplings. Long life may be represented by "long foods," such as noodles and string beans. All of the above and more relate to luck... More

Photo of the Day: Pineapple Tarts

Photograph from Mad Baker on Flickr In preparation for Chinese New Year, which starts tomorrow, Mad Baker made these adorable pineapple tarts, a symbol for good luck. If you celebrate holiday, I hope you have a stomach-busting Chinese New Year's Eve feast tonight!... More

Year of the Pig Bento

Cooking Cute made this amazing Year of the Pig bento the other day: "salmon-rice sushi shaped like little piggies, hotdog flowers with carrot-star centers, kamaboko fans, tricolor swirled sushi made from three flavors of sticky rice, sweet sticky rice flowers, pig-shaped spam nigiri, and a pig-shaped egg." Someone please make me one of these for lunch today? Thanks!... More

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

Yesterday was Chinese New Year and now we're in the Year of the Pig—this year's supposed to be extra lucky because it "follows a "double-spring" lunar year, when newlyweds were believed to accrue twice the blessings. The boar sign's alignment with the fire sign, one of five elements -- metal, wood, water, fire and earth -- that rotate through the Chinese lunar calendar, is what makes this year especially auspicious." If you're superstitious or pregnant, this is supposed to be a great year to have babies. If you're neither, just think of it as a really good time to eat a lot of pork! (I have friends that are calling it the Year of Bacon.) Tell us what you... More

Steamed Whole Fish for the Chinese New Year

Whole fish is a Chinese New Year tradition that comes from "Cantonese phrases associated with whole fish, that is, fish with heads and tails intact. They mean "happy endings and beginnings," "everything is perfect," and there will be leftovers every year -- a sign of prosperity." Kimberly Moy includes a recipe for steamed whole fish, which is pretty simple to make but requires that you use the best freshest fish possible, because "in old-school Cantonese cooking, steaming a fish with the barest of ingredients is the best way to show its freshness".... More

Wolfgang Puck's Potstickers for the New Year

Wolfgang Puck shares a recipe for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations: "What better dish could there be for the Year of the Pig than pork-filled potstickers? These plump, juicy dumplings get their name because they're traditionally steamed and fried in a cast-iron pan from which they have to be dislodged after cooking." According to Wikipedia, dumplings are considered an auspicious food because they resemble a golden tael, ingots used as currency in China from 221 BC through early last century. Read more about the Chinese New Year in today's feature by Alaina Browne, Chinese New Year Eats.... More

Fuchsia Dunlop, General Tso, and Me

Serious Eats has lunch with Fuchsia Dunlop and finds out why she focused on Hunanese cuisine for her latest cookbook: “Nothing’s been written on it," Ms. Dunlop says. "It is hearty and rustic, and I think that’s what people love to cook at home. That’s what I love to cook myself. Also, although many people have heard of Hunanese food, there is a misconception about what it actually is.” More

Chinese New Year Eats

In honor of the upcoming Chinese New Year (Sunday, February 18 ushers in the Year of the Pig), we talked to our food-loving friends around the country to find out where they'd send Serious Eaters for some great Chinese food. Inside, picks from Atlanta, Seattle, Miami, San Francisco, and more, along with the symbolism of some of the food eaten on the eve of the new lunar year. Year of the Pig—Serious Eaters, don't you love that?!? More

SF Chronicle Food Section Roundup: Valentine's Day Menu, Mayonnaise, and Chinese New Year

In Dining high on the hog for Chinese New Year, Olivia Wu discusses traditional foods of the day, how lavishly the New Year is feted in both Asia and in San Francisco, and lists ten mission critical tips to booking and ordering a private banquet at a fine-dining Chinese restaurant. This one is I think potentially most useful: "Ask for the restaurant's fixed-price menus for a 10-course meal. They can start at around $350 and go up to $650; some restaurants have menus composed for each price level. This is a good idea, especially if you don't know the restaurant and the chef doesn't know your tastes, or you don't know how to organize and pace a 10-course meal." Other... More

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