Happy Chinese New Year

Posted by annie on Jan 30th, 2009

A friend of mine said that she loves Chinese New Year because it isn’t about “getting wasted, kissing people, or making resolutions that you’ll never keep,” and I’m inclined to agree. Because when those things are out of the picture, you get to focus on the really great stuff: family and food!

Actually, even on any other day of the year, Chinese people are crazy about food. Whenever I visit my relatives in Shanghai, I notice that they go grocery shopping (at the open air market, always) at least three times each week. Freshness and variety are priorities on a daily basis.

And then when this holiday rolls around, meals become extraordinary! I’ve always wanted to visit China during this season, because I hear people’s lives just revolve around food for fifteen days (the length of the holiday).

On this past Chinese New Year’s Eve, I had dinner with my parents and some family friends. Here is about half of what we ate:

chinese new year dishes



It would take hours to describe all of these dishes because many of them were very intricately prepared. For example, in the bottom picture, one item inside the stew required the cook to stuff a ground pork mixture into fried tofu balls by hand without breaking the shape of the tofu or cutting a hole too large, lest the ground pork falls out during simmering. And let me add that the pork mixture itself had to be prepared with many ingredients through a series of steps…


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The plate in the middle of the table, the one with the perimeter of what I do believe to be slices of hundred-year-old eggs…I’m really interested in what is in the center of that plate.


Oh gosh… all of that food looks delicious!

Annie is really slacking with the comments. Everybody boo her.

FYI (and Chris) – I’m not responding merely because I’ve been shamed! I haven’t commented because I wanted to ask my mom about the dish that Caleb inquired about. Although, I haven’t asked her yet, so I guess I am slacking…

Caleb – It’s fish in the center of the plate. I’m not sure what kind of fish, but it was first fried and then seasoned in a liquid. Again, not sure what’s in the liquid. The texture of the fish is pretty hard. Those unfamiliar with Chinese cuisine would certainly think it was way overcooked. The taste is rather difficult to describe, I guess it’s savory and a bit smokey, perhaps also seasoned with star anise.

USUN – I can’t believe I actually managed to read what you wrote, being a Chinese school drop-out and all… But thanks! I’ll go someday when school no longer consumes my life.

Ana – Yes! Oh it was so good, so good…

@annie: Well, you just made the 100th comment on Cut & Taste. But there is no prize. Carry on.

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