Cook Up a Chinese New Year Celebration

Cook Up a Chinese New Year Celebration

05 February 2019

Tuesday 5th February marks Chinese New Year, and the start of the Year of the Pig.
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Tuesday 5th February marks Chinese New Year, and the start of the Year of the Pig. People who are born in this year are believed to be blessed with beautiful personalities and good fortune throughout their lives.

Incorporate Chinese New Year Traditions

Red envelopes containing money are traditionally given to members of the younger generation by their parents or grandparents on Chinese New Year, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t leave a red envelope containing a couple of coins on your guests’ place settings to open before you eat.

This small token is said to bring people good luck for the year ahead, making it a lovely gesture to incorporate into your own celebrations.

Families usually sit down to tuck into a feast together to mark Chinese New Year; but whether you invite relatives over or a group of friends, you need to make sure that you prepare as much of your food ahead of schedule as possible, as it’s seen as bad luck in Chinese culture to use knives, scissors or other sharp objects on New Year’s Day.

Doing housework, using negative words, crying and arguing are also seen as signs of potential misfortune on this day, so do your preparation in advance and you’ll be able to have a more relaxed, celebratory time.

Be Inspired by the Year of the Pig

When it comes to planning your Chinese New Year menu, take inspiration from the Year of the Pig and think about how you can incorporate pork into your dishes. This meat takes beautifully to the aromatic flavours used in Chinese cooking.

Keep your food simple and use one of our stir fry pans to cook pork strips in soy sauce, honey and chilli flakes for a taste sensation, and there’s no need to worry about your sauce sticking to the pan, thanks to the Circulon non-stick coating. Serve with our green stir fry for an easy, fresh-tasting dish, or go all out with a pork-themed banquet.

Experiment with making steamed pork dumplings from scratch, including your own pastry, or buy in some filo pastry and fill with a blend of shredded carrot, cabbage and minced pork cooked in five spice to make your very own spring rolls. Make sure you’re using a non-stick baking tray to finish your Chinese starters off and it won’t matter if you end up with any seepage resulting from overfilling your filo.

For your main course, pork belly glazed with a sticky soy, ginger, garlic and chilli marinade would be absolutely delicious, or you could stick with a tried-and-tested sweet and sour or black bean sauce recipe, swapping your usual chicken or beef for pork.

Make sure there are piles of egg fried rice, prawn crackers - homemade would be a show-stopping touch, if you have the time - soy sauce-soaked noodles or salt and pepper chips out on the table so everyone can help themselves to their preferred sides.

Drinks and Sweets for a Chinese New Year Celebration

You might already have a few savoury Chinese recipes up your sleeve, but have you got a signature Chinese dessert? White wine is very popular in China right now, so that’s your drinks sorted - and it’s always good to have some cooling, iced drinks handy to refresh mouths after hot spices and keep teetotallers happy - but your sweet course may require a little more thought.

Dragons feature heavily in traditional Chinese New Year recipes, so making a nod to this and incorporating dragon fruit into your dessert could be a clever way to incorporate this symbol into your meal. Mandarins are also typically enjoyed around Chinese New Year, so a fruity pudding that combines both East and West like a mandarin and dragon fruit cheesecake or trifle could be a delightful fusion finish for your dinner party.

If you want to try something totally new, a dish called ai wo-wo (essentially sticky rice balls with a sweet filling, such as sesame and sugar) is a delicious way to end a meal, and make sure your evening ends on a note to remember. If you’re cooking for a crowd, you’ll need a large saucepan to steam all of that rice before flavouring and shaping, and you can find some fantastic high-quality, non-stick options in the Circulon range here.

,Encouraging good fortune is at the heart of many Chinese New Year traditions, so if you’re planning to have friends over for an Eastern-inspired feast to celebrate the occasion, make sure you incorporate a few of these into your evening to help bring the best of luck to everyone around your table for the coming year.

If you want to try something totally new, a dish called ai wo-wo (essentially sticky rice balls with a sweet filling, such as sesame and sugar) is a delicious way to end a meal, and make sure your evening ends on a note to remember. If you’re cooking for a crowd, you’ll need a large saucepan to steam all of that rice before flavouring and shaping, and you can find some fantastic high-quality, non-stick options in the Circulon range here.