CEL­E­BRATE the Year of the Pig

Claire says: Wel­come the Lu­nar New Year with these favourite Asian dishes, from pros­per­ous pork dumplings to sen­sa­tional seafood


We don’t need an ex­cuse to slurp up noo­dles or in­dulge in dumplings – but if we did, Lu­nar New Year would do nicely! Across Asia, the New Year is a chance to en­cour­age hap­pi­ness and pros­per­ity with lucky dishes, sweet gifts and other tra­di­tions. This year is the Year of the Pig, whose smil­ing face and big ears are said to rep­re­sent good for­tune, so the year is ex­pected to be one of joy and abun­dance. Peo­ple born in a Year of the Pig are said to be re­li­able and en­er­getic. I love the tra­di­tions as­so­ci­ated with the Lu­nar New Year, and we’ve put to­gether a feast of dishes that sym­bol­ise good luck and hap­pi­ness. Fish is pop­u­lar and of­ten served whole, sym­bol­is­ing to­geth­er­ness and abun­dance; the head of the fish is pointed to­wards hon­oured guests or el­ders, as a mark of re­spect. Noo­dles, which rep­re­sent long life, should not be cut. Dumplings sym­bol­ise send­ing away old things and wel­com­ing in the new. They also rep­re­sent pros­per­ity, so money bags (fried dumplings) are pop­u­lar at New Year. Prawns rep­re­sent hap­pi­ness, as the sound of the Can­tonese word for prawn sug­gests laugh­ter, while san choy bau is con­sid­ered a lucky dish. Wish­ing you all a year full of good cheer, health and luck.

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