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.