Today marks the start of Chinese New Year, a fantastic 15-day festival of food, family and celebration for Chinese people, their friends and loved ones across the globe.
To celebrate Chinese New Year 2015 - the Year of the Goat (or Sheep as it is sometimes also referenced, due confusion over the symbol for the word ‘goat’) – here at Rangecookers, we’ve collected some tips on what to eat, why it’s important and how you should cook it, so you can join in the fun too!
Chinese Dumplings - Jiǎozi
According to legend, the more dumplings you eat during the New Year Celebrations, the more money you’ll be able to make in the New Year.
If that wasn’t reason enough to stuff your face, there are also a wealth of different flavour fillings from minced pork, shrimp, chicken, beef, vegetables and the traditional New Year combination of cabbage and radish, which is said to encourage a gentle mood.
When wrapping your dumpling it’s important to ensure there are a decent number of pleats, as if they are too flat it is said to signify poverty, and presentation is important too – arrange your dumplings in circles and it is said that your life will follow that route, never going anywhere, while lines of dumplings represent a starting point and end goal.
Why not try this excellent BBC Good Food recipe
Longevity Noodles - Chángshòu Miàn
As the name suggests, longevity noodles represent the desire for a long life. Prepared with very long and uncut noodles, they symbolise the eater’s life, so the cook needs to take care not to sever them during preparation. This dish can be fried or the noodles, can be boiled and served in broth, but we love this New York Times recipe
Stir frying Chinese food in the most authentic manner can be tricky on a common hob as many gas burners don’t offer enough heat, but Lacanche
and gas range cooking specialistCannon
all have models which feature a five KW wok burner, for higher power and greater heat – also don’t forget a wok support
, for easier, safer cooking!
Sweet Rice Balls - Tāngyuán
Traditionally saved for the last day of celebrations – the Lantern Festival – the shape of these sweet treats represents unity and bringing people together. A simple dish can be infused with flavours such as black sesame, served in the water they are boiled in or stuffed with red bean paste.
We love this Tāngyuán recipe
as it can be easily adapted