Lunar New Year began on February 12th, ushering in the year of the ox in the Chinese zodiac, but this festive holiday doesn’t last just one day. The two-week even stretches until February 26th this year, which means you still have 10 days to celebrate and, with a holiday as centered around good luck and great fortune as this one, you really don’t want to miss out on a single day of opportunity, especially in the year of the ox, which promises success in business, career advancement and prosperity (if you work for it). Luckily, working for prosperity at Chinese New Year can be as simple as eating the right foods and, while you may not be able to head to China right now, or even to your favorite Chinese restaurants, you can still chow down on plenty of bites that promise good fortune in the year to come.
Celebrity chef and Asian food expert Katie Chin comes from a veritable Chinese culinary dynasty and has built her own empire on the simple notion of making every-day Asian recipes accessible to all. While you can certainly catch her on television on more than a dozen networks and shows like Beat Bobby Flay and Cutthroat Kitchen, or even guest judging on Iron Chef America (to say nothing of her award-winning cookbooks or blog), there’s nothing like getting a lesson straight from the source. While it may not be safe or comfortable to take cooking classes in person right now, HUNGRY virtual event “Xperiences” bring top culinary talent to your own kitchen for live, interactive experiences, complete with pre-delivered packages containing just about everything you’ll need to get the job done, and Chef Katie is among the spectacular stable of HUNGRY chefs available for private bookings. You may not have time to score a session with the popular chef by the end of this Lunar New Year, but Chef Katie still wants you to have a prosperous year of the ox, so she’s offered this list of 6 traditional food superstitions you can handle on your own to bring plenty of luck and fortune until you have the chance to meet virtually.
That delicious little snack that comes on the side of most Chinese take-out menus is more than just an afterthought during Lunar New Year. Thanks to its shape similar to a gold bar, it symbolizes prosperity.
Black mushrooms, better known as shiitake, also have their appearance to thank for their inclusion here. Their coin-like shape symbolizes prosperity.
When left whole, with bones, head and tail intact, the fish symbolizes long life and abundance not just for this year, but for your life.
Long life noodles
How you prepare your long life noodles is up to your individual taste buds, but there’s one critical guideline here: The longer the noodle, the longer the life, so never break your noodles before cooking or serving.
Similar to the whole fish, a whole chicken symbolizes a favorable start and finish to your year, and this one also represents family and rebirth. If you can’t find one with head and feet intact, feel free to work with what’s available.
Lotus seeds represent fertility and, while the Chinese tradition focuses on these seeds bringing many male offspring, feel free to adapt your goal as specifically or generally as you please. It’s your year.