OpinionChinese New Year 2023: the dishes you should eat...

Chinese New Year 2023: the dishes you should eat to celebrate the arrival of the Water Rabbit


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We set the table with a red tablecloth -to scare away evil spirits- and thus celebrate with the whole family the beginning of the Chinese New Year of the Water Rabbit, which starts on January 22. In Tusan families, descendants of Chinese, it is traditionally the hosts who prepare a hearty meal and the guests arrive with fruit. “Food is what unites the family and even more so if it is Chinese. The important thing is that the whole family gets together”, comments Vanessa Yong, the third generation of the family born in Peru.

What is eaten at Chinese New Year?


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With a history of more than 1,800 years, this is one of the most popular Chinese New Year dishes and was served in homes both rich and humble. Vanessa explains what is served siu kao (dumplings stuffed with pork or vegetables) because their shape and color are reminiscent of gold.

The same symbolism have the coiled spring which, in turn, are served because spring is celebrated.

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For his part, chef Roger Arakaki says that the more Chinese snacks eaten during the celebration, it is believed that more money will be earned next year.


The nian gao and the tang yuan They are glutinous rice cakes, with a sweet flavor, to savor between meals. They represent the family union. The first is prepared as a cake and the other as a ball, sometimes with details of the cat’s face of happiness, explains Arakaki, who is a senior lecturer in Columbia’s haute cuisine program.


The fish means increase in prosperity in Chinese culture. The pronunciation of this word, in Mandarin, is very similar to abundance; therefore it must be present. Generally, whole fish are steamed with soy sauce or fried. In Peru, serving a steamed cheetah has become popular.

Vanessa Yong, representative of the San Joy Lao chifa, maintains that, when serving the dish, the head should point to the patriarch or matriarch of the family (as a sign of respect). Likewise, it is important to eat the part of the cheek to attract good luck.


They represent longevity and that’s why they are important on both New Year’s and birthday tables, Yong explains. Usually, the noodles (known as chang shou mian) are eaten stir-fried, in soups (boiled), or fried. The important thing is not to chop them as they symbolize the life of the person who eats them.


Vanessa indicates that other types of meat are also consumed. In particular, the chicken and duck since they symbolize family union and fidelity, respectively. In both cases, they are served whole.

On the other hand, there is the pig that represents happiness and can be prepared in different ways: steamed, sautéed, fried or baked.

What sweets are eaten on Chinese New Year?

Colors have special meanings. For this reason, the apples, oranges and tangerines (red and gold in color) are present on the table to attract good fortune. Eating them means fullness and wealth, according to Arakaki.

Finally, to drink it can be accompanied with jiuniang, an unfiltered rice wine with low alcohol content and a floral fragrance.

Source: Elcomercio

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Ronald Payne
Ronald Payne
I, Ronald Payne, am a journalist and author who dedicated his life to telling the stories that need to be said. I have over 7 years of experience as a reporter and editor, covering everything from politics to business to crime.


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