Food is an important part of Chinese culture, for it bears not only flavour but also cultural meaning.
On the special occasion of the Chinese New Year, there are certain lucky food items deemed to bring fortune on the diners. Here are 5 Chinese lucky dishes and where to find them in Bangkok.
[Hero and featured image credit: Wah Lok]
Dumplings are a classic Chinese dish that are hard not to love, and Chinese people have found several methods to enjoy this staple; steamed, boiled, fried, meat-filled, vegetable-filled, and more. This classic piece of dough wrapped around a filling resembles the shape of gold ingot in ancient Chinese times, so it is believed that eating dumplings during the Lunar New Year will bring wealth to the family. In fact, it is believed that the more you make or eat dumplings, the greater your earnings.
Where to find them in Bangkok: The steamed ‘Siu Mai’ with Shrimp Roe Dumplings at Chef Man are packed with big big pieces of shrimp. The restaurant also serves several other notable dim sum dishes at lunch.
Find more at Chef Man, Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn.
Eating long noodles implies a blessing for a long and smooth life in Chinese culture. Many kinds of noodle recipes are served according to this belief, but the original, most authentic dish are the Changshou Mian, the yellow noodles stir-fried with shiitake mushroom and meat. The noodles here are rolled longer than usual, and it is extremely important that you eat without cutting a single strand of the noodles. This would imply cutting your own lifespan.
Where to find them in Bangkok: For a traditional menu, Wah Lok serves Fried ‘Mee Swa’ Noodles with Assorted Seafood in its business set lunch menu. Looking for something even more indulgent? Try the Stir-fried Noodles with Boston Lobster.
Find more information at Wah Lok, Carlton Hotel.
Lucky and Fortunate Fish
The word ‘fish’ in Chinese is pronounced in the same way as the word ‘surplus and fortune’. Therefore, eating any fish dishes during the new year is supposed to fill your life with abundance. The important thing is to never turn your fish over after finishing one side, for it will turn your fortune over to the opposite.
Where to find it in Bangkok: You can find several fish dishes in many Chinese restaurants, but for something special, try the Steamed Soon Hock Hong Kong Style dish offered at Shang Palace.
Discover more at Shang Palace, Shangri-la Bangkok.
Harmonious Sweet Rice Balls
The favourite Chinese dessert made of glutinous rice powder and stuffings such as bean paste, fruits and nuts is popular in many Asian countries. Because the dish consists of a group of bubbly balls, this beloved dessert has symbolises family unity, togetherness and completeness. Its name ‘Tang Yuan’ is also quite similar to the word ‘Tuan Yuan’ which means reunion, thereby making it a dessert enjoyed on the occasion of a family gathering especially.
Where to find them in Bangkok: Whilst Bai Yun at the Banyan Tree is known for its dim sum buffet, they also make a very good Sesame Tang Yuan in ginger soup. If ginger is too fiery for you, you can also try it with pumpkin instead.
For more information, visit the website.
Fresh Start Spring Rolls
Spring rolls are widely popular to eat during the Lunar New Year to welcome the spring season, and therefore, the food signifies a fresh start to the new year. Additionally, the fried golden skin of the spring rolls is said to look like a gold bar, which also suggests wealth in the year to come.
Where to find them in Bangkok: The Crispy Silky Prawn Spring Rolls at The Silk Road boast a crunchy exterior enveloping bouncy prawns inside. The dish doesn’t look like traditional homemade spring rolls but is definitely a delicious variation to try out.
Find out more about The Silk Road at The Athenee Hotel on their website.