Chinese New Year’s Eve Feast #1

I finally have some time to go through the pictures of our glorious feast from two weeks ago. New Year’s Eve feast is a huge deal, there are certain dishes that one must have, such as fish, dumplings, fatty pork, nian gao (glutinous cake)…etc. Every household has their own traditions so the dishes will vary. But everything we put on the table symbolizes something, usually along the lines of good health and fortune. Growing up in Taiwan, some of my fondest memories were on this particular night, after consuming an amazing spread of food, staying up past midnight with my siblings and cousins, lighting firecrackers, and receiving red envelopes.

There are a few dishes that me and my siblings request as must-haves every year, and my mom makes a few new dishes each year as well. The biggest rule about the new year’s eve feast is that there must be leftovers, which symbolizes a surplus, or an abundance in wealth. Other than that, we don’t follow all the traditions and rules too strictly, New Year’s Eve feast is mainly a time when everyone gets together and have a great time.

Here are a few shots of deliciousness from our feast #1.

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Gotta open a good bottle of Cognac!

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A trio platter of roasted bell peppers, smoked fish, baked gluten with bean curd and wood ear mushrooms

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Sliced dried and cured mullet fish roe, a delicacy in Taiwan. Served with fresh daikon slices.

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HHere’s a picture of my dad searing the fish roe with cognac and a blow torch.

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Salted cured fatty pork, stir-fried with scallions. My dad’s side is of Hakka descent so gotta have a Hakka-styled dish to represent.

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Slicing the “drunken” chicken. This was chicken leg wrapped in foil, roulade style, steamed and then soaked in gaoliang wine – a strong distilled liquor made from sorghum.

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Taiwanese grilled sausage! We serve this with slices of garlic and scallions.

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A must for our feast, and a favorite since childhood. These are shrimp balls, coated with small cubes of white bread, then fried to crispy perfection.

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Another must on our dinner table, fried Spring rolls. These are wonton wrappers stuffed with pork and shrimp mixture. Dip these in a spicy tangy sauce and wrap them in crispy lettuce. So good!

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“Eight Treasure Rice”. Steamed glutinous rice with candied beans, dried longan fruit, and stuffed with azuki paste inside. This is a very popular Chinese dessert, called “eight treasure” because it’s traditionally made with 8 sweet ingredients (fruits, nuts, or candy) in addition to the rice.

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