‘Tahong,’ turtle soup, uncut noodles, ‘longan’–what to eat for luck this New Year | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Spicy "tahong"
Spicy "tahong"
Spicy “tahong”

One way to foster luck is by eating lucky food, says geomancer Aldric Dalumpines.


Here are eight luck-beckoning eating rituals he prescribed, along with easy-to-cook recipes by my friends and students, to turn these rituals into a simple yet tasty feast.


1) To attract excellent prosperity in business and personal finances, eat clam, mussel or oysters.


Caren Wong Basilio’s

Spicy Tahong


¼-1/3 c butter

¼ c minced garlic

¼ c chopped onion

3 tbsp chopped green bell pepper

½-3/4 c Sprite

½-1 tsp dark soy for color

1 tsp cornstarch

½ tsp chicken powder

1 k mussels in a half shell, steamed and de-bearded

Sugar, salt and pepper, to taste

1 green chili pang-sigang, sliced

1-3 pcs chopped siling labuyo, adjust to taste

Cilantro for garnish


Combine Sprite, dark soy, cornstarch and chicken powder. Melt butter in a wok. Sauté onions, garlic, bell pepper.


Add the rest of the ingredients and splash with the Sprite mixture. Add green chilies last. Season to taste. Serve garnished with cilantro.


2) To promote harmony in life, eat round tikoy (glutinous rice cake).


Imelda Tan’s Tikoy with Taro


Cut tikoy into juliennes, more or less the size of your forefinger. Cut taro, same size. Wrap together in lumpia wrapper a piece each of the taro and tikoy. Deep fry until golden.  Serve hot.


3) To have longer life, partake of uncut noodles in whatever way dish is prepared.



Melani Chua’s Misua Soup


1 native chicken

2 tbsp oil

5 pc shallot, sliced thinly

5 pc dried mushroom, soaked and sliced thinly

3 pc dried scallop, soaked

2 tbsp liquid seasoning

¼ c carrot, peeled and julienned

200 g misua

Salt and pepper to taste


Boil eight cups of water and add chicken. Simmer for two hours over medium heat. Get chicken thigh and shred meat. Set aside. Heat oil in a pan and add shallots. Sauté until browned. Add mushroom, scallop and shredded chicken thigh. Sauté until aromatic.


Add seasoning and chicken stock. Simmer for a few minutes. Add carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Add misua.


Fertility, job promotion


4) To promote fertility or to have a baby, eat longan fruit.


5) To attract job promotion, any seaweed soup will help.


Jenny Leechiu Dy’s Makut Soup with Seaweed


1 k makut (pork rib shoulder)

4 onions

Good-quality fish ball

Seaweed, as much or as little as you want (available in Chinese stores)

Green onions


Boil water and add the pork ribs for 10 minutes; drain and wash ribs.


Boil 8 cups water and add onions and makut. Cook until tender.


Add fish balls and season with salt. Add radish and seaweed. Garnish with green onions.


6) To have family unity and harmony, serve whole chicken with head, beak, tail and feet—soy, fried or grilled.


Simple yet tasty Fried Chicken by Abby Dichaves


Rub whole spring chicken with 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Steam chicken in water with 2-3 bay leaves for 30 minutes. Let it cool and deep fry until golden.


Prawns for happiness


7) To attract happiness and laughter, eat shrimps or prawns.


Judy Uy’s Stir-Fried Prawns with Cashew Nuts


200 g medium prawns (shelled)

80 g deep-fried cashew

100 g celery

6 slices carrot (cut into floral shapes)

1 clove garlic, sliced

2 tsp egg white

1 tsp rice wine

1/8 tsp salt



2 tsp egg white

½ tsp cornstarch

1 tsp cooked oil



¼ tsp salt

½ tsp sugar

1 tsp chicken powder

Ground white pepper

1 tsp cornstarch

4 tbsp water


Devein the prawns, rinse and wipe dry. Combine marinade and mix well. Pour over prawns. Cut celery into pieces. Blanch in boiling water together with the carrot. Blanch the prawns in hot oil to keep their crunchiness. Heat oil, stir fry garlic and drizzle with wine. Add celery, carrot and prawns. Add seasoning and stir until mixture thickens; sprinkle with cashew nuts, toss and mix well.



8) For patience, wisdom, warmth and fortitude, eat turtle soup or braised turtle.


Epicure’s Jaime Dichaves says Uno Seafood Wharf Restaurant (270 Calvo Bldg., Escolta St., Bgy 291, Zone 027 Binondo) serves delicious braised turtle.


Melani Chua, meanwhile, favors Hong Kong Chef Seafood Restaurant (HK Sun Plaza, Diosdado Macapagal Blvd., Pasay) for turtle soup, cooked with sibut and steamed for 4 hours.


Optional rituals


Master Aldric’s optional salubong rituals to welcome 2017 (and in anticipation of the upcoming Chinese New Year) include:


Jump as high as you can, not to increase height but wellbeing.


Wear polka dots.


Eat 12 grapes for 12 months of prosperity, and hang 12 grapes bunched on each door and window of house.


Dragon fruit harnesses positive luck in the rooster year. The dragon is symbolically the soul mate of the rooster.


Wear red to be truly lucky in 2017.


For ultimate health and wealth protection, wear turtle charms or fashion prints. Turtle, a water symbol, will keep fire at bay.


Welcome the New Year with laughter and a selfie! Wishing you a peace-filled 2017!


Master Aldric Dalumpines,

tel. 09993128168

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