Tomorrow marks the Chinese New Year (CNY), and although Pinoy spaghetti and pork barbecue guarantee satisfaction, there are other festive dishes that are more appropriate for the occasion. Oftentimes, chicken, duck, pork or a whole fish is served as it indicates that you can afford such luxury and will carry it over to the following year. Also, dumplings and fruits are not only seen as snacks during this season, but also as symbols of prosperity and luck.
To attract good fortune, something we definitely need during the pandemic, we can turn to this array of delicious for-sharing fare to hopefully guarantee a bountiful Year of the Ox.
There are many versions of this one-pot “salty rice.” For CNY, it’s better to go lavish to attract abundance throughout the rest of 2021. The kiampong of Carlito’s Catering is exactly that. Long grain and glutinous rice, pork, black mushroom and mustasa leaves are cooked in a stock, then generously topped with egg slivers, peanuts, fried shallots and thick-cut pork belly. (Tel. 0917-1257264)
Lo Hei Salad
A tradition come CNY is the tossing of the lo hei salad, which is made up of colorful strips of vegetables and raw fish. Polaris Fine Foods, which supplies and offers a range of Japanese seafood dishes, has a bountiful version made of ingredients that hold different symbolisms—fish for abundance, pomelo for luck, carrots for blessings, shredded radish for eternal youth, and condiments like peanut crumbs and deep-fried flour crisps for bounty of gold. (Tel. 0966-2549154)
The Chinese believe that eating noodles will bring happiness, long life and prosperity. Just be sure not to break the noodles. Ley’s Kitchen came up with a spicy noodle soup that may not be traditionally Chinese, but can definitely provide the party vibe. Crabs and seafood balls swim in a fragrant and spicy coconut-based spicy noodle soup. (Tel. 0917-8486889)
Mala Chinese Platter
It’s a dish that defines abundance. There’s noodles for longevity, dumplings for wealth and loads of vegetables for luck. The spicy mala platter is studded with chicken, pork, squid balls and a variety of mushrooms. It definitely is loaded, enough to tickle the taste buds of a party of 10. (The Villamaria Kitchen, tel. 0917-5078140)
Miswa is typically served on someone’s birthday. It’s the first dish the celebrant eats on his special day, as the noodles symbolize long life. But it can also bring the same fortune on Chinese New Year; that’s why China Mommy decided to offer it just for that occasion. The miswa is cooked in a potent bone broth, topped with egg and shrimps, then served with spring onions and peanuts on the side. There’s a vegetarian version, as well. (Tel. 0917-5148540)
Crab Rice with Conpoy and Mushroom
For prosperity, one should eat glutinous rice. It also promises to bring progress in business. To ensure those as well as gustatory satisfaction, there’s Infini Kitchen’s crab rice with dried scallops and mushrooms. It comes stuffed in a 700-g male crab shell then packed in a bamboo steamer for that Chinese resto feel. (Tel. 0917-6278178)
This abundance platter has different kinds of Chinese roasts and condiments. There’s jellyfish and century eggs for wealth, toro char siu for strength, and soy chicken for good luck. It also has fried pigeon, a quarter Peking-style roast duck and, to add more layers of flavor, hoisin, honey glaze, plum sauce, gravy, ginger scallion and fermented chilies. (Ang Kusinero, tel. 0918-8984253)