Kung hei fat choi!It is said that certain dishes beckon good fortune. Here’s how you can eat your way to prosperity, in the Year of the White Rabbit, according to feng shui master Hanz Cua.
Create a basket of a dozen kinds of fruits. They need not necessarily be round.
The 12 fruits, as suggested by Master Hanz are:
1.Apple—The Chinese character ping means harmony.
2.Orange—The Chinese character cheng zi sounds like sheng, success.
3.Banana—for family togetherness
4.Watermelon—Round shape connotes money.
5. Papaya—good health
6. Melon—round = money
7. Pear—good health
8. Kiat-kiat—lots of money
10.Pineapple—ong lai = good fortune, good luck coming
11. Mango—color of money
12.Lemon/calamansi—Takes away bad luck. (@fruitloot on Instagram can custom-make Chinese New Year Baskets for you.)
Master Hanz prescribed to feast on the following, to harness wealth and wellness:
• Pancit or spaghetti for long life
• Fish—for savings
• Lechon for prosperity
•Pechay—steady flow of good fortune
• Cakes—sweetness in the family
• Tikoy/kakanin—for family unity and togetherness
•Dumplings, as they are shaped like golden ingots
• Seeds—zhong zi if you want a son, and peanuts for a daughter
Master Hanz also shared a short forecast for the year and what to indulge in, according to your sign.
1. Rat is the fifth luckiest sign of 2023 and has the success star. Rats are lucky, more so with long-term investments. They must find balance in work and career. In love, they have the fertility star. To attract good luck for the year, they must prepare and partake of the 12 fruits to celebrate the journey of good luck every month.
2. Ox are known to be hardworking and patient. This year, they must watch out for betrayal and suffering; ward it off by eating spicy, chili-laden food like Bicol express.
3. Tiger has the scam star. Beware. If it’s too good to be true, it’s not true! To counter this, consume sour fruits like lemon and calamansi. Eat sinigang to protect you against misfortune.
4. Rabbit has the illness star. So take care of your health. Eat a lot of nutritious food, especially vegetables.
5. Dragon has to be careful as they have the litigation star this year. Control your temper and feast on halo-halo to cool you down.
6. Snake needs clarity of mind before signing contracts. Like the dragon, the snake also has the litigation star. Eat vegetables and bulalo for a good mindset.
7. Horse is running fast and the fourth luckiest this year. Expect money to flow. Work hard and focus for continued prosperity. Lechon is your lucky food.
8. Goat or Sheep is the second luckiest sign. Victory and success are yours, so grab the opportunity. Eating lamb and goat will bring good fortune.
9. Monkey is the sixth luckiest sign in 2023. For primates who found 2022 challenging, this is a year of recovery and revenge. You will be energized and will enjoy the year. Feast on lobsters.
10. Rooster is directly against the rabbit. Find ways to de-stress. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Treat yourself to ice cream.
11. Dog is the luckiest sign of 2023. Expect opportunities, blessings, success in career and money. Dogs also have the famous star. Celebrate with lechon, fruits and vegetables.
12. Pig is the third luckiest. There will be opportunities and success. Sinigang na baboy is the pig’s lucky dish.
You may reach Master Hanz at tel. no. (0922) 829-0382 or @masterhanz on Instagram.Must-savor list
As for food finds that bring good fortune and cheer, here is my personal, must-savor list, to welcome the Year of the Rabbit.
Rich Man’s ChickenA celebratory New Year dish, created by the chefs of Choi Garden Restaurant, is the Rich Man’s Chicken.
Rich Man’s Chicken is dough, shaped like a hen, that’s baked and stuffed with lotus leaf wrapped kiampung.
Kiampung consists of sticky rice to which lavish ingredients like baby abalone, imported Chinese sausage, shrimp, pork, chicken, chestnut, dried scallops, and many more are added.
Partaking of Rich Man’s Chicken within 15 days of the Chinese New Year is believed to be auspicious.
Choi Garden: tel. no. (0995) 098-9465Prosperity Toss SaladProsperity Toss Salad or yu sheng salad was popularized in Singapore, and known as lo hei in Cantonese.
Lo hei 捞起 (Cantonese for “tossing up”) refers to the communal tossing of yu sheng.
The ritual, performed by tossing the ingredients as high up with chopsticks while chanting auspicious phrases, augurs good fortune.
Crystal Dragon, one of my favorite Chinese restaurants, twisted things up a bit by using their delectable roast duck in lieu of the classic herring or salmon.
Roasted duck symbolizes wealth, abundance, and fertility; the flour crisps, prosperity, while the plum dressing denotes sweetness and harmonious family relationships.
Other components of the yu sheng salad are jellyfish, crispy vegetables, and plum dressing.
While dining, have a taste of their Wok-Tossed Creamy Prawns with Fragrant Shredded Coconut.
Crystal Dragon: tel. no. 8800-8080Another rendition of the yu sheng is from TungLok Signatures. Theirs is prepared with salmon and a medley of fresh vegetables and fruits—each representing a wish. When enjoying lo hei, remember to toss high! The higher the toss, the greater one’s fortune will be.
TungLok Signatures: tel. no. (0917) 702-4024
My Poon Choi pick for 2023 is prepared by Tao Yuan Restaurant.
Also known as the Big Bowl Feast, Poon Choi is a Cantonese celebratory dish that contains many lucky ingredients that bring good fortune to those who partake of it.
It includes prawns for happiness; sea moss for wealth; pig knuckles for good luck; sea cucumber for good health; fish balls for good fortune, and the list goes on.
For 2023, the Tao Yuan Poon Choi is made of roast duck, lechon Macau, Hainanese chicken, abalone, black mushroom, sea cucumber, black fungus with pork belly, red soy bean sauce pork knuckle, fried taro, beancurd stick, sea moss, radish, broccoli, king prawns, pork tendon, dried scallops, Singapore fish balls, cabbage, fish cake, pechay Baguio, dry pork skin, all slathered with special Poon Choi Sauce.
Tao Yuan: tel. no. (0917) 530-8988 NoodleTao Yuan’s delectable Singapore Beehon is my 2023 long-life noodle of choice. I love how tasty yet delicate it is. The light wok charred finish of this noodle dish makes it even more mouthwatering! Request for a little blachan, the one that accompanies their laksa. Drizzle a little over the noodles and squeeze a little calamansi! It’s heavenly!
Tao Yuan: tel. no. (0917) 530-8988‘Tikoy’To keep the family together is tikoy, and my top picks for this year are:
The koi fish and gold ingot-shaped tikoy from China Blue. Tel. no. 8833-9999Thai Sticky Rice with Mango Tikoy and the Dulce De Leche from Eng Bee Tin. @iloveengbeetin on Instagram Shin Tai Shang’s Walnut and Longgan Tikoy. Tel. no. 8244-0325Choi Garden’s Ginger and Brown Sugar Tikoy
CrystalsPart of the Chinese New Year thrill is to get yourself a lucky accessory.
I have always purchased my crystals from crystal expert and importer Atong Sy of World of Crystals.
Sy’s crystals are top quality and always the most reasonably priced. It’s best to visit and have him make a personalized lucky bracelet for you.
Sy sent me a list of crystals for luck and protection according to the signs.
Rat—gold, citrine, amber, rutilated quartz
Ox—gold, clear quartz, moonstone, citrine
Tiger—nephrite, jade, gold, amber, aventurine
Rabbit—jade, kyanite, lapis lazuli, aquamarine
Dragon—gold, clear quartz, moonstone, meteorite
Snake—gold, citrine, amber, rutilated quartz
Horse—red coral, fire agate, rose quartz, amethyst, sunstone
Sheep—amethyst, fire agate, sunstone, red coral
Monkey—gold, clear quartz, moonstone
Rooster—gold, citrine, clear quartz
Dog—gold, tiger eye, fore agate, red coral, sunstone
Pig—gold, citrine, black tourmaline, hawk’s eye
World of Crystals, 817 Benavidez: tel. no. (0917) 506-2222And since it’s the Year of the White Rabbit, eat a White Rabbit candy every now and then for a happy 2023!