Chinese New Year Recipes for Kids
We will be welcoming the Year of the Ox this Lunar New Year differently than before with the safe management measures in place amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, that shouldn’t deter us from celebrating the festive with our family. This is a special occasion for kids to learn about traditions – ang baos, reunion dinner, and most importantly, food! Chinese New Year Food traditions are highly symbolic. If you are thinking of what symbolic dishes to prepare for your reunion dinner, we have collected a few Chinese New Year recipes that are great for the kids and family.
Shaped like ingots, dumplings are said to symbolise wealth and fortune. Most common fillings are minced pork, diced shrimp, fish, ground chicken, beef, and vegetables. Dumplings are really versatile as you can actually use any filling you want.
Spring rolls are eaten to welcome the first day of spring, spring (立春 / lì chūn). The golden cylindrical-shaped rolls resemble gold bars. They can be filled with vegetables, meat or even red bean!
As its name suggests, longevity noodles, widely-known here as mee sua, represents health and long life. Cutting the noodles is against tradition since the length of the noodles symbolises longevity. However, you may want to ignore this for younger kids who have not learnt how to chew properly.
Fish 鱼 (Yú) is a traditional CNY dish because it has the same pronunciation as 余 (Yú), which means surplus. Fish therefore represents a wish for surplus and abundance in the coming year. Be sure to cook and serve the fish with its head and tail intact as it symbolises completeness.
Also known as 汤圆 (Tāng Yuán), a homonym for 团圆, sweet rice balls symbolise getting together and the unity of the family. They are made of glutinous rice flour and can be eaten plain or stuffed with fillings like sesame or peanut.