Lunar New Year (or Chinese New Year or Tet) is one of the world’s great annual celebrations. How big? Massive! In China people usually take around three billion journeys as they travel to join family for festivities. I’m sure the celebrations will be curtailed for COVID reasons but there will still be fireworks, lanterns and, of course, food.
This year, festivities begin on Friday February 12, with the Year of the Rat giving way to the Year of the Ox, and celebrations continuing for three weeks. Special ‘lucky’ foods are eaten during this period, sometimes because of their colour (red and pink are lucky colours) and often because their name is a homonym for words such as ‘luck’, ‘prosperity’ and ‘wealth’.
I love eating Chinese food at any time of year and I’ve gathered together some of my favourites here. I’m particularly excited to share two recipes from Chinese food guru Tony Tan, Jing Shui Daan, a delicate savoury steamed custard, and Egg Tarts, a sweet treat that’s ubiquitous in Hong Kong. Of course, the celebrations extend to other parts of Asia, so I’ve include dishes inspired by other countries too.