Kitchen Tips

Did You Know: Symbolism of Each Chinese New Year Dish

Chinese New Year is just around the corner, and some of you are most likely getting busy preparing for a festive celebration. Just as with any cultural occasion, food is the main element that completes the whole festivity!

However, did you know that especially in Chinese culture, almost every ingredients are associated with certain beliefs and meanings? As we gear up for the Lunar New Year, let’s dive into the list of ingredients that can bring prosperity to the Year of the Dragon!

Auspicious Ingredients for Chinese New Year

1. Abalone (鳆; fù): Definite Good Fortune

When it comes to Chinese celebratory dishes, abalone is a star ingredient. It is a symbol of definite good fortune and is believed to bring abundance for the rest of the year when consumed. With its tender flesh and opulent taste, one might say it is a fortune-packed flavour bomb!

2. Carrots (胡蘿蔔; hú luóbo or 紅蘿蔔; hóng luóbo): Red Colour for Good Luck

Contrary to popular belief, carrots are more than just an ingredient that adds colour to dishes. Rather, this vegetable’s colour symbolises good luck; which adds positivity and fortune to your platter. Plus, carrots are also a good source of nutrients that benefit anyone who eats them!

3. Chicken (whole) (鸡肉; jīròu): Prosperity and Family Togetherness

A whole chicken, with its head, tail, and feet intact, symbolises completeness. Beyond its culinary appeal, it represents prosperity and the togetherness of family, bringing joy to the New Year celebrations.

4. Fish (whole): Surplus of Prosperity

A whole fish, served in its entirety, symbolises surplus and prosperity. The word for “fish” in Chinese sounds similar to the word for “surplus,” making it a must-have for those seeking increased wealth in the coming year.

5. Jujube (枣; zǎo, candied jujube: 蜜枣; mìzǎo): Wealth and Prosperity

Jujubes, in their natural or candied form, bring a touch of sweetness to the New Year table. Their red hue signifies wealth, prosperity, and the promise of fertility in the year ahead.

6. Prawn (大虾; dàxiā): Liveliness

Prawns, with their vibrant colour and lively presence, symbolise energy and liveliness. Including them in the New Year feast brings a sense of vitality and enthusiasm to the celebration.

7. Pumpkin (南瓜; nánguā): Prosperity and Descendant’s Luck

Pumpkin, with its golden hue, is an indication of prosperity and abundance. Its inclusion in festive dishes is believed to bring luck to descendants, ensuring a glorious and enchanted future.

Kitchen Tips

Did You Know: Symbolism of Each Chinese New Year Dish

As we have gone through the list of ingredients that bring meaning to your dishes, now you can plan a significant Chinese New Year spread! Whilst preparing for a fortune-filled platter, seize this opportunity to win prizes worth RM38,888 which includes Le Creuset kitchenware and start the new year with great prosperity! Ajinomoto is excited to introduce the CNY Ajinomoto x Le Creuset Buy & Win Contest!

Here’s how you can join;

  1. Purchase a minimum of RM15 worth of any Ajinomoto products in a single receipt.
  2. Send a photo of the receipt and send your details (Full Name & I/C Number) via WhatsApp to +6019-220 9950.
  3. Wait for the winner’s announcement. Good Luck!
Kitchen Tips

Did You Know: Symbolism of Each Chinese New Year Dish

So, quickly grab your Ajinomoto products to complete your Chinese New Year dishes and stand a chance to win big!

As you prepare for the Lunar New Year festivities, consider the deeper meaning behind each ingredient that graces your table. These symbolic elements not only tantalize your taste buds but also infuse your celebrations with wishes for prosperity, togetherness, and joy.

For a wealth of recipes, explore and ensure your celebrations are a harmonious blend of flavour and tradition. May your Year of the Dragon be filled with auspicious delights and shared moments of happiness!