Sticky Business: Worshiping the Kitchen God 祭灶王爷

On the 23rd or 24th of the twelfth month, the most important holiday of the lunar calendar commences in the kitchen, enshrining a color print out with candy and wine. Chinese New Year gathers everyone in the kitchen, not only for the food that it produces but the deity who is in charge of it.Continue reading “Sticky Business: Worshiping the Kitchen God 祭灶王爷”

DIY Paper Lanterns: 3 ways

Despite the inexhaustible varieties of Chinese Holidays, one will always find a lantern hung up on a door frame or dancing underneath telephone lines. Bright red markers of Chinese celebration swing, lanterns customarily appear during Chinese New Year, the Mid-Autumn Festival, and––omnipresently––during the Lantern Festival. It is the months between these imminent festivals that peopleContinue reading “DIY Paper Lanterns: 3 ways”

China’s Most Elaborate Meal: The New Year’s Eve Fish and Duck

New Year’s Eve Meal 年夜饭, also known as nian ye fan or Reunion Dinner, gathers the whole family in front of the table for the satiation of the hearts and stomachs. As the central focus of the holiday is gathering, food not only communicates love and devotion to one’s family but lures everyone together throughContinue reading “China’s Most Elaborate Meal: The New Year’s Eve Fish and Duck”

Red Packets: The Story of the Little Demon Sneaky

Passed from the wrinkly fingers of elders to the smooth youthful palms of children, lucky money bribes generational connection and fortune. Laid under the child’s pillow or directly to the eager hands, packets are given after the New Year Eve dinner.  According to legend, lucky money defends young children from the little demon called “祟”,Continue reading “Red Packets: The Story of the Little Demon Sneaky”

The Auspicious Eight Treasures

Bā bǎo rúyì cài 八宝如意菜, or the auspicious eight treasures, are a must-have dish during Chinese New Year. Passed down through generations of Tang cooking, the recipe I’m publishing today has perfected through lines of ancestral mothers laboring at their wood-fired stoves. And while the dish is best served at its birthplace, an electric stoveContinue reading “The Auspicious Eight Treasures”

The Sticky Situation of Nian Gao

Nian gao, rice cake or New Year cake, is one of the many staple Chinese New Year snacks.  The Chinese word for rice cake, or nian gao, correlates to the phrase “nian nian gao sheng,” meaning “elevating year after year” or “promotion year after year”. Some Chinese parents tell their children that eating this will helpContinue reading “The Sticky Situation of Nian Gao”

the Multivariation of Chinese Dumplings

You can find Nai Nai wrapping dumpling skin on the floured counter during almost every Chinese holiday, or bagged dumps in the freezer as a go-to weekend lunch. What’s special about Jiao Zi isn’t just the various flavors, from pork and scallion to egg and chive, but the multitude of holidays in which they span.Continue reading “the Multivariation of Chinese Dumplings”