Categories ArchivesChinese food ingredient

Chinese New Year’s Eve Dinner (Tuen Neen Fan)

Imagine plates teeming with food and completely covering the dining table, small children running around the tiny, cramped apartment, adults huddled around the television, trying to block out the piercing voices of their sugar-high children– these are the essentials that make up a Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner. Also known as Tuen Neen Fan (團年飯) or reunion dinner, this feast is eaten the night before the first day of the Chinese New Year, and is when the entire family gathers to conclude the year together before a new beginning. The Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner plays a significant role in Chinese culture, and is one of the traditional events Chinese communities worldwide look forward to most. Besides chicken, fish, and ...

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Traditional Chinese New Year Dish: Black Moss with Dried Oysters

What else do we have as Chinese New Year Dish? Black Moss? Hair Vegetable? Get Rich? As mentioned in our previous blog post, homonyms are prevalent in Cantonese, especially with Chinese New Year festive greetings and with names of food served during this time of the year. This evening, we had one such dish — 發財好事 — literally translates as Be Prosperous, Great Things. Or more generally, it means great fortune. The dish features two main ingredients. One is 髮菜, literally translated as “hair vegetable” is black moss, but it is phonetically pronounced like 發財 (Be Prosperous). Another ingredient is 蠔豉, or dried oysters, which sounds like 好事, or great things. It is believed that having this dish will bring lots ...

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What Is This Green Peel?

Do you know what are the green things that are hung?  They are fresh tangerine peel hung outdoors to dry, eventually turning brown in color. Like many good wines, the dried tangerine peel’s flavor intensifies as it ages.  The better it becomes, the more expensive it is as well. Dried tangerine peel is often used as seasoning or Chinese medicine. What is your favorite dish that contains dried tangerine peel?

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