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Lucky Foods for the Lunar New Year!

Sue Mel - 2
Kung Hei Fat Choy! January 28, 2017 is the Lunar New Year and it’s the Year of the Rooster!

Watch my TV interview about the do’s and don’ts as well as lucky foods to ring in the new year!

DO…
• Wear red! It’s a lucky colour and is thought to scare away the bad spirits!
• Repay your debts so that you have no money owning going into the New Year.
• Give or accept lucky money envelopes. If you’re married, you give lucky money to your kids, nephews and nieces. If you’re single or unmarried, you can still receive these lucky money envelopes from your parents.

DON’T…
• Clean, sweep or dust your house because it will sweep out the good luck.
• Wash your hair. This is also thought to wash away the good luck and good fortune.
• Speak any negative words. For example, don’t talk about death and don’t say the number “four” because this sounds like the word for “death” in Chinese.

LUCKY FOODS

Fish
Fish
This is always on the menu for the Lunar New Year because the Chinese word for fish sounds like the word for “abundance” or “having a lot”. Fish symbolizes an abundance of money and wealth. The steamed white fish is served whole, with the head and tail intact, as this symbolizes a good start and end to the new year. The head of the fish is turned towards the elders as a sign of respect.

Chicken Wraps
Chicken
The Chinese word for chicken sounds like the word for “prosperity”. In this Lucky Chicken Lettuce Wrap recipe, you can use chicken breast or ground chicken. The fresh green lettuce (“choy”) represents wealth. Also, iceberg lettuce, bibb lettuce and romaine lettuce all symbolize longevity.

Dumplings
Dumplings
The boat shaped dumplings symbolize wealth and resemble the shape of the gold and silver ingots which were used as money 2,000 years ago. Legend has it that the more dumplings you can eat on New Year’s, the more money you will have in the year!

Noodles
Long noodles symbolize a long life. The noodle dish is often prepared as a vegetarian entrée and is made with a variety of vegetables – carrots for the lucky colour orange, and cabbage for the wealthy “choy”.

Oranges cookiesMandarin oranges and almond cookies
For a sweet start to the New Year, enjoy mandarins / clementines and almond cookies. Oranges with the stems and leaves intact symbolize life and longevity.

Lucky Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Chicken Wraps

January 28th, 2017 is Chinese New Year! Ring in the New Year with this lucky appetizer – chicken symbolizes prosperity while lettuce symbolizes wealth! Bonus – the wraps are fun to eat and taste great!

Ingredients
4 – 5 T hoisin sauce
2 T light soy sauce
2 T rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp cornstarch
1 pound ground chicken (or diced chicken breast)
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T ginger, minced
I head Bibb or romaine lettuce
Red pepper, julienned (for garnish)
Green onions, julienned (for garnish)

Directions
1. In a small bowl, mix the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil. Whisk in cornstarch. Set aside.
2. Heat 1 tsp of canola oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the ground chicken and crumble it with a spoon or spatula as you are cooking it. Cook for about 8 minutes or until the internal temperatures reaches 165 F. Transfer the cooked chicken to a clean bowl.
3. Heat 1 tsp of canola oil in the frying pan. Add the onions and carrots, and cook until tender. Add water chestnuts, garlic and ginger. Cook for about 30 seconds.
4. Add the chicken back to the pan. Stir in the sauce and continue cooking until the sauce begins to bubble and the chicken is thoroughly coated with sauce.
5. Gently separate the lettuce leaves. Wash and pat the leaves dry. Place a large spoonful of the chicken mixture in the centre of the lettuce leaf. Roll up the lettuce leaf an garnish with red pepper and green onions. Enjoy!

Makes 6 servings.

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