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Eye on the Tiger 2022

Lucky Foods to eat this Lunar New Year with

Time has a strange way of creeping up on you and before you know it, 2022 has pounced on us! The Year of the Tiger is fast approaching! And 1 month into our New Year Resolution here we go again, another round of feasting!

And that means we are gearing up for the Chinese New Year celebrations!

Hear My Blue Tea Roar

The beauty of living in a multi-cultural environment, for those of you who enjoy that privilege, is you get to celebrate all the major festivals of different cultures...which in My Blue Tea's language, means getting to enjoy and share lots of amazing dishes!

Ushering in Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is China's most important festival and is celebrated by Chinese all over the world. The first day of the Chinese New Year marks the start of a new year and it is a time that heralds good luck and fortune according to a myriad of Chinese beliefs and superstitions. Most importantly, it is a time for families to be together and, depending on the country, you may even get a week of official public holiday. For many, this is the time when many return to their hometowns or countries to celebrate and be with family.

Chinese New Year 2022 will fall on Tuesday, February 1st, 2022, beginning a year of the Tiger. It is a joyous time of feasting and celebrating and there is a palpable buzz in the air as everyone prepares their homes and stock up their kitchens with ingredients to cook up a storm.

A Sweet Delight

During Chinese New Year, one must have pineapple. Not so much because it's delicious or healthy. It's because in the Hokkien dialect, it is pronounced as "Ong Lai" which sounds like 'ushering in prosperity'. It may not be so romantic to just chomp on a piece of pineapple, so a beautiful delicate rich pastry called pineapple tarts were created. These pretty little things are crumbly, buttery and the crust is slightly salted which gives it a fun zing to the tongue when you bite into one and it melts in your mouth. The generous dollop of sweet pineapple jam in the middle is one you want to literally sink your teeth into. Pineapple tarts somehow have a whiff of nostalgia about them, and every family remembers stories of either baking the tarts, sharing the tarts, eating them or gifting them. If you want a spectacularly memorable pineapple tart, you need to check out this creation by our in-house Pastry Chef, Catherine Teo - we absolutely love the Intense Purple Sweet Potato pastry! This is definitely something you cannot have too many of!

The Mighty Beast

So what's this thing about the Year of the Tiger? Do you know which is your Chinese Zodiac sign? Here are the years of those who were born in the Year of the Tiger:

2022, 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962, 1950, 1938.….

2022 is a year of the Tiger, starting from February 1st, 2022, and ending on January 21st, 2023. It is a Water Tiger year.

The Tiger is known as the King of all Beasts in China. Yes, I´m afraid The Lion King has to momentarily take a back seat here. The zodiac sign of the Tiger is a symbol of strength, of the power to exorcise evils, and bravery. It is not uncommon to find images of tigers on children's hats or shoes in China.

The Tiger is the third in line on the Chinese zodiac. The 12 zodiac animals are, in order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. Each year is ruled by an animal sign and follows a 12-year-cycle.

Lucky Dishes to Eat

Whether you are superstitious or not, it's no harm trying out a delicious lucky dish here and there! There are several ´lucky´ dishes you can sink your teeth into in this Year of the Tiger. Every dish or food that is set on the table for Lunar New Year has a symbolic meaning. The bonus you get with My Blue Tea is we are delighted to suggest a feast for you that is not only auspicious and delicious and also super healthy thanks to our Superfood Powders and Super Spice Powders! So you have no reason to politely decline a second helping out of modesty!

A wealth of lucky foods is served during the 14-day festival season, especially on the New Year's Eve family reunion dinner. During this spectacular dinner feast, fish is a must as it sounds like 'surplus' in Chinese and it symbolises abundance. Another must-have is dumplings shaped like Chinese silver ingots. These are shared as a sign of the unity of the family and prosperity. Another typical lucky food is Niángāo (glutinous rice cake) which symbolises a higher income or position as it sounds like 'year high', so if you are eyeing that promotion, tuck into a few pieces of this sticky rice cake!

(1) Tiger Cookies - ROAR

Striped just like a tiger, Try our Lucky Jackfruit Tiger cookies made using Jackfruit Latte Powders and stripes using yummy Chocolate. Recipe to be published as soon as we receive it from Pastry Chef Catherine Teo.

Why this Tiger Cookies? Because my Boss, she loves listening to Dami Im in the X-Factory 2013 and Katy Perry's ROAR Quirky one to work with yet fun and she indeed ROARssss affectionately.../xxx. Thank you Dami Im for making a few appearances in Port Macquarie NSW, we love it and have been to a few of your concerts. Keep up with the good work ie children foundation etc..

The ROAR Ladies that me Boss loves so much.....Katy Perry and Dami Im. How many times we have to endure not just listening to her but her ROARing the song or singing (p/s she loves Karaoke) *shhhh*..........

One of our favourite Australia's X-Factor 2013 - Dami Im with Roar!!

Video is from the X-Factor program. Thank you.

(2) WEALTH (Ingots) - Chicken Curry Jiaozi / Dumplings

The humble Chinese dumpling (饺子 Jiǎozi /jyaoww-dzrr/) actually has a history of more than 1,800 years. It is a classic auspicious food for Chinese New Year, and is traditionally eaten on Chinese New Year's Eve. It is especially popular in North China, though this custom can be seen all over the world. Considering what a lovely delicious morsel each ingot is, one would be happy to eat it any time of the year!

Chinese dumplings are made to look like Chinese silver ingots. Silver ingots are boat-shaped, oval and turned up at both ends. If you believe in the superstition, it is said that the more dumplings you eat during the New Year celebrations, the more money you will make in the new year!

So what's inside these delightful little pouches? The fillings are typically minced meat and finely-chopped vegetables. This savoury mix is then wrapped in a thin and elastic dough skin. Other popular fillings are minced pork, diced shrimp, fish, ground chicken, beef, and vegetables. The dumplings can be cooked by boiling, steaming, frying or baking.

My Blue Tea is delighted to present our beautiful SILVER INGOTS with Gold Stuffing (Chicken Curry with meat curry base + Torch Ginger + Coconut Milk Powder).

And if you are gungho enough and want to give your Chinese a go, here is a lucky phrase you can say while you eat your dumplings:

Zhāo cái jìn bǎo (招财进宝/jaoww tseye jin baoww/): 'Bringing in wealth and treasure'

This is a felicitous wish to invite the universe to bring you money and amass a fortune! Remember not to say it with your mouth full! Flying ingots are not too auspicious...nor elegant!

(3) INCREASING PROSPERITY (Nian Nian You Yu) - Fish

My Blue Tea loves this special combination of Steam Fish with Dayak Ginger Crisps.

The reason why the Chinese must have fish on their menu during the Chinese New Year celebrations is a simple phonetic one. "Fish" (鱼 Yú /yoo/) sounds like 'surplus'. With such an auspicious sound, it is understandable why fish is a traditional dish on the Chinese New Year dinner menu. Who wouldn't want to have a surplus at the end of the year? Other than the fact of being financially wise to have a surplus in terms of savings at the end of the year, it means one can continue to make a lot of money the next year and continue this healthy financial status!

Steamed fish is a beautifully light and appetising dish to have, and ginger is the secret ingredient to neutralising the ´fishy´ taste that puts some people off. With a sprinkle of My Blue Tea's special Dayak Ginger Crisps, your steamed fish is sure to stand out as the queen among the other dishes.

You can savour this dish at Chintaria Buddha Love, Haymarket Sydney.

(4) JOY & LAUGHTER (Har Har Siew aka ROTFL) - Sambal Prawns with Sambal Tumis + Kaffir Lime Leaf Powder

Now this is a dish we absolutely crave! We're love, love love Bel - she's amazed us with many creations with her signature creative tweaks here and there. Check out Chef Popo, Belinda - she shared her Jiaozi and now her beautiful Har Har Siew / Sambal Prawns! These are perfectly cooked and so yummy. You can´t get away with not licking your fingers with this one! She's amazed by the quality of our Superfood Powders and Super Spice - so she always has them well stocked in her pantry. Follow Chef Popo on her Instagram @chef.popo for more of her beautiful dishes.

(5) case you want more! (Chun Juan) - Spring Rolls

Spring rolls (春卷 Chūnjuǎn /chwnn- jwen/) are traditionally eaten during the Spring Festival. It is a Chinese New Year dish especially popular in East China: Jiangxi, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Fujian, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong etc.

Amazing food and photography by Belinda 。Freestyle homecooking @chef.popo

#freestylehomecooking 。 🇦🇺。Adding little twists to the traditional 。Photographer © copyright reserved 。Accredited personal stylist 。John 3:16-18

Spring rolls are one of the most easily recognisable Cantonese dim sum dishes. They are cylindrical-shaped rolls filled with vegetables, meat, or even something sweet. The fillings are wrapped in thin dough wrappers. These are then fried, which gives the spring rolls their gorgeous saliva-inducing golden-yellow colour. They make for highly popular finger foods at parties. Spring rolls are a great hit with kids. Each rolls is crispy on the outside and when you bite into the middle the delicious filling is an exciting adventure for the taste buds! They are wonderful on their own or they are sometimes eaten with different dips.

(6) HAPPINESS AND LONGEVITY (NOODLES) - Sambal Tumis on Singapore Sing Chow Mai

Longevity noodles (长寿面 Chángshòu Miàn /chung-show myen/) get their symbolism because of their length. If you are lucky to have seen how handmade noodles are prepared, you will also understand why noodles symbolise a wish for longevity. From a lump of dough, the chef and create endless neverending lengths of doughy noodles. It is simply mesmerising to watch. Eating noodles is symbolic of the eater´s life. (That is why it is also a popular dish to eat at birthdays!)

My Blue Tea has tweaked it to suit our Superfoods and Super Spices to give you a whole new level of awesome cooking!

Here we have given the traditional Singapore Sing Chow Mai a new lease of life by adding Sambal Tumis Powder - 2-3 tspn of Sambal Tumis Powder to 400 grams vermicelli. A little goes a long way with our Superfoods & Super Spice Powders! This dish was made by Amazing Grace, @grazia.lim , a Tax Consultant, educator, mom to 3 children and an avid explorer of food! Stay tuned here for her recipe in our next blog!

Tips : You may even like to try Singapore Sing Chow Mai with Meat Curry Base powder as our powder has more spices and herbs vs basic curry powder.

(6) HIGHER EACH YEAR (Pandan Nian Gao / Sweet Cake) - Glutinous Rice Cake

Glutinous rice cake (年糕 Niángāo /nyen-gaoww/) is what you need to have at the Chinese New Year Eve´s dinner if you want a higher income or position next year.

In Chinese, the name of the glutinous rice cake sounds like "getting higher year by year". Typically, a promotion or a higher position is associated with better pay and better quality of life, so the higher you ascend, the more prosperous your business will be!

The main ingredients of niangao are sticky rice, sugar, chestnuts, Chinese dates, and lotus leaves.

年年高 (niánnián gāo /nyen-nyen gaoww/) is a lucky saying to invite positive connotations e.g. children's height increasing as they grow big and strong, a rise in business success, better grades in one´s studies, promotions at work, etc.

A Toast, Anyone?

With so many yummy dishes, one must not forget to accompany them with some good fortune fruit and drinks! Some fruits symbolise fullness and wealth, so bring on the mandarins, oranges and cherries! Check out our range of lucky, happy, colourful drinks to usher in the Year of the Tiger!

What to drink during Summer this Lunar New Year in Oz! From top left (1) Iced Blue Tea (2) Pandan Mojito (3) Unicorn Blue Tea (4) Iced Coconut Matcha (5) Jackfruit Smoothie (6) And our Purple Sweet Potato Frappe which is very popular in cafes.

Toast to the new year with our beautiful drinks that not only are lovely thirst-quenchers but also healthy to boot! Get creative and wow your guests! Even as we create these beautiful new drinks with different chefs from all over, we can´t help but get nostalgic thinking back to our Chinese New Year celebrations when we were kids. Chinese New Year was a time when we were thrilled to get a taste of Fanta Orange or Shandy! And now we have our amazing drinks to look forward to, so who´s ready for a toast to 2022?

My Blue Tea wishes everyone a healthy, prosperous Lunar New Year and here are five of the most popular greetings from all of us at My Blue Tea to you and your family! xxx

5 Most Popular Lunar New Year Greetings:

  • 过年好 guò nián hǎo Happy New Year!

  • 新年快乐,万事如意 xīn nián kuài lè, wàn shì rú yì Happy New Year and may all go well with you.

  • 新年快乐,阖家幸福 xīn nián kuài lè, hé jiā xìng fú Happy New Year and wishing you a happy family.

  • 恭喜发财 gōng xǐ fā cái Wishing you happiness and prosperity!

  • 恭喜发财,红包拿来 gōng xǐ fā cái, hóng bāo ná lái Wishing you happiness and prosperity; and can I have a red envelope please? (Just kidding! It is a Chinese New Year tradition for the elders and married couples to give little red envelopes with a bit of money as good luck to children and young people.)


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