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Lunar New Year 2023 welcomes the Rabbit!

From Christmas to Chinese New Year, it's Food, Glorious Food!




From Christmas to Chinese New Year, it's a month-long spell of neverending celebrations. Yes we love the sumptuous parties and classic family traditions, and there is also an increasing consciousness around that perhaps all that we have been doing may not be the kindest to our planet. Celebrating and consuming responsibly does not mean we all turn into Grinches and Scrooges. It's simply about pausing and wondering, instead of going into autopilot Christmas or Chinese New Year mode of mindless shopping. Perhaps the best gift we can give loved ones is really our time and attention.


Christmas and Chinese New Year are huge celebrations, and many traditions surrounding them continue to be observed. It is also very much a time of family reunion with lots of movements across the planet as people travel home to be with families.


This year we welcome the fluffy rabbit to bring us health and wealth for 2023!


Pride goes before a fall

The Rabbit is the fourth of all zodiac animals. With those powerful legs the rabbit could really have come first, so why didn't it? (FYI: A wild rabbit can hit a maximum of 45 mph! Is that impressive or what?!)


Legend has it that the Rabbit was proud. Is this starting to sound familiar? Yes, it's just like the famous fable of the Tortoise and the Hare. The Rabbit got a little too arrogant for its own good about its speed, and it even made fun of the Ox, a big and slow animal.


When the Jade Emperor announced that the order of the zodiac would be decided by the order in which the animals arrived at his celebration, the Rabbit confidently set off at daybreak. That was a wise move on his part, and he was the first to arrive. He saw that there were no other animals in sight, and here was where he slipped up. He thought he could jolly well take a nap since the others, being so terribly slow, would take some time to get there. That nap cost him his first place because when he woke up, three other animals had already arrived! And one of them was his friend the Ox! Look who's having the last laugh now!


Do you recognise these famous Rabbits?

(1) Bugs Bunny

(2) Roger Rabbit

(3) White Rabbit candy

(4) Thumper (from Bambi)

(5) Br'er Rabbit

(6) Peter Rabbit

(7) The Energizer Bunny

(8) The Velveteen Rabbit

(9) The Easter Bunny

(10) And here's a challenge for you to name the 10th! (*Scroll down to the end to see the answer!)


Psst...we have a special Pandan White Rabbit Candy Recipe coming your way! Watch this space!


Lucky Dishes to Eat during Lunar New Year

At My Blue Tea, we simply love our food. And if they're symbolically lucky, that's even better! Whether it's the Year of the Rabbit or any other animal, we always look forward to having these dishes during Chinese New Year.


Spring rolls

Spring rolls are easily one of the most popular Cantonese dimsum dishes. These little dough wrappers are filled with vegetables, meat or you can use a sweet filling as well. When fried, they take on a beautiful golden yellow colour and it's a wonderful play of textures when you bite through the crispy skin and reach the juicy filling inside.


These are great finger foods at parties and both young and old love them. You can eat them on their own or serve with different dips.


Check out more amazing food and photography by Belinda © Copyright reserved. Freestyle homecooking @chef.popo



Steamed Buns


If you want steamed buns with a twist, check out our recipe for:

Steamed buns may seem like simple fare, but they are a classic comfort food, one that reminds you of home, and just having the smell of hot steaming buns wafting through the house is a treat.


It is said that the 28th day of the 12th month of the Chinese Lunar Year is the time to ferment the dough. This is perhaps not quite the case now. In the past, yeast dough deteriorated quickly and it would take up to two days before the spring festival to ferment the dough. Nowadays, with wonders we take for granted such as baking powder, refrigerators and bakeries, we no longer need to follow this rule.


Families devoted proper time to preparing food for the celebrations and steamed buns or 蒸 包子 (Zhēng bāozi) were filled with red bean paste or red date paste. We still make these traditional style buns and chefs have also gotten adventurous and given the humble buns a make-over. We tweaked it with our favourite spices e.g. Chicken Curry or Sambal Anchovies )(these are to die for in steamed buns!!).


In the past, it was considered unlucky to steam buns and cook them from 1st to 5th day of the 1st month of the Lunar New Year, so people prepared them in advance for the whole week. You may also have seen steamed buns decorated with little coloured dots. These are for people to distinguish the different flavours. If not, all the buns will look the same and we won´t know what filling they have until we bite into them!


Buns can be in any shape, size or fillings e.g. chicken curry, sambal anchovies, and even Pulled Beef Rendang disguised in baked buns!



Sweet Glutinous Rice Balls

Sweet rice balls  | My Blue Tea

These are also known as Sweet rice balls 汤圆 (Tāngyuán – tung-ywen) and it is typical in southern China to eat them during the Spring Festival.


The pronunciation of the name (团团 圆圆 (Tuántuán yuányuán) and their round shape are associated with reunions and being together. That’s why they are a symbolic dessert to have during the New Year celebrations.


The balls can be eaten plain, or with common fillings such as sesame, red bean paste, and peanut paste, but you can also get creative with other fillings such as pumpkin and meat. These small chewy rice balls are almost always served in a sweet, syrupy soup that is sometimes also flavored with ginger.


At My Blue Tea we love getting colourful, and what better way to do that than to keep it natural with Superfood Colours?


Chef Shirley used the following natural colours. Do visit her page for the full recipe.


Whole Fish

Fish is a delight to have during Lunar New Year, but it has to be a whole fish. Yes, with head and tail intact. So no fish fingers allowed!


The choice of fish is based on the sound of the name of the fish, i.e. it should sound auspicious. In Mandarin, the word fish 鱼 (yú) sounds like surplus or abundance 余 (yú). It's an auspicious sign to have surplus at the end of the year, because that means we have savings and we have enough to do more next year. Families choose a big fish and they cook it whole to represent a harmonious and complete family. Cooking a whole fish also makes the presentation of the dish more sumptuous and generates a feeling of abundance. So cook your fish any way you like, just make sure all the body parts are intact to signify a whole and good start and end for the new year.



Prawns

Seafood lovers will love the idea of having yummy prawns during the celebrations. The prawn is another lucky symbol here because the pronunciation in Cantonese ('ha') sounds exactly like what it reads i.e. laughter! The idea is the more prawns you eat, the more you'll be filled with happiness, joy and laughter, and we'll all be laughing our way into the new year.


With a bit of Ayam Goreng Berempah Spiced Fried Chicken powder, your prawns will be an uproaring delight at the dinner table!



Pineapple Tarts

Chinese New Year is just not quite the same without these quintessential pineapple tarts. Thrill your guests by making your pineapple tarts using My Blue Tea's Pandan or Purple Sweet Potato to give it the extra intense flavour or colour. You have the option to use our Doku Biotech Pineapple Calamansi Jam (which gives that extra zest with Calamansi lime

juice).




Lunar New Year Drinks

From top left Roselle Blue Inspiration, Dragonfruit .... Jackfruit with Basil, Mango Coconut Shake, Magical Blue Lemon (with a tinge of yellow lemon) and Pandan Coconut Shake with Roselle jello.


The food is important and so are the drinks to wash down a wonderful meal! My Blue Tea has so many creations you'll be spoilt for choice! A Creamy Pandan Coconut Shake is always a treat for dessert. You can also use Strawberry and Roselle or Dragon Fruit Powder and Coconut Shake to make an auspiciously red rink. If strawberries and mangoes are in season, use them to make some fresh coconut shakes. Basically, red and yellow are lucky colours for Chinese New Year!


So there you have it. Lots of lucky foods you can serve for Chinese New Year dinners and celebrations! We hope you will enjoy using our beautiful, natural products to whip up beautiful dishes to delight everyone's tastebuds!


From the team at My Blue Tea, we wish everyone a graceful leap into the Year of the Rabbit, filled with excellent health, warm relationships and fulfilling successes! 新年快乐,万事如意 to everyone!


*Here are more Famous Rabbits!

  • Rabbit (from Winnie the Pooh)

  • Lola Bunny (from Space Jam)

  • Judy Hopps (from Zootopia or Zootropolis)

  • The White Rabbit (from Alice in Wonderland)

 

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