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2004, Chinese Style
By Alia Akkam
Intro | Spring Rolls | Ingredients | Instructions

You’ve already spent New Year’s plopping carrot sticks into a cool ranch dip and swiping far too many pigs-in-blankets than you care to remember in between sips of champagne. For Lunar New Year 4702, try something a little more exotic as you usher in the year of the quick-tempered, energetic Monkey.

Also known as the “spring festival” for the fertile earth springing back to life, Chinese New Year is a two-week celebration of good fortune marked by the mythological dragon sashaying his way through vibrant parades and tasty traditional dishes. Around-the-clock family visits are an essential part of this holiday and houses are prepared for guests. Trays filled with an assortment of meaningful dried candies are there to greet you. Reach for a lychee nut for strong family relationships or a coconut for togetherness. Rooms are decked out with striking touches of red, symbolic of happiness, while colorful blooming plants, symbolic of rebirth, climb the walls.

With its off-putting color of white, meaning death and misfortune, you won’t find tofu or fresh bean curd on the menu during Chinese New Year. However, whole chickens and whole fish dishes suggesting completeness are often consumed, while sweet oranges and tangerines aplenty are found for their joy-inducing qualities and wishes for secure relationships.

Spruce up your own kitchen with a red paper lantern and whip up this simple recipe for a festive spin that’s sure to get your new year off to a blissful start.

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