Happy Lunar New Year!

To all those who celebrate it, Happy Lunar New Year! 新年快乐,祝大家身体健康,心想事成,羊年喜气洋洋! I’m Chinese so today is the first of our two week Spring Festival, but I know many other Asian cultures such as the Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese have their New Year around this time! I would love to know how everyone celebrates their holiday. c: 
 
If you follow me on Instagram (@momentswithrae), you would have seen these pictures already.. but anyways.. Traditionally, there is a reunion dinner (tuan yuan fan) on Chinese New Year’s Eve, so here is the wonderful feast Mama Rae prepared for that occasion last night. ❤ 
 


We had taro cakes {w/ Chinese sausage, scallions, shiitake, Chinese pickled mustard}, braised sea cucumbers {w/ lotus root, shiitake, tofu skin, pork}, dumplings, and stir-fry veggies & Pacific clams {w/ asparagus, carrots, ink cap mushrooms}. Yup, that’s a ton of food for the two of us.. and it results in leftovers for two lunches and a sequel for tonight’s dinner. xD
 
 
Of course, holiday comes with lots of holiday sweets! Living in a smaller family, we never made too much.. This year, I enjoyed some tangyuan and niangao. All homemade with tons of love hehe. Mama Rae made the tangyuan, which are glutinous rice balls, with a red bean and peanut filling. As a base, she concocted an osmanthus infused tapioca sweet soup (tong sui), mmm. Storebought tangyuan cannot compare to these.. with the thin, chewy wrapping and an abundance filling that hit the perfect level of sweetness. J, my talented dessert master friend recalled from my Christmas post, made us all niangao again this year! Niangao, or sticky rice cake, is a tradition to serve during the New Year, because it literally means “year cake” in Chinese. Different regions of China have their own version of this, but the Cantonese variety is usually sweet. They are either steamed, baked, or sometimes also panfried before serving. J added red beans, and even shredded coconut for a modern twist to his baked rice cake.



I devoured these yummy treats in no time hehe. By the way, these are normally made with quite a lot of sugar, but both Mama Rae and J put the effort in “healthifying” these by adjusting the amount they used. Props to them for that!



Hope you all get to spend some valuable time with your loved ones, and may your year of sheep/ goat/ ram ahead be prosperous and joyful.



<3,

Rae

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