Chinese New Year Events: 5 Tips to Prepare an Unforgettable Feast|Januari 27, 2022
You have seen the lights and lanterns everywhere and heard the festive tunes carrying through big shopping malls and supermarkets. Yes, the annual Lunar New Year celebration is coming to town and your family at home. The reunion dinner is a vital part of Chinese New Year events as it is when families come together to feast and catch up. Family members from far and near return home to have a meal together.
The family usually has a reunion dinner at home in which we must prepare ourselves to have a smooth and splendid time throughout the Chinese New Year celebrations. This can range from organizing your houses to preparing yourselves for this celebration.
So, we bring you 5 quick tips to plan and prepare an unforgettable feast that your family members will cherish.
1. Starting the Preparation of a Grand Meal
Planning is the most exciting part of arranging the long-awaited grand reunion dinner with family. As food is an essential part of this celebration, most planning involves deciding the dishes for the feast. The best choice for the Chinese New Year feast is to have a traditional 8–course dinner. You can vary it from fish, chicken, dumplings, spring rolls, glutinous rice cake, noodles, tangyuan, and fruits.
Good recipes are available in many magazines, cookbooks, and TV shows. Yet, as technology advances, you can also find recipes on the internet that you can conveniently save on your phone.
It is best to focus on the dishes liked by everyone and make sure you have all the ingredients a few day before the main event. The menu should comprise of multiple auspicious dishes to bring the family luck, wealth, and success. Also, don’t forget to buy seasonings like Knorr Kiub Pati Ayam or Knorr Pasti Sedap that will make your dishes taste great and are also practical to use.
2. Create a List and Get Started
To get started with the preparation, list down all the items needed, preferably on your cell phone or notes, and then stock up the pantry a few days before the main event as the streets and supermarkets are super jammed during the week before the Chinese New Year. Most of the shopping list is based on food and decorations. The shopping list should include items for the reunion dinner, paper decorations, flowering plants, red envelopes for gifts, and designing the tray of togetherness for the guests. According to the menu and the number of visitors, you can arrange the table with complete sets of plates, knives, spoons, and glasses. The drinks which are supposed to be served cold should be kept in the fridge a day before dinner, and it is also recommended to have enough ice cubes in the refrigerator for the guests wanting super–chilled drinks.
3. All Set and Ready to Mesmerize Everyone with your Culinary Skills
It would be best to make the dinner preparation checklist a few days before the actual feast. Prepare a list of dishes, and assemble all the tools and ingredients. It is best to wash, trim, cut, and measure all the raw materials to be used for the main dishes beforehand. The materials can then be bagged in air–tight packets for use on the day of the feast. The meat and fish products should be washed and frozen, while the vegetables should be washed and kept at 4 degrees Celsius.
Most importantly, the dishes which require overnight marination should be done on the night before the festival. For baking items, the measurements can be done and noted down in a notepad. On D-day, you should plan your cooking based on the menu. The dishes that take longer, usually soup and braised or stew, are to be prepared first, followed by those that take less time. The baking and sweets preparation is done in the end.
We recommend including some of the following most loved dishes in your New Year feast, like chicken dumplings, grilled sesame chicken, dragon shrimp boat, and stew tulang merah. Add more flavour into your dishes by using Hellmann’s Roasted Sesame as a chicken marinade and Knorr cube to elevate the taste. Don’t forget, always keep a spoon handy and taste your cooking along the way.
4. Serve the Dishes Warm to Enhance their Flavours
Warm dishes will create a better enjoyment. So, it is suggested to preheat the oven or grill fully before reheating the dishes. The food should be reheated until it is steaming hot and served immediately. Moreover, the plates and bowls can be placed in the oven at 40 degrees Celsius, so they are warm when plating the main dishes.
The food can be stirred while reheating to ensure even heating. For soups, it is better to reheat them in a pot on the stovetop instead of in an oven. While for dishes with cheese, they should be heated immediately before serving. Another tip: pots with lids are great for keeping the food warm after serving.
5. Indulge your Sweet Tooth with Delicious Cookies and Tea
This is the ‘sweetest’ part of the dinner. A combination of traditional and modern cookies can be selected as part of the festival. Pineapple tart and sesame cookie ball are some traditional options for the Chinese New Year. However, if you want to give it a modern touch, orange-infused cupcakes and peanut butter cheesekut are the best choices. Also, for better taste, you may add Hellmann’s and Lady’s Choice as a dressing or spread. Cookies generally make a good combination with hot tea, so you can opt for lime and Assam boi tea. Moreover, a refresher green tea cooler also works very nicely for this festive season.
We hope that our step-by-step guide to preparing an unforgettable feast for this Chinese New Year will help you set up a perfect celebration for your family. Wishing you a successful time in the kitchen with the hope that the Year of the Tiger will bring you health, happiness, and prosperity. Gong Xi Fa Cai!