Happy Chinese New Year! May your year be filled with good health, prosperity and happiness! The Chinese Lunar New Year began on February 10th and marks the Year of the Snake for 2013. My family treats Chinese New Year like its Christmas or Thanksgiving because it is a major Chinese holiday. There are so many traditions (and superstitions) for celebrating Chinese New Year and every family chooses different things to eat and do during the holiday. Of course, my family’s biggest traditions are the foods and “lai see” which are red envelopes containing money for luck.
I went to a Chinese New Year dinner banquet and ate so much food! There was a lion dance and singing at this banquet, but the best part is spending time with family. Thank you to my family for allowing me to take pictures before we ate, I know how hard it is to not dig in right away haha!
Here is the 10 course meal we had at New Fortune Restaurant in Gaithersburg, Maryland. If you are a DMV local, they have decent dim sum too!
1. Cold Appetizer Platter with Cuttlefish, Beef Shank, Cold Sliced Pork and Jellyfish – this is a typical first course and is always a family favorite.
2. Fried Shrimp Balls – these were not the usual crab claws I’m used to be they were good.
3. Mushroom Soup with Bamboo Shoots – I usually add just a dash of vinegar to Chinese soups.
4. Braised Pork - I think this was pig feet and it is NOT my favorite haha.
5. Lobster with Ginger & Scallion – I am pretty sure these were frozen lobsters and fresh are always better in my opinion.
6. Abalone, Mushroom w/Mustard Greens – abalone is a Chinese delicacy in case you didn’t know.
7. Steamed Chicken – I always go for the white meat and top it with the ginger-scallion dipping sauce.
8. Young Chow Fried Rice – with char siu (barbeque pork), shrimp, peas, and eggs.
9. Baked Sea Bass – the fish was really good, light and flaky with a delicious soy sauce.
10. Almond Cookies and Almond Jello – these were the desserts; I haven’t had almond cookies in so long!
P.S. Here are the condiments on our table from left to right – Chinese hot chili paste, ginger-scallion sauce, and Chinese red rice vinegar.