In traditional Chinese culture, fish has a symbolic significance because the Chinese word for fish, 鱼 yú, sounds like the word for riches or abundance, 余 yú, and it is believed that eating fish will help your wishes come true in the year to come. So having a good fish soup or steamed fish is a must for most Chinese families.
In China, a fish served whole is a symbol of prosperity.
The sight of a whole fish dish with the head pointing at you at a dinner party may not be something you are used to, but in fact, at a banquet, it is customary to serve a whole fish last, pointed toward the guest of honor.
Here is a fish soup recipe for Chinese New Year that is very flavorful:
- Red beans 2 oz
- Carp (or other fish) 1 lb
- Two carrots
- Spring onion
- Ginger 1/2 oz, salt, coriander
- Star anise
- Prickly ash or peppercorns
- Soak the red beans for one hour.
- Clean the fish.
- Heat the oil, and once it is hot, add the prickly ash or peppercorns until they are charred black, then scoop them out and throw away. This gives the oil a fragrant smell. Now, put the fish into the oil, and fry both sides.
- Add water to a pot and bring to a boil, then put the fried fish and red beans into the pot.
- Add the ginger, spring onion, and also a piece of star anise. After it comes to a boil, turn the heat to low and simmer till the red beans are soft.
- Garnish with chopped fresh coriander to taste.
Check out our Chinese New Year Festival and Party Guide for more recipes!
Recipe from Jenny Wu