Ring in Lunar New Year 2022 with these auspicious seafood for a smoother ride ahead.
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Abalone is associated as a food item usually reserved for Lunar New Year because of its price and significance. Abalone is pronounced as bao yu (鲍鱼) in Cantonese and Mandarin, which sounds like "assurance" and “surplus" respectively. Combine the words, and you get a rough pronunciation of “assurance of surplus”.
Dried Scallops and Mushrooms
Dried scallops (干贝), pronounced ganbei, suggest and looks like little nuggets of gold. Mushrooms, known as dong gu in Mandarin, are associated with the Chinese idiom "dongcheng xijiu, meaning “wishes fulfilled from the east to west”. It's no wonder that these dried goods are prominently featured in auspicious (and delicious) dishes such as pencai (treasure pot filled with delicacies) and more!
The word yu (魚), meaning "fish", has the same pronunciation as the word 餘, which means "surplus", or surplus of money. While already a popular food item to have on the reunion dining table, the type of fish you get takes on different significance based on their name. That's the reason why fish species like Red Snapper, Rabbit Fish and Chinese Silver Pomfret are prone to low stocks and gasp-inducing price increase as CNY nears.
Oyster and sea moss
Hao, “oyster” in Mandarin, sounds like the word "good" or "luxury", while fa cai (referring to “sea moss” in Mandarin) sounds similar to “prosper”. In Cantonese, the oyster and sea moss come together in a dish called ho si fatt choy, which equates to a Chinese New Year greeting that means “happy events and may you strike a fortune”.
Pronounced hi shen (海参), the “shen” sounds like "sheng" which mean to “give birth,” is great for parents wanting to elevate their status to grandparents.