Auspicious fish, veggies and Mandarin oranges for CNY from FairPrice
The supermarket chain offers a range of CNY staples to choose from
Certain foods are staples in any traditional Chinese New Year meal.
But if you are pressed for time and unsure of what to prepare in the face of ever-increasing choices, turn to FairPrice, the ideal place to purchase food items for a traditional CNY meal.
Here are the local supermarket chain's auspicious recommendations to tide you over the festive season.
The Chinese love to buy fish during the New Year, because the word for fish in Mandarin is 'yu', which sounds similar to the word 'surplus'.
This means that eating fish is wishing for good fortune and prosperity in the coming year.
Rabbit fish is believed to symbolise abundance and good luck.
For only a few days in a year, this delicious seasonal delicacy sold in local markets have stomachs full of creamy roe, or milt, and eating it is a sign of prosperity.
The rabbit fish is also easy to prepare. The recommended cooking method is to simply steam it with sliced ginger and season with light soy sauce and hua diao wine.
Next up is the pomfret, of which there are three different kinds - Golden, White (also known as Silver) and Black.
The Golden Pomfret's fins are gold and its skin silver. Its flesh is firm and it can be filleted and sliced for stir-frying or added into porridge for a nice combination of textures.
The White Pomfret's fins and skin are silver. It is bigger in size as compared with other pomfret and is usually the go-to for Chinese families.
Its flesh is delicate and soft with a sweet taste.
Versatile cooking methods can be used, including deep-frying or steaming with ginger and light seasoning to bring out the freshness and sweetness of the fish.
The Black Pomfret is greyish in colour and fresh ones can come with a very distinct fragrance.
They are usually deep-fried and paired with savoury sauces like black bean and chilli.
Don't forget the Red Grouper too, which is slightly bigger than the rabbit fish and pomfret and thus good for banquets.
Its flesh is thicker and has a firm texture. It is low in calories and sodium, and rich in vitamin D, which helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, keeping bones, teeth and muscles healthy. It can be steamed or pan-fried.
Health is wealth, and what's more healthy than auspicious vegetables to eat this Chinese New Year!
Usher in good luck with shredded carrot, which adds vibrancy to a dish.
Rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre, carrots are a good source of antioxidants and help improve vision.
They are an essential ingredient in yusheng, and FairPrice has them clean, fresh and conveniently packed for all your lo hei needs.
Gain an abundance in fortune with fresh leek with red bulb, and these greens are associated with wealth and fortune.
Available only between January and February, it tastes sweeter and mellower than the typical leek and onion, and pairs well with wax meat and is good for stir-frys.
Garlic symbolises an abundance of fortune. In Mandarin, it is called "suan", which sounds similar to "counting".
Black garlic is made from top grade fresh garlic using heat treatment, with nothing else added.
Through the natural fermentation process, the garlic turns from white to pure black, which intensifies its nutritional value and benefits, such as reducing blood pressure, improving brain function and promoting longevity.
Black garlic also removes three of the less desirable effects of eating normal garlic - no bad breath, no sharp taste and no heartburn.
It is a versatile ingredient and can be cooked in both sweet and savoury dishes such as braised pork trotters.
On the other hand, braided garlic is regular garlic specially packed during Chinese New Year. It can be cooked and consumed for good luck, or double up as ornamental decorative pieces (hang a pair on your door at home and in the office) symbolising wealth and good fortune for the year ahead.
Meanwhile, enhance your energy with the mushroom Cordyceps Militaris, which supports healthy energy and stamina levels, and boosts endurance through the increase of lung capacity oxygen uptake.
It is commonly used in herbal soups, but can also be used for stir-frys.
Lastly, bring in prosperity with Baby Golden Cabbage.
Cabbage is often seen as a symbol of wealth and prosperity, with its shape resembling that of an ingot.
The Baby Golden Cabbage is sweeter than normal cabbages, rich in vitamin C and improves digestion.
It can be added into steamboats, stir-frys or braised dishes with other ingredients to make pen cai.
The Chinese New Year tradition of exchanging Mandarin oranges with family and friends is a sign of respect for your loved ones, so put in effort to pick out the perfect ones.
The Lukan oranges from China taste sweet and juicy, with a smooth skin and slightly plump look, which is a sign of abundance.
The Ponkan oranges from Taiwan are mostly sweet and the most popular choice during Chinese New Year. They are perfect for gifting due to their larger size and are characterised by their puffy and smooth skin.
The Jiaokan oranges from China are identified by their rough and glossy skin. They may be less sweet, but can be stored longer if you are staggering your visiting days.
Lastly, the Kinnow oranges from Pakistan have smooth and glossy skin, and taste sweet and flavourful.
All Mandarin oranges should be stored in a cool and dry place, and are best eaten when refrigerated.