Eat your way lucky in the New Year
February 8th, 2013
01:15 PM ET
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While many of us were cramming our gullets on January 1 with Hoppin' John and collard greens for wealth in the New Year, many folks of Chinese descent like Chris Yeo, the chef/owner from XINO|SINO and The Straits, will be waiting to get lucky until February 10, or the first day of the Chinese New Year celebration.

Chinese New Year is a special time of year for many. "Chi fan le mei you?" or "Have you eaten yet?" is the most common greeting heard during the celebration of the Spring Festival, also known as the Chinese New Year throughout the West. Many of the traditions of Chinese New Year center around food either being cooked or eaten. To people who trace their roots back to China, the most important date in the lunar calendar is Chinese New Year – it’s a traditional time for feasting with family and friends that dates back thousands of years.

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Filed under: Asian • Chinese • Chinese New Year • Holidays


Eat well and prosper in the Year of the Dragon
January 23rd, 2012
06:00 PM ET
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Gung hay fat choy! In case you're looking for last minute advice on how to welcome the Year of the Dragon, we've rounded up our Chinese New Year-related coverage for all your celebrating needs.

But first, a quick explainer from Chef Chris Yeo on the ancient food traditions associated with the Lunar New Year.

"Chinese New Year is a special time of year for many. 'Chi fan le mei you?' or 'Have you eaten yet?' is the most common greeting heard during the celebration of the Spring Festival, also known as the Chinese New Year throughout the West. Many of the traditions of Chinese New Year center around food either being cooked or eaten. To people who trace their roots back to China, the most important date in the lunar calendar is Chinese New Year – it’s a traditional time for feasting with family and friends that dates back thousands of years.
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Filed under: Asian • Bite • Chinese • Chinese New Year • Cuisines • Holidays


The paws that refreshes – do you eat with your hands?
February 3rd, 2011
06:00 PM ET
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Yes, we're later than usual on the poll today. For one, I actually (gasp!) left my desk for lunch today in order to record a podcast for our new series (more on that soon). Actually, though, I'm attributing it more to having signed up for the 10:30 seating of chefs Eddie Huang and Tyler Kord's Chinese New Year dinner at No. 7 restaurant in Brooklyn last night.

Diners lucky enough to score a reservation (rumor had it that Jimmy Fallon's party couldn't nab an 8 p.m. table and had to abandon mission) clustered around a communal table, daintily spooning and spearing family-style cold sesame noodles, sausage dumplings and pickles onto their square white plates.

Chopsticks picked up pace, clattering as bowls of bitter butter greens, a soy-drizzled whole Dorade and obscenely silken tofu topped with century-old egg hit the table. By the time the fat-swaddled pork shoulder and eight-treasure (1. lotus seeds, 2. edamame, 3. smoked ham, 4. mushrooms and...did I mention there was also wine?...) glutinous rice-stuffed duck arrived, decorum had flapped out the window.
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Filed under: Asian • Buzz • Chinese • Chinese New Year • Cuisines • Holidays • Lunchtime Poll


Chinese dining 101: tap your tea and slurp noodles like it's your birthday
January 28th, 2011
03:45 PM ET
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No doubt you once thought that as soon as your skills were honed, you’d become the chopstick-wielding version of Edward Scissorhands, embarking on a masterful two-pronged exploration of China’s culinary culture.

Well, not quite.

Chinese dining etiquette is built on tradition, not dexterity.

We asked Lawrence Lo, founder of LHY Etiquette Consultancy Limited, to explain the enigmatic cultural origins of some common table manners, just in time for your Chinese New Year banquet.

Read the rest of "5 Chinese eating habits explained" on CNNGo.

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Filed under: Asia • Asian • Bite • Chinese • Chinese New Year • Cuisines • Etiquette • Holidays • Travel


January 3rd, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

While many of us were cramming our gullets on January 1 with Hoppin' John and collard greens for wealth in the New Year, many folks of Chinese descent like Chris Yeo, the chef/owner from XINO|SINO and The Straits, will be waiting to get lucky until the first day of the Chinese New Year celebration.

Lunar New Year is a special time of year for many. "Chi fan le mei you?" or "Have you eaten yet?" is the most common greeting heard during the celebration of the Spring Festival, also known as the Lunar New Year throughout the West. Many of the traditions of Lunar New Year center around food either being cooked or eaten. To people who trace their roots back to China, the most important date in the lunar calendar is New Year - it’s a traditional time for feasting with family and friends that dates back thousands of years.

"Lucky" foods are served through the two weeks of the Lunar New Year celebration. The Chinese like playing with words and symbols so often homonyms, or words that share the same pronunciation but have different meanings, are used. Names of dishes and/or ingredients that are served usually sound similar to words and phrases referring to wishes expressed during the Lunar New Year. Almost every dish has a symbolic meaning or name that sounds like a Chinese characters for fortune, happiness, longevity and prosperity.

The offering of food serves to bring ancestors and other beings in the other world closer to oneself. The food offerings serve as a bonding tool to bring both worlds together. To ensure good luck throughout the year, the Chinese also give a special name to each dish. For example, a dish made up of five elements of the same kind (meat or vegetables) might be called "the five blessings of the new year," referring to longevity, riches, peace, wisdom and virtue.

Five Lucky Foods for Lunar New Year: Chris Yeo
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