cny 2021 ang pow rate and other fun facts

Chinese New Year 2021: Food, Fun Facts & FAQs

CNY Celebrations — The Feasts

Family reunions on the eve of Chinese New Year (11 February 2021 this year) usually include delicacies that were traditionally a rare treat for the common man. Ingredients like abalone, fish and the fat choy black moss, chosen for their auspicious-sounding names, make their way into decadent dishes like yu sheng and pen cai.

For most Singaporeans, yu sheng (鱼生) or yusang in Cantonese, needs no introduction. It’s a must-have for the traditional lo hei that starts any feast. This communal Chinese New Year ritual sees everyone, armed with chopsticks, tossing the separately placed ingredients in this raw fish and vegetable salad as high into the air as possible. While the dish name itself is means raw fish, more restaurants now offer alternatives in the form of smoked salmon, abalone and—a new trend in yu sheng this year—lobster.

Golden Treasure Pot with Abalone ($298) is Soup Restaurant’s pen cai offering. (Orders close 28 Feb 2021)

Pen cai (盆菜), also known as poon choi or poon choy, is a braised dish brimming with luxurious ingredients carefully layered in a large pot. This one-pot dish doesn’t have a fixed list of ingredients so chefs can get creative with the mix, but it is usually a large dish (“pen” means “basin”) that’s a treasure trove of seafood such as king prawns, abalone and scallop (conpoy). Chinese mushrooms and broccoli are also common.

Check out Dian Xiao Er‘s special CNY Eve 2021 packages, starting from $66.80

Reunion sets or prosperity bundles are for those who want a bit of everything during Chinese New Year. These family-sized set meals usually include yusheng and pencai, and a variety of dishes such as roast duck, suckling pig, and salted vegetable duck soup (kiam chye ark). The best restaurants in Singapore offer different menus, and for a varying number of people from 2pax to 10 or more.

Choose your own mains and dessert with Thank Goodness It’s Niu Year’s 8-Course Prosperity set ($488). (Order by 28 Feb 2021)
AMICI’s Treasure Box ($128) is a six-course reunion dinner set to wow one and all. (Orders close 28 Feb 2021)

Steamboat is a traditional family reunion meal during Chinese New Year. The queues at hotpot hotspots like Haidilao and Beauty in the Pot are already endless, but thankfully both of these popular Singapore hotpot restaurants deliver, so you can have a steamboat buffet right at home!

Beauty in the Pot offers twin soup home delivery sets and special CNY sets
oddle cny 2021 tong xin ru yi hotpot
Tong Xin Ru Yi Traditional Hotpot

Skip the prep work of slicing up all those steamboat ingredients this year and order from the many hotpot delivery and shabu shabu delivery restaurants on Oddle Eats! Tong Xin Ru Yi Traditional Hotpot prides itself on slow-cooked soup bases, which will get a nod of approval from the sternest of mums.

There’s a plethora of choices for CNY meals, so if you need help narrowing down what to order for your reunion dinner at home, start with these Fantastic Feasts and Where to Find Them. Or jump on Oddle Eats’ extensive listing of CNY 2021 restaurants offering orders for home delivery or self-pickups.

Q. Quick, help me out! What are the yu sheng sayings for the lo hei toss?

As you can probably tell, the Chinese are big on propitious puns, and the Lo Hei is swimming with wordplays of well-wishes. Lo hei (捞起), which is Cantonese for “toss up”, is a boisterous, messy food ritual more popular in Singapore than in other parts of the Chinese world.

oddle cny 2021 yu sheng tossing in lo hei

Have the following list bookmarked so you know all the right blessings to pronounce as ingredients are added to the yu sheng at your next lo hei!

1. Raw fish (or abalone)
年年有余 nián nián yǒu yú
Abundance, year after year

2. Pomelo
大吉大利 dà jí dà lì
Extremely lucky and great prosperity

3. Five spice powder and pepper powder
招财进宝 zhāo cái jìn bǎo
Usher in luck and fortune

4. Oil
财源广进 cái yuán guǎng jìn
Vast amounts of wealth and fortune

5. Shredded carrot
鸿运当头 hóng yùn dāng tóu
May you be extremely lucky this year

6. Shredded green radish
青春常驻 qīng chūn cháng zhù
A wish for eternal youth

7. Shredded white radish
风生水起,步步高升 fēng shēng shuǐ qǐ, bù bù gāo shēng
Swift progress and promotion

8. Sesame seeds & crushed peanuts
金银满屋,生意兴隆 jīn yín mǎn wū, shēng yì xīng lóng
Incoming wealth and booming business

9. Golden pillow crackers (a personal favourite)
遍地黄金 biàn dì huáng jīn
Gold everywhere

10. Plum sauce
甜甜蜜蜜 tián tián mì mì
A sweet life—and relationships

11. Lo! Let the tossing begin!
Everyone’s favourite part: Mixing the salad by tossing everything up high while shouting “Huat ah!” It’s said that the higher you toss, the luckier you will be in the new year. (Although I’m not sure what getting radish and carrot in your hair means though.)

Check out Chinese New Year menus on Oddle Eats for your at-home festivities!


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