Chinese New Year is no doubt one of the most hectic months of the year, especially if you are the appointed one to take charge of all the preparations. The lunar festivity is meant for fun and lots of time with the family, so would it not be nice to lessen any burden you have with some tips and hacks?
When it comes to prepping the menu, there is so much you can do to make your lives easier. And we can assure you that with these steps, you will have a mistake-proof Chinese New Year; food hacks really save our lives.
Here are some Chinese New Year 2016 Food Hacks You Need To Know Now.
#1 AVOID CHINATOWN FOR FOOD SHOPPING
If you cannot stand crowds, that is.
Chinatown during the Chinese New Year period might be fun and bustling, and discounts might be splendid. But crowds can be such a turn-off; we say go to a neighbourhood bazaar (there are tons every year and everywhere) instead to grab your decor and snacks and whatnot, instead of elbowing your way through and being elbowed at Chinatown.
#2 BUY GROCERIES ONLINE TO AVOID CROWDS
With platforms such as Redmart, you can even do some last minute shopping online and have it delivered right to your doorstep.
That is one big step already checked off your list. Speaking about convenience and laziness!
#3 RESTAURANT FOOD DELIVERY
If you are lazy to cook at home, why not get food delivery for your Chinese New Year dinner? And no, we are not talking about the ubiquitous pizza and fast food delivery.
Deliveroo has completely reinvented the idea by offering food delivery from top restaurants and cafes – all at a flat rate of S$3 per delivery. Readers of ladyironchef can use the promo code “LICROO” to get S$20 off your first order on Deliveroo.
#4 DIY VARIOUS SNACKS
If you are a fan of adding personal touches to the food you serve, try making your own simple and quick snacks for sharing. Recipes are aplenty online and are easy to find.
Want to showcase more creativity? Make use of CNY-related goodies and jazz them up. Pineapple tarts smoothie and bak kwa (BBQ-ed pork jerky) sandwich, anyone?
For the former, simply dunk a few pieces of pineapple tarts into the blender, add some milk or water, and have them blended into a drink. Sounds farfetched but you will be delightfully surprised by the taste.
The latter is our favourite thing to do. We would sit bak kwa slices atop our favourite breads (focaccia works well!), then sprinkle cheddar, and pop them in the microwave. Cheesy steak sandwiches reinvented and made better with bak kwa!
#5 FUN & CONVENIENT COMMUNAL HOT POT
Instead of thinking of a million recipes to make a buffet or dinner spread, why not do a hotpot instead? This is your ticket to a fool-proof meal plan!
After all, Chinese New Year is all about bringing families together for a reunion, and enjoying time together. Hotpot is the best way to interact, and communal dining is such a quintessential Chinese thing to do! Just remember to refer to point #2 when you do your grocery shopping.
#6 KNOW THE “LUCKY FOODS” BEFORE PREPARATION
This lunar festival is largely about prosperity and anything lucky. From decors to colours, foods to words, anything symbollic and auspicious will be very warmly welcomed.
Do your research well and proper, list down all the possible “lucky foods” you can include in your menu planning, and have this list with you when you do your grocery shopping.
This sounds so minute, but take it from us that your folks will be pleased by your effort.
#7 MAKE PRETTY & EASY SOFT DRINK POPSICLES
Instead of serving soft drinks in cans (which is just plain boring and we are all sick of such convenience by now), offer your guests soft drink popsicles instead!
They don’t take much effort – just overnight freezing – and they are so pretty. We are pretty sure the kids in your family will be so happy too.
Pimp your popsicles up and give it a lunar touch. Throw in pineapple chunks and mandarin slices. You can even use rose syrup for red-coloured popsicles; the redder the better for CNY!
When in doubt, refer to point #5.
About the writer:
Cheryl is a staff writer for ladyironchef. She loves a good steak and an even better cuppa. She eats just about anything and everything. In her free time, she regularly starts on sci-fi or fantasy movie marathons.