When it comes to Chinese New Year, there are a few things that immediately spring to mind: Family reunions, hot pot dinners, red packets (ang pao) and of course, the green light to snack non-stop.
Filled with a multitude of pastries, cookies and sweet treats galore, no Chinese New Year celebration is complete without festive goodies. Period. Time to start stocking up, but in case you don’t know where to start, here is our list of 10 Chinese New Year Snacks that every Chinese household should have in 2019.
Commonly known as rou gan or barbecued pork jerky, bak kwa is a must-have of any Lunar New Year celebration and a treat that can easily be found in most Chinese households during the festive season.
The barbecued snack stands out for its intense smoky flavours that are derived upon barbecuing the meat over charcoal and the sweet-savoury flavours that melts on the tongue.
Made of rich, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth pastry, these bite-sized delights are topped with pineapple jam and baked. Some prefer the pineapple to be encased within the buttery pastry while others prefer the two separated, but what we can all agree upon is that this delight is addictive as heck.
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No, we aren’t referring to those romantic love letters in literature. Here, we’re talking about egg roll biscuits, which are also better known as love letters.
Made using wheat flour, sugar, butter, egg and some vanilla flavouring, love letters are extremely thin, crispy biscuit sheets that symbolise good fortune for the year ahead.
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BLACK MELON SEEDS
Though not the most convenient to eat, black melon seeds are one of the most addictive goodies to snack on especially when you chatting with relatives.
The Chinese character for seed also means children in Mandarin, so black melon seeds (or any other seed) typically signifies having lots of sons and grandsons in the year ahead.
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ALMOND COOKIES (OR ANY NUT COOKIE)
As do many treats that originate from China, almond cookies (or any other nut cookies) symbolise good luck and fortune. The nut, which is often found in the centre of the cookie, represents luck while the circular pastry beneath represents coins.
Well-loved for their melt-on-your-tongue pastry and the crunchy texture of the nut atop, a container of these in your house will surely bring a smile to your guests, kids and adults alike!
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The Chinese believe that Cashew nuts would help one’s family prosper financially, as these nuts take on the shape of gold ingots from the olden days and hence represent wealth.
Packed with multiple health benefits such as boosting your immune system and lowering the risks of cardiovascular disease, it sure is easy to munch away and finish an entire bottle of cashew nuts in one sitting.
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SPICY DRIED SHRIMP ROLLS
Also known as hae bee hiam, spicy dried shrimp rolls are one of those snacks that you either love or hate. Spicy dried shrimps are wrapped in a crisp, crunchy, golden-brown crust, bringing out a good bite which then reveals an aromatic fragrance from the dried shrimps within.
Originating from Indonesia, Kueh Lapis is essentially a multi-layered steamed butter cake. Though jam-packed with tons of calories, we reckon that this sweet treat is worth the exercise after.
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A Chinese New Year favourite in both Singapore and Malaysia, kueh bangkit are also known to many as tapioca cookies or coconut cream cookies.
Made with tapioca flour and coconut cream, these cookies are light, airy, smooth and so addictive.
Sometimes directly translated to ‘Chinese New Year’s Cake’, nian gao is a glutinous rice cake and is a popular gift during the Lunar New Year due to its significance and meaning behind.
In Mandarin, the Chinese word nián is identical in sound to “year”, while the word ‘gao’ is identical in sound to “tall”. As such, eating nian gao symbolises raising oneself to greater heights year after year.