This is a great time of year to take over a blog about eating in Shanghai. Chinese New Year offers tons of opportunities to eat. Even in times of despair and famine, families would pull together to put on great feasts for the Lunar New Year. Eating and having a lot available to eat is one of the central themes of this holiday. I find it interesting that even with the emphasis on eating, the polite Chinese tradition is to leave some food on your plate at the end of the meal. This tells the host that he has provided well for you. A clean plate is shameful to the host as it means he did not have enough to fill you. It is an automatic curb on stuffing yourself!
One traditional Chinese dish offers itself up as a perfect way to get kids and picky eaters ( the theme of my recent ICS TV debut) involved in a New Year activity. If you have been in China any length of time you have surely eaten a dumpling. At Chinese New Year it is a tradition for families to sit together and make jiaozi (dumplings), it is in the same spirit as your own family getting together to make Christmas cookies.
Making jiaozi is a simple, hands on project that can involve kids of all ages. The fillings, traditionally made of minced pork and veggies, can be altered to suit your family’s tastes. They are also the perfect vehicle to add finely chopped versions of veggies or tofu that your family may not be inclined to try on their own.
The internet has loads of recipes and of course, most ayis will be happy to give a live demonstration of this yummy holiday treat.
Eat Well & Have Fun