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A Traditional Meal Plan for Chinese New Year 2024 Dinner in Singapore- Recipes Included - Megafurniture

A Traditional Meal Plan for Chinese New Year 2024 Dinner in Singapore- Recipes Included

As we approach the Chinese New Year 2024 in Singapore, the excitement for this festive season, also known as the Spring Festival, is slowly filling the air.  The sky will be lit with dazzling fireworks, everyone dressed in brand new outfits, and kiddos grinning ear to ear as they get those lucky red envelopes, or ‘hóngbāo'. There will soon be a sea of reds everywhere in Singapore - red decor, red clothes, etc.- and the air will be filled with joyous shouts of “Huat Ah!”

But let us get to the heart of it all! The food. Well, in Singapore, we take our festive eating very seriously. And it is the Chinese New Year's Eve dinner; everything at the table should be well-thought-out. 

So, in anticipation of the Chinese New Year 2024 in Singapore, we at Megafurniture have prepared a collection of traditional Chinese New Year dinner recipes organised as a meal plan. We’ve included what each recipe symbolises in Chinese New Year dining in honour of tradition.


Here’s the menu that we’ve curated for the CNY dinner meal: 

Appetiser: Popiah (Fresh Spring Rolls)

Main Course: Singapore-Style Steam Fish

Side Dish: Sambal Kangkong

Dessert: Ice Kacang

Let’s roll up our sleeves and prepare our trusty kitchen appliances for the big prep!

 

Appetiser For Prosperity - Popiah (Fresh Spring Rolls)

Popiah

Did you know that eating spring rolls during the Chinese New Year Dinner will bring wealth and new beginnings to your life? It’s like saying goodbye to the old and hello to a new year full of possibilities.

Now, let’s look at the Singaporean version of the spring roll - the Popiah. While its preparation differs slightly from the usual spring rolls, it still carries the same symbolism. And it’s a staple in Chinese New Year dining.

With this Popiah recipe, let’s embrace Singapore's Chinese New Year 2024 spirit. 

Recipe (Serving: 4 - 6 persons)

Ingredients: 

1. For the Filling
  • 200 grams jicama (yam bean), peeled and julienned
  • 1 medium carrot, julienned
  • 100 grams cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 100 grams of bean sprouts
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • Optional: shrimp, chicken, or tofu protein

2. For the Wraps
  • Popiah skins (available at supermarkets)
  • Lettuce leaves (optional)
  • Fresh Cilantro (optional)

3. For the Sauces
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sweet chilli sauce
  • Crushed peanuts (optional)

Instructions:

Prepare the Filling:

  • Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  • Add the garlic and onions and sauté until fragrant.
  • Add the jicama, carrot, and cabbage. Stir-fry for about 5-7 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
  • Add the bean sprouts and stir-fry for another 2 minutes.
  • Season with soy sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper.
  • Remove from heat and let the filling cool.

Assemble the Popiah:

  • Lay a Popiah skin on a clean, flat surface.
  • If using, place a lettuce leaf on the skin. This helps prevent the skin from tearing.
  • Spoon a generous amount of the filling onto the skin.
  • If desired, add optional protein (cooked shrimp, chicken, or tofu).
  • Drizzle with a little hoisin sauce and sweet chilli sauce.
  • Sprinkle with crushed peanuts if using.
  • Place some fresh cilantro on top for added flavour.

Roll the Popiah:

  • Fold the sides of the Popiah skin inward.
  • Then, roll the wrapper tightly around the filling, similar to a burrito.
  • Serve.

Main Course of Abundance - Singapore-Style Steamed Fish

Singapore-Style Steamed Fish

How do we invite abundance with a Chinese New Year dinner recipe? In the Singaporean culinary traditions, serving the local fish pomfret, seasoned with ginger and soy sauce as the main course during the Chinese New Year dinner represents a wish for abundance in 2024. Mainly because the word fish, "鱼" (yú), sounds like the word surplus or abundance.


Let’s celebrate Chinese New Year 2024 in Singapore with our Singapore-style steamed fish recipe. 

Recipe (Serving: 2-4 persons)

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole pomfret fish, cleaned and scaled (about 500-600 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce (optional for added flavour)
  • 1-inch ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 stalks green onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 red chillies, thinly sliced (optional for a spicy kick)
  • A few sprigs of fresh cilantro for garnish
  • Salt, to taste
  • A dash of white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil

Instructions:

Prepare the Fish:

  • Rinse the pomfret thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Make 2-3 diagonal cuts on each side of the fish. This helps it to cook evenly and absorb flavours.
  • Season the fish with salt and white pepper inside the cuts and cavity.

Marinate:

  • In a small bowl, mix the light soy sauce and oyster sauce.
  • Brush this mixture over both sides of the fish, ensuring it gets into the cuts and cavity.
  • Let the fish marinate for about 15-20 minutes.

Prepare the Steamer:

  • Fill a wok or a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. You need enough water to steam the fish for about 10-12 minutes without the water touching the fish.
  • Place a steaming rack or a plate holder in the wok or pot.

Steam the Fish:

  • Place the fish on a heatproof plate.
  • Carefully place the plate in the steamer, cover it, and steam it for 10-12 minutes or until the fish is cooked. The eyes should be white, and the flesh should easily flake when tested with a fork.

Garnish and Serve:

  • While the fish is steaming, prepare the garnish. In a small pan, heat the sesame oil and gently fry the ginger and garlic until fragrant.
  • Once the fish is done, carefully remove it from the steamer.
  • Immediately top it with the fried ginger, garlic, fresh green onions, and red chillies.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!

Side Dish Of Life’s Richness and Diversity - Sambal Kangkong

Sambal Kangkong

This dish may not have a specific symbolism for the Chinese New Year. Still, its spiciness and bold flavours can equal life’s richness and diversity in experiences. The kangkong’s green leaves symbolise a long, healthy, peaceful family life in Chinese.


Here’s a Sambal Kangkong recipe for your CNY Eve dinner.

Recipe (Serving: 2-3 persons)

Ingredients:

For the Sambal Paste

  • 3-4 red chillies, deseeded (adjust according to your spice tolerance)
  • 2-3 bird's eye chillies (optional for extra heat)
  • 3 shallots, peeled
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • A small piece of shrimp paste (belacan), about 1 teaspoon (optional, but it adds authentic flavour)

For the Dish

  • 300g kangkong (water spinach), washed and cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Salt to taste

Instructions:

Prepare the Sambal Paste:

  • In a blender or mortar and pestle, grind the red chillies, bird's eye chillies, shallots, garlic, and shrimp paste into a fine paste. You can add a little water to help blend, if necessary.

Cook the Sambal Paste:

  • Heat the oil over medium heat.
  • Add the sambal paste to the pan. Stir-fry it until it's aromatic and the oil separates from the paste. This might take around 5-7 minutes. Be careful not to burn the paste.

Add the Kangkong:

  • Increase the heat to high, then add the kangkong to the pan.
  • Stir-fry quickly for about 2-3 minutes. The kangkong should be bright green and crisp.

Season the Dish:

  • Add sugar and salt to taste. Mix well.
  • Serve immediately with a bowl of steamed rice or as a side to other dishes.

The Dessert of Sweetness and Prosperity - Ice Kacang

Ice Kacang

Round off your Chinese New Year's Eve Dinner with the ever-famous Singaporean dessert - the Ice Kacang. If you want sweetness and prosperity for the coming year, give this dessert a go. 


Here’s a simple Ice Kacang recipe for your Chinese New Year Dinner treat!

Recipe (Serving: 2-3 persons)


Ingredients:

For the Ice

  • Shaved ice (enough to fill 2-3 bowls)
  • A home ice shaver or a blender capable of crushing ice

For the Toppings

  • Red beans (azuki beans), cooked and sweetened
  • Sweet corn, cooked
  • Grass jelly (cincau), cut into small cubes
  • Palm seeds (attap chee)
  • Agar-agar jelly, cut into small cubes (optional)
  • Nata de coco (coconut jelly) (optional)

For the Syrups

  • Gula Melaka syrup (palm sugar syrup) or brown sugar syrup
  • Rose syrup or red syrup
  • Condensed milk or evaporated milk

Additional Toppings (Optional)

  • Durian flesh or durian ice cream
  • Mango cubes or other tropical fruits
  • Ice cream scoop (any flavour, typically vanilla)

Instructions:

Prepare the Toppings:

  • Ensure all your toppings, like red beans, sweet corn, grass jelly, palm seeds, agar-agar jelly, and nata de coco, are prepared and set aside. These can typically be bought pre-cooked or pre-made from Asian grocery stores.

Shave the Ice:

  • Use an ice shaver or a blender to crush ice into a fine, snow-like consistency. Be careful not to over-blend it into a slush.

Assemble the Ice Kacang:

  • Add a layer of your chosen toppings (red beans, sweet corn, grass jelly, etc.) in a bowl.
  • Pile the shaved ice on top of the toppings to form a mound.
  • Drizzle the Gula Melaka syrup and rose syrup over the ice. You can adjust the amount of syrup to your sweetness preference.
  • Optionally, top with a condensed or evaporated milk drizzle for creamy richness.

Add Final Toppings:

  • Add toppings such as durian, mango, or a scoop of ice cream on top of the ice mound.
  • Serve

We hope these Chinese New Year dinner recipes add joy to your CNY 2024 celebrations in Singapore.


We’ve also had other traditional recipes for you to check out in case you wish to add some more food to your CNY dinner menu:


Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe

Singapore Chili Crab


Happy Lunar Year and happy cooking!

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