Finally, here comesSpring Festival (春节). Locals also call it Lunar New Year (农历新年), as it is determined by the Chinese lunar calendar. During the 15-day celebration, festivities erupt all over China and beyond. It is also a great time for foodies – you’ll never find Chinese dishes as delicious, multitudinous and traditional after Spring Festival.
It’s a season of feast. Let’s forget about vegetarianism for a while, and enjoy a meaty meal, with 10 most famous meat dishes from different parts of China.
1. Fried meat balls (炸丸子) from Beijing
A must-have dish for Beijingers during Spring Festival, fried meat balls can be served with spiced salt when they just come out of the fryer, or as a side dish to be stewed with rice noodles.
2. Diced pork in pot (坛子肉) from Shandong Province
You may have tried this dish in Beijing. Actually both Peking duck and diced pork in pot are originated in Shandong. Inside the humble pork, there is tantalizing streaky pork, simmered with several quail eggs or mushroom, and secret sauce.
3. Sticky rice balls with meat and lotus root (莲藕糯米圆子) from Hubei Province
A lucky food for New Year’s Eve dinner, it symbolizes the family reunion.
4. Lamb stewed in iron pot (铁锅炖羊肉) from Shannxi Province
Everyone knows Shannxi people like mutton. It takes 3-5 hours for a perfect mutton stew. You can add some dry chili pepper into it if you prefer spicy taste.
5. Pig’s feet (发财猪手) from Guangdong Province
Cantonese love pig’s feet, as they bring fortune! Therefore, pig’s feet braised in soy sauce or five spices (prickly ash, star aniseed, cinnamon, clove and fennel) is a should-not-miss lucky dish for Cantonese’s New Year Eve Dinner.
6. Four Main Courses (四大件儿) from Northeast China
The four main courses refer to chicken, fish, ribs and pig’s feet. Northeast Chinese Cuisine features large quantities of food materials and mellow taste.
7. Xinjiang Hand Grasping Mutton Chops (手抓羊肉)
A specialty food in Xinjiang, it’s also a traditional dish for Uyghur family dinner. It is usually served cold with salt or after being simmered or fried with sauce.
8. Braised streaky pork with dried vegetables (烧白扣肉) from Sichuan Province
One of the most common dishes on Chinese feast, the streaky pork is braised with soy sauce and brown sugar, with China’s specialty side dish – dry vegetables.
9. The Hakka stuffed foods (客家酿菜) from Fujian Province
Hakka people like snail delicacy. On Lunar New Year’s Eve, they make snails into a stuffed dish, mixed with chopped snails and meat, and ingredients like peppermint, corn flour, peanut oil. They are also stuffed tofu, stuffed pepper, stuffed radish, stuffed mushroom, etc. Stuffed dishes are also popular in Guilin, Guangxi.
10. Spicy pork leg (香辣肘子) from Hunan Province
It may weigh as heavy as 3kg, and is not easy to eat. But Hunan people consider this huge dish a lucky food that stands for the end of dark days and the beginning of a happy new year.