Today, I would like to take you on a journey to see Chinese New Year goodies found in Singapore Chinatown. Living there for over 20 years and going to Chinatown in Outram Park is one of my highlights and recommendations to soak in the new year atmosphere.
Since I moved to the UK, I miss the opportunity to shop for the full range of Chinese New Year goodies. Some of these goodies can be found in UK Chinese supermarkets though so take a closer look if you get chance!
Now here are the streets in Chinatown. These goodies can only bought a month prior to Chinese New Year. All the street stalls will close after 1 – 2 am on Chinese New Year. So if you want to join in the festivities, make sure you time your travel before the New Year!
I have no idea why these varieties are only available for this limited time, like waxed salted food such as duck, sausages, ham etc. Maybe during the olden times, the only presents/gifts you can bring to visit your family and friends are preserved food. Hence the reasons of them being popular.
These are the varieties of waxed salted duck, salted ham, salted fish and Chinese sausages:
According to the seller, the waxed duck and ham have to be steamed before consuming or boil off the wax and salt in hot water. Have to be honest, I have never eaten them before therefore I can’t tell you how it tastes!
As for the Chinese sausages, they similar to Italian chorizo, but has a sweeter flavour. Simply slice them and stir fry them with rice or vegetables. They are very delicious but can be quite fattening. These are available all year round and can be found in UK supermarkets. They have different flavours like pork liver, duck liver, pork blood etc. I always prefer the lap cheong which is the normal full fat pork! They can be very greasy so don’t add too much more cooking oil!
Dried Persimmons: The persimmons are dried naturally to produce the “white powder” which has medicinal value besides the persimmon itself. As the white powder is naturally produced by itself which sounds like “Huat” and during the period of Chinese New Year, people like the sounds & belief that it will bring good health and good luck to eat them during this time. “HUAT AH” to all with good health too!
Golden Pumpkins: Again the name in Chinese sounds like golden/wealth and the Chinese use it for praying and decoration in the house.
Pork Slice: They are available all year round and they are like pork jerky except that it has been barbecued. It’s one of my favourite snacks. Whenever I am in Singapore, I will bought at least 200g each time and finish it in no time! They are sweet, chewy and delicious. They are ready to be eaten and can be kept for a couple of days. They are best consumed in room temperature rather than cold.
Melon seeds: They symbolise wealth, better health, joy, happiness, truth and sincerity.
After so much salted food, you might like to flush it down with tea. The East Indian Company has the Golden Spiral black tea from the Hubei Province which has a surprising depth of flavour with its malt and cocoa notes.
Hope you all enjoyed the journey. I would also like to say a big thanks to my uncle who helped take these photos.