A Lobster Feast Fit for Welcoming the Dragon Year

Juggling consulting work at Lotus Blue and other freelance consulting gigs, I almost neglected my own family’s reunion dinner for Chinese New Year. But since we were entering the Chinese zodiac’s dragon year it would have been improper not to have a grand celebration to welcome it. Among the flurry of my activities I staged a sumptuous Dragon Chinese New Year banquet for a small group of family and friends.

Symbolism is important in the Chinese culture. They believe the dragon year is an auspicious one for having a baby, especially a son. In fact the Chinese population is expected to increase by 10 percent during the year. Among my extended family I’ve already received notice from three young couples that they are expecting babies during the year. Perhaps these are just coincidences but I’m tempted to think a high degree of planning was at play.

Symbolism in food is just as prevalent in Chinese culinary culture. The Chinese name for lobster is dragon prawn (龍蝦) and it is very popular to name a lobster dish with a poetic flourish. For the first hot course of the banquet I created a lobster and chicken dish with crisp garlic garnish and called it “Dragon Accompanying Phoenix in Welcoming the New Year” (龍鳳喜迎春).

So here is our Chinese New Year banquet in pictures. Best wishes to all for a prosperous and healthy New Year.

  • 新春晚宴
    Chinese New Year’s Banquet

    • Harlem USA
    • Sunday, January 22, 2012
    • 四色小涼菜
      Assorted Cold Appetizers
    • 涼拌海蜇絲 Jellyfish with Cucumbers

      糖醋蘿蔔絲 Watermelon Radish Salad

      涼拌海帶絲 Braised Kelp

      麻辣牛筋片 Beef Tendon in Sichuan Chili Oil
    • 龍鳳喜迎春
      Crisp-Fried Lobster and Chicken with Garlic
    • 野菌炒牛肉
      Stir-Fried Beef with Wild Mushrooms
    • 瑤柱冬瓜湯
      Conpoy and Winter Melon Soup
    • 挾飽紅燒肉
      Red Cooked Meat with Steamed Buns
    • 龍蝦燴海參
      Braised Lobster and Sea Cucumber
    • 金銀蛋豆苗
      Gold and Silver Eggs with Pea Shoots
    • 清蒸鮮鱸魚
      Steamed Sea Bass with Ginger and Scallion
    • 龍蝦皇炒麵
      Lobster and Yellow Chives Fried Noodles
    • 酥炸小香蕉
      Crisp-Fried Finger Bananas

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8 Comments

  1. Mark Bauman
    Posted January 31, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely spectacular. A very auspicious start to the New Year!
    Each dish a work of art.

  2. Posted January 31, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Kian – I really do not know how you do it! Great, inventive menu and photos.

  3. Ana Chiu
    Posted February 1, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Gorgeous yet again! Kian, will you post a recipe with jellyfish some time? My boyfriend and I love it, and eat it all the time at restaurants, but we can’t figure out how to make it at home. We get the jellyfish in the pouches, but when we take out the jellyfish it always smells like preservative.

    • Posted February 1, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      Sure Ana. I’ll keep this in mind for future post. I love jellyfish as well. Many of my guests often comment that I rarely not serve jellyfish at my meals. They want me to do other appetizers instead. Oh well.

  4. Christy
    Posted February 2, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Kian, as usual, a visual feast. When you get a chance, I’d love to hear more about which other of the dishes presented carry symbolic connotations.

  5. Hayley
    Posted February 4, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    I’m a Singaporean living in London and missed celebrating Lunar New Year with my folks in Singapore this year. Right now, I’m eating cereal in milk for supper … the cereal was great until I saw THIS! Wow! How did you do this? Each dish is superb and must have taken you ages to prepare AND cook. How does one cook a spread like this and still be able to spend time at the table with the diners? By the way, I love your blog … I think you’re utterly talented!

  6. Posted February 5, 2012 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    What a gorgeous way to start the year off. Incredible!

  7. Posted April 24, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Wow…. what a nice feast to start the New Year.

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