In ancient China, there were 24 seasons, or solar terms. Each one corresponds to a particular astronomical event, and is used as important guideline for agricultural activities.
Even though fewer people engage in farming activities nowadays, Chinese people still use the 24 solar terms to help plan their yearly activities. Even the food eaten varies in each solar term.
铁锅炖鱼贴饼子 Stewed fish with corn bread
雷笋 Spring bamboo shoots can be turned into many dishes.
笋干炖鸡 stewed chicken with spring bamboo shoots
雷笋炒肉丝 stir-fried pork with spring bamboo shoots
油焖春笋 spring bamboo shoots simmered in oil
多味笋干 dried bamboo shoots with seasoning
黄泥拱 “protruding yellow soil” –bamboo shoots hidden in the deepest layer of soil, often the best quality bamboo shoots, and hard to find. There are maybe three to four such bamboo shoots in each mountain. They taste crunchy, slightly like pear.
咸肉蒸黄泥拱 salted pork with bamboo shoots
藜蒿炒腊肉 cured pork stir-fried with tree wormwood
香椿摊鸡蛋 eggs fried with young Chinese mahogany leaves
香椿拌豆腐 tofu with Chinese mahogany leaves
九层皮 nine-layered rice cake, made with rice, Chinese leek, dried gardenia fruits, and other seasonable vegetables, and steamed nine times.
刀鱼 Pacific saury
紫苏炒青蛳 river snails fried with perilla leaves
清煮飞鱼干 boiled dried flying fish
虾子小刀面 noodles with shrimp roe. Condiments include shrimp roe, spring onion, ginger, soy sauce, yellow wine, and pork bone soup.
玛仁糖 maren candy, made with walnuts, almonds, raisins, sesame, jujubes, and boiled in with condensed grape syrup for 4 hours
手抓饭 rice pilaf, made with mutton, rice, yellow carrots, tomatoes, and raisins
桂花糯米藕 lotus roots stuffed with glutinous rice with sweet osmanthus jam
板栗烧鸡 braised chicken with chestnuts
老鸭雁来蕈 duck stewed with red pine mushrooms
What do you eat during winter?
Everything, of course.
It’s the season for Chinese New Year, after all.
Heading home for CNY be like: