Marking the arrival of spring and the start of a new year, Lunar New Year is a time of celebration for many Asian cultures: Chinese, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, and South Korean are some of the largest, though many others celebrate as well. As with most holidays, food is a central part of bringing people together on Lunar New Year, with many dishes symbolizing important values and lessons: prosperity, wealth, and family, for example. Here are some popular Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean dishes that are most commonly eaten for Lunar New Year!
City Fruit aims to harvest and distribute diverse and culturally relevant fruits to our community partners as much as possible. In this year’s fruit recipe for Lunar New Year, strawberries – that can grow locally and be used as complementary plants to fruit trees – are the highlight! We no longer have fruit left over from our harvest season, so we weren’t able to use the traditional crabapples that this recipe is based on, but the recipe author says that crab apples or strawberries can be used in this recipe.
Bing Tanghulu is a sweet street-food style dessert consisting of candied fruit, either hawthorn (crabapple) or strawberries, placed on a skewer. It was a popular street food snack in Hong Kong, but has been increasingly difficult to find as street life has been more and more prohibited, as stated by the recipe author.
As City Fruit’s newest team member, I’ve taken on experimenting with fruit recipes, and this past weekend I tried to make Bing Tanghulu myself. I was looking forward to the taste of crispy, sugar-coated goodness.
Sadly, I’ve come back with some unsolved frustrations. First off, I couldn’t get the syrup to stick to my strawberries whatsoever. I dipped them multiple times and even drizzled some cooled syrup over top to try and get it to adhere, but it left me with the same outcome. (Note: I did use cane sugar instead of white sugar, which from what I understand is an OK substitute, but I am curious to see if the fruit would have turned out differently if I had used white sugar instead.) I may have just done the order of steps incorrectly which caused the texture to be less viscous and not harden over time, and I also think that I could have patted dry the strawberries a bit more before dredging them, but I’m not sure if this would have helped.
Maybe you’ll have better luck! I was admittedly pretty bummed that I didn’t get to bite into a sweet crunchy strawberry by the end of making these (the photos got me pretty excited), but I ate them nonetheless, and they were still delicious berries, this time with just a little bit of syrup coating them. If you try this recipe yourself and get the syrup to stick, feel free to send me your photos and tips !