We are about to celebrate the Year of the Dog this Chinese New Year.
As with every celebration, food plays a big part in the festivities.
The Reunion Dinner on Chinese New Year’s eve is the one occasion a year that all the family gathers together for a big feast.
On the menu are a variety of dishes, some are especially important as they use special ingredients that are auspicious and lucky.
A whole fish is a must as the word fish is a homonym to mean abundance and served whole signifies a good beginning and an ending for the coming year.
Here are some Chinese slow cooker recipes that you can use to create your own Chinese New Year feast.
1. Chinese braised belly pork
In the Chinese kitchen, as there usually isn’t an oven, we prefer to braise, steam and stir fry our food.
This dish is one of the most popular braised pork dishes. Using succulent belly pork, you can just put all the ingredients in a slow cooker and leave it cooking and warming.
It is a fool-proof crowd pleaser. Serve it with rice as part of a multi-dish meal.
2. Slow cooker sticky char siu roast pork
Pork features a lot in Chinese food and we have thousands of recipes for it.
You will see this char siu pork hanging in windows of Chinese Restaurants all over the world.
If you have leftovers, use the pork in fried rice or garnishing a bowl of noodles.
3. Slow cooker watercress soup
On the menu for every Cantonese meal is a big bowl of slow cooked soup.
This one uses ribs which, when slow cooked, releases the collagen which is good for your skin.
4. Lion’s head meatballs
These delicious over-sized meatballs with bak choy manes are a Shanghainese favourite.
The lion is revered as it represents power and strength.
5. Braised oyster and sea moss
This is an essential dish for the Cantonese reunion dinner.
The name in Cantonese, Ho See Fatt Choy, also means ‘good business and prosperity’.
6. Chinese tea eggs
It is customary to make tea eggs for the Chinese New Year meal as they symbolise golden nuggets.
Marbled tea eggs are eggs braised in tea, soy sauce and a mixture of spices.
It is a very simple recipe to make which results in these beautifully marbled eggs.
The braising liquid uses black tea and some aromatics. You can find them all over China and South East Asia.
7. Braised monks vegetables
On the first day of new year, the more religious will only eat vegetarian food. This dish has become a New Year’s Day dish.
It has a lot of ingredients that signifies wealth, harmony (lily buds), fertility (lotus seeds), longevity (noodles) and prosperity (sea moss).
8. Slow cooker braised honey pork ribs
You didn’t know you could make sticky ribs in a slow cooker? Now you do.
This recipe results in fall-off-the-bone slow cooked ribs flavoured with a soy reduced marinade.
9. Slow cooker lemon chicken
Lemon chicken is a dish that is quite well known and you can very easily recreate it at home with this recipe.
Hands-free cooking too as it’s done in a slow cooker.
10. Clay pot rice with cured meats
Clay pot rice is only served in the winter.
Using aromatic cured waxed meats and Chinese sausages, the result is a fragrant rice dish that goes well with the other dishes on this list.
This dish is perfect in a slow cooker as you can cook a big pot and leave it warming until dinner is ready.
11. Sour plum duck
This recipe looks and tastes delicious. It will need a large oval shaped slow cooker and not too big a duck.
Instead of cooking this in an oven as the recipe suggests, cook it in a slow cooker instead.
It results in a moist duck with a sweet sticky sauce.