It has become a long standing Chinese tradition to serve a variety of foods that symbolize good luck and prosperity during the New Year’s Eve Reunion Dinner to usher in the Lunar New Year. One example is steamed fish because the Chinese word for fish 鱼(yú) sounds similar to the word 余, which means surplus or abundance. Another is whole chicken, which represents completeness or togetherness.
In the spirit of the upcoming Lunar New Year, I have prepared another pork dish of Chinese origin to add to my series of delicious Chinese New Year recipes – Peking Pork Chop (Jing Du Pork, 京都排骨). The pig is a symbol of plumpness or abundance therefore any pork dish is an auspicious symbol of prosperity. The sweetness and stickiness of the Peking style glaze respectively signify “a sweet year ahead” and “family cohesiveness”. And to top it all off, the color of the sauce is red, which is the Chinese color for celebration, prosperity, and longevity.
The tenderness and juiciness of the pork coupled with the sweet, tart and smoky taste of the sauce makes this a perfect dish to serve with steamed rice. And that is why Peking Pork Chops is one of the most popular items on the menu of Chinese restaurants today.