This year the lunar new year falls on 22nd of January. Before the new year, we start to celebrate on the 16th of December in the Lunar calendar which is called WEI-YA.
Most companies will organise the year-end party on that day to show their appreciation to employees. It also shows companies want to have more progress next year, therefore two of the traditional foods brought to the table are symbolised as money.
Taiwanese like to eat Gua-Bao (also called Taiwan burgers) which typically contains pork belly, pickled mustard green, coriander and peanut powder with sugar wrapped by the pocket white bun. Why we eat Gua Bao on that day do you ask? There are several reasons, one of the reasons is that Gua-Bao’s shape looks like tiger’s mouth which is eating the pork. This symbolises eating all the bad luck and welcoming new year’s luck. The other reason is that Gua-Bao also looks like a wallet, and comes with lots of ingredients, similar to a wallet holding lots of the money bringing wealth to you.
Besides Gua-Bao, we also eat Taiwanese spring rolls named Run Bing (also called popiah). The outside skin is made from wheat flour, it has to be very thin, like a piece of paper. The ingredients of Taiwanese sp
ring rolls must have fried egg strips, bean sprouts, and also peanut powder with little icing sugar and, yes, peanut powder again! It looks like a bunch of ancient banknotes wrapped in a roll, which also symbolises wealth.
Next time when you come to Taiwan, why not try Gua-Bao and Popiah in the night market.(At the bottom of the blog, there are some photos show how to make it)
How to make Gua-Bao
How to make Run Bing