Bring in the Ox: Chinese New Year 2021 treats to try
Clockwise: Modern Shanghai Roasted Chicken and Pork Platter and Seafood Hotpot; Kee Wah Chinese Tea and Bakery Panda cookies; Poon Choi
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Bring in the Ox: Chinese New Year 2021 treats to try

Kathleen A. Llemit (Philstar.com) - February 12, 2021 - 11:07am

MANILA, Philippines — Kung Hei Fat Choi!

Whether celebrating Chinese New Year 2021 at home or outside, here are some Asian delights you can try.

While we are still advised to practice precaution whenever we go out, here are some food and establishments you and your family might want to check out if ever you find yourselves out. Do take note of safety protocols, keep your distance, and always wear your mask and face shield. Don't forget your alcohol and wipes!

Try new dishes at Modern Shanghai

Modern Shanghai celebrates Chinese New Year with new dishes added to its menu.

Start with the auspicious seaweed soup, a healthy starter packed with nutrients. The Seafood Hotpot is another good started, brimming with fresh seafood such as dory fille, squid, shrimp, crabstick, squid balls and fish cake.

Enjoy assorted roasts from Roasted Crispy Pork with its crunchy skin and tender meat served with hoisin sauce; the sweet and savory Roasted  Asado Pork; and the Roasted Chicken and Pork Platter.

Modern Shanghai’s menu also features other specialties such as  Xiao Long Bao, Shanghai Mien, Birthday Noodles, Braised Beef Fillet in Black Bean Sauce, and Sweet and Sour Chicken. See @modernshanghai on Instagram and Modern Shanghai Philippines for more information.

Bite into Hong Kong's popular Chinese bakery treats

From its authentic, best-tasting pastries that originated in Hong Kong, Kee Wah Bakery offers its iconic and festive flavors.

The heritage brand in Hong Kong known for their premium and quality pastries will be available for purchase in the Philippines this Chinese New Year through Gemini Premium Label Inc.
Kee Wah Bakery started as a neighborhood grocery store in Shanghai Street in Yau Ma Tei in 1938. Since then, it has grown to a global brand with branches in Hong Kong; Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen in China; Taipei, Taiwan, and Los Angeles and San Francisco in the United States.

Kee Wah Bakery’s Chinese New Year Rice Pudding is a family recipe passed down from the founder’s mother. It comes in five variants for every household to enjoy: Original, Low Sugar, Coconut Flavor, Almond Flavor, and Red Dates Flavor. Apart from rice pudding, there are assorted snacks gift boxes that include its highly-coveted biscuits and snacks. Traditionally, assorted candies are prepared in a round tray known as the “tray of togetherness” and offered to guests. 

Meanwhile, the brand's Panda Cookies are presented in the shape of a black and white panda, a quintessential Chinese symbol.

Take a trip down memory lane with pastries that have stood the test of time. Many of the bakery's original recipes date back to 1941, including its famous Almond Biscuits, Pineapple Shortcakes, Lotus Seed Paste Mooncakes and Crispy Phoenix Eggroll with Pork Floss. The bakery’s signature Almond Biscuits are made of mung bean flour, almond pieces, eggs and butter, baked into thin slices, and sprinkled with almond, giving it a distinctive flavor and texture. Its Phoenix Rolls are baked using fineflour and butter and filled with flavors inside. They offer available variants such as Phoenix Rolls with Pork Floss, Phoenix Rolls with Sesame and Desiccated Coconut and Phoenix Rolls with Pork Floss and Seaweed.
Originated in Taiwan and adopted into the Hong Kong culinary culture, the brand's Fruit Shortcakes are sweet and spongy with a flavorful surprise inside. These are available in four fruity flavors including pineapple, pineapple with walnuts, mango and honeydew melon. 
Originating from the Tang Dynasty, these Chinese rolled-up crepes are well-loved by everyone. It’s available in six flavors: Butter, Coconut, Seaweed, Coffee, Black Sesame and Ginger. 

The bakery also offers premium Chinese tea paired with its pastries, infused with aromatic, finely-ground tea leaves. All products are produced in their Hong Kong factory and imported to the Philippines, available through the following channels: Podium Mall, Pick-a-roo, Lazada, Shopee, MetroMart, GrabMart, Facebook and Instagram.

Create this authentic dish of Poon Choi

Being stuck at home and missing the dragon and lion dances is not that bad. The next best way to celebrate the Chinese New Year is being at home with family over scrumptious Chinese dishes. Of course, the usual pancit, dumplings, and tikoy will be present, but how about trying to whip up a dish of Poon Choi?

Poon Choi, which literally translates to “casserole in a basin," is an auspicious dish found at the table of many Hong Kong-ers during Chinese New Year. The dish comprises of around 10 to 20 ingredients served in a large claypot.

Traditionally, the Poon Choi is an important element of the Walled Village culture in New Territories, Hong Kong. The dish appeared whenever there were auspicious celebrations synonymous with rituals, weddings, and festivals and is an expression of dining culture in the village.

Its origins began when the emperor of the late Song Dynasty escaped to Hong Kong and Guangdong region from the invading Moguls. When the imperial army travelled to the New Territories, villagers were eager to host them but were bound by certain limitations so they put all their best ingredients they had, cooked them and presented the dish in a large wooden basin - hence the birth of Poon Choi.

Poon Choi is highly modifiable; the ingredients are not set in stone, unless your heart is set on making a traditional version. Ingredients could be easily replaced and substituted, even a vegetarian rendition is possible.

10 Small/Medium Braised Abalone
10 Dried Oysters
10 Medium/Large Dried scallops
10 Prawns
10 Chinese Mushroom
20 pieces of Roast Pork
1/2 Roast Chicken
½ Chinese Cabbage (cut into small sizes)
½ Raddish (cut into small slices)
1 Carrot (cut into small slices)
½ Broccoli (cut into small sizes)
1 small bundle of black moss vegetable
Chicken/vegetable broth
3 tablespoon of Oyster Sauce
Some garlic and Ginger


  1. Have a pot of water, blanch the prawns until cooked. Clean the dried oysters, scallops and soak the shiitake mushrooms. Steam the 3 ingredients for about 15 minutes until the oysters are soft.
  2. Steam all the vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, raddish and carrots) for 10 minutes.
  3. Put a few tablespoons of cooking oil, sauté the ginger and garlic on the claypot and wait until it becomes fragrant. Turn off the heat and add about one bowl of chicken/vegetable broth. Add the oyster sauce and stir until the ingredients are well-combined.

Start the layering as follows:
First layer – Raddish
Second layer – Carrots
Third layer – Cabbage, dried oyster, black moss vegetable
Fourth layer – Roast chicken, roast pork, mushrooms, broccoli, prawns
Fifth layer and top layer – Abalone and dried scallops

Add the remaining broth but do not submerge the ingredients. Bring to boil under medium heat for at least 20 minutes.

Welcome the Year of the Metal Ox at Ortigas Malls

Ortigas Malls continues to make sure that this year’s celebrations are festive and safe at the same time. Greenhills Mall, Tiendesitas, Estancia and Industria are spruced up and ready to join you in welcoming the year with a bang.

To bring in abundance and prosperity in the coming year, the malls have laid out a host of activities that you can join on-site or from wherever you are through its zodiac forecasts and mall serenades.

See how you’ll fare in the Year of the Metal Ox as astrologer Maritess Allen brings you her forecast based on your Chinese animal zodiac sign. Listen as she shares her predictions on the year ahead for each sign.

Make sure to start the new year right by picking up some essentials and enjoying some Chinese delicacies at the Chinese New Year Fair in Greenhills Mall, Tiendestias and Estancia.

RELATED: LIST: Chinese dramas to binge-watch on Chinese New Year, Valentine's Day 2021

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