Kate's Global Kitchen
Kate Heyhoe  

Lunar New Year
and Martin Yan's Feasts

by Kate Heyhoe


The Kitchen God burns bright, rising on his paper steed through the smoke into the heavens. Firecrackers pop, dragons roar, and children dance. Families feast on Golden Lion Heads, pommelos, and kumquats. For the next few days, Asian communities welcome the Lunar New Year with feasts, reunions, colorful celebrations and the most important festival of the year, the Lantern Festival.

Martin Yan

Martin Yan

I first became acquainted with these New Year customs through Martin Yan. Most people know Martin as the affable, wok-slinging, cleaver-wielding chef of television's Yan Can Cook series. Despite his light-hearted image as a clever Chinese punster, he's one of the culinary community's most scholarly chefs, and his serious attention to the details of Asian cultures and cuisines is revealed in his most recent books, Martin Yan's Feast and Martin Yan's Asia. Martin taught me how different foods—minced vegetables, the cupping of foods in lettuce leaves, and the presentation of oranges and tangerines—are used to suggest wealth and prosperity in the New Year.

Fun Facts on Lunar New Year
Martin Yan's Asia
Martin Yan's Feast

Entertaining Asian-Style

Martin Yan Interview (1996)

Lunar New Year Handbook


Copyright © 2007, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.

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This page modified January 2007