Fish Tales: Lunar New Year, Part 2: Dried Seafood

Submitted by Gillian Chan, Public Programs Coordinator

round glass plate with steamed white radish cake and shredded yellow dried scallops on top
Steamed Chinese radish cake with dried shrimp and dried scallop (conpoy). Photo credit: Gillian Chan.Photo by Gillian Chan

While fresh seafood gets the spotlight during Lunar New Year, we also can’t forget the understated importance of dried seafood. Dried shrimp is a staple in many Chinese kitchens and is an essential ingredient in both savoury radish and taro cakes. Don’t be fooled by its small size – it’s a versatile ingredient that can be added to vegetable stir fries, steamed eggs, and more.

During Lunar New Year, radish and taro cakes symbolize growth and wealth – the Cantonese term for cake (糕) is gou, which is similar in pronunciation to high (高). Like fish, these savoury cakes are also eaten year-round, but you’ll usually see them being pushed out on dim sum carts. Although they take a while to prepare and cook, they’re well worth the effort – try it yourself or pick one up at a local Chinese bakery before the New Year!

If you’re feeling fancy, soak a dried scallop or two and shred it into small pieces. Add it to your savoury cakes and make sure to save enough to garnish!

Do you have a favourite recipe that feature dried seafood? Let us know #WhatsYourFishTale?

Resource: Made with Lau Taro Cake Recipe

Read Fish Tales: Lunar New Year, Part 3: Dessert!