1 Always serve fish
Fish is always served at a Chinese New Year meal as it is an auspicious dish. Fish is pronounced 'yu' in Chinese, which sounds like the word for 'plenty' – so serving fish is a way of wishing your guests a plentiful year!
2 Plan in advance
Creating a Chinese menu and time plan is a great way to stay organised when cooking for a large party. Keep the menu fairly simple, offering a variety of dishes that are tasty but can be made speedily. Plan out all elements of your cooking, allowing you enough time to mingle with your friends and enjoy the party too.
3 Preparation is key
When hosting a dinner party, I always do as much preparation in advance as I can. I try to marinate my meat the day before the party, which not only frees up time but also adds more depth of flavour. You could also cut your vegetables a couple of hours before you start cooking and store them in the fridge to keep them fresh. Preparation doesn't necessarily have to be time-consuming; it could be as easy as removing Amoy Straight to Wok Noodles from their packets before you start cooking.
4 Serve everything at once
Asian main meals tend to be several dishes served all at once. The easiest way to ensure everything arrives on the table piping hot is to cook them in advance and keep them warm in the oven or steamer. Make sure the heat isn't too hot, and cover meats in tin-foil to stop them drying out.
5 The key to the perfect rice
Cooking rice in stock is a great way to add flavour with very little work. When I serve my rice, I tend to top it with black and white toasted sesame seeds or sliced spring onions for a pop of colour. A really quick and easy way to add depth of flavour is to pour in a reduced fat soy sauce after fluffing.
6 Decorate with red and gold
Red and gold are key colours in traditional Chinese New Year – red symbolises luck, while gold represents wealth. Bring the tradition into the modern day by using red and gold napkins and tablecloths, and decorating your room with bright lanterns and streamers. Read more on goodhousekeeping.