Chinese new year 2020
Chinese new year starts on Saturday, January 25, and this is the year of the golden rat.
The chinese zodiac has five elements, earth, wood, water, fire and metal, and this year it's the year of the white metal rat.
Birth years of the Rat are 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008 and 2020.
Some famous rodents include President Kennedy, Scarlett Johansen, Prince Harry, Prince Charles, Eminem, Katy Perry, William Shakespeare, Mozart, Charlotte Bronte, Truman Capote and Mata Hari.
A mixed bag of world leaders, royalty and creative personalities!
If you want to know what the year of the Rat holds for you, here goes.
The Rat is the Chinese zodiac sign known for being inquisitive, shrewd, and resourceful. The Rat is also the first in the rotation of the 12 zodiac signs, meaning that a Rat year is a year of renewal.
So when a Rat year comes, it generally delivers new experiences with favourable outcomes for all of the signs.
The metal element aspect also indicates success, as this is the element of production. Metal is strong, determined, and resolute.
With all of these properties combined, the Chinese zodiac suggests that 2020, the year of the Metal Rat, looks to be a year that is filled with growth and accomplishments.
Those born in the Rat year are described as being cute, cautious and calm.
Rats are adaptable so they can survive everywhere.
They have acute observation, positive attitudes and flexible minds.
They are usually outgoing, cheerful and sociable in character.
They get along well with different people, so have many friends.
When faced with hardship, they show boldness and positivity.
Of course, like any other zodiac sign, Rats also have weaknesses, such as being too critical, picky and stubborn.
Concentration on one thing may be a bit difficult and they can be stubborn.
So ditch the rat race and enjoy the year of the rat.
What is Chinese New Year, but another excuse to indulge in delicious foods?
I have sweet memories of my Dad cooking his famous chicken curry and Mum drying morsels of cauliflower, carrot, cabbage and baby onions in the sun, in preparation for her famous Penang pickle.
Then there's duck, pork trotters and salted vegetable soup, crispy roast pork and noodles for longevity.
For afters, lovingly prepared pineapple tarts, rolled up, crisp "love letter" biscuits and sticky glutinous rice cakes.
Try this recipe from Australian Pork for your Chinese New Year lunch or dinner.
Crispy Chinese pork belly
1.5kg piece boneless pork belly, skin on
½ tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
1 tbsp oil
2 tsp salt
Place pork belly in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.
Refresh under cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Using a skewer or fork, poke the pork rind all over. The more densely you cover the rind with prick holes, the crispier the pork.
Turn the piece of pork over and make shallow cuts at about 3cm intervals across the width of the belly into the meat.
Combine the five spice powder and pepper. Turn pork to expose the meat side, and carefully rub the spice mixture all over the meat. Don’t allow the spices to touch the rind. Place meat skin side up onto a cake rack resting over a tray and place pork uncovered in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours to allow the pork skin to dry out.
Wrap bottom half of pork in foil, leaving the pork rind exposed on top, but ensuring the sides of the meat are covered and protected whilst cooking. Rub the oil and salt into the pork skin.
Place the pork, in a preheated oven of 220C and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the skin is golden and crunchy. Reduce oven temperature to 180C and continue to roast for a further 40 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow pork to rest for 5 minutes before cutting. To serve, turn skin side down on a chopping board and chop through the 3cm wide strips. Cut each strip into 1½ cm slices and arrange on a serving plate.
For more recipes, check out www.pork.com.au