Khok: So lucky

Ober Khok

IN A few days we will have a new chapter. The year 2020 is coming soon.

Everybody wants to have a lucky new start. There are many ways dictated by tradition on how to attract luck in the new year. From having a new haircut or buying round fruits to avoiding sweeping the floor on the new day, people will keep trying their luck at, well, being lucky in the new year.

I have not heard of testimonies regarding the effects of these traditions. But year in and year out, people just want to be lucky. And start the year with on a lucky foot. No, not rabbit foot.

There is a formula set by the ancients on how to be lucky. Let’s start the year on lucky food. I want all of you to be lucky, so hear me out. The Chinese have a set of lucky food that should be on the table.

FISH. The Chinese word for fish sounds like the word “surplus.” And so to have fish on the table is equal to having surplus of anything in the new year. Serve steamed fish: Lay the fish on a bed of scallions and ginger. Add soy sauce and steam till done. You can also serve sweet and sour fish or fish with salted black beans.

DUMPLINGS. Buy freshly steamed dumplings from your favorite Chinese restaurant. The Chinese word for dumpling sounds like silver. You want silver, unless you are a SEA Games athlete.

SPRING ROLLS. You can buy ready-made spring rolls or make your own spring rolls or lumpia. Stuff your lumpia with cabbage, ground meat and shrimps or ground pork with carrots. Do not scrimp on the ingredients. You want to be lucky, don’t you?

GLUTINOUS RICE CAKES. You can buy these sticky rice cakes to grace your festive table. However, you can add a Filipino touch with kutsinta (steamed rice flour batter), palitaw (boiled sticky rice tongues served with shaved coconut) and biko (sweet sticky rice cake).

SWEET RICE BALLS. You can make your version of this soupy sweet dessert with bilo-bilo (glutinous rice formed into tiny balls) and dropped into sweetened coconut milk.

NOODLES. This is no-brainer. Serve any kind of noodle you want. Just make sure it is rich and tasty. The longer the noodles, the better your luck and long life will be.

FRUIT. Here we go again with round fruits. All Filipinos are familiar with round fruits. The yearly formula is to collect 12 kinds of round fruits. From what I read on various websites, the fruits in question have to be, yes, round but they have to be golden in color. Tangerines, oranges and pomelos are highly recommended. You want to attract luck, right? Go buy some.

This is all for now. I feel lucky enough to have maintained this column for one year. I do not need anything more for now.

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