Lunar New Year Fooding 2020

Like California Adventure's other seasonal events, the Lunar New Year Celebration ties in a culinary connection to the cultures featured as part of the festivities.  That includes a Lunar New Year Marketplace with several food stands offering gourmet small dishes inspired by Chinese, Vietnames, and Korean flavors.  This is a miniature version of the park's popular Food & Wine Festival that takes place in March and April, and it broadens the exposure these cuisines to guests who may not necessarily be familiar with all of them.

Trying out each year's samples is a pastime I enjoy each year, so here are some of the items that have been offered this year!

My favorite item of the festival comes from the Red Dragon Spice Traders booth:
Firecracker Three Cup Chicken Wings
Crispy chicken wings tossed in spicy red chili pepper sauce of sesame oil, rice wine and soy sauce

Also available and pretty delectable at Red Dragon Spice Traders:
Shrimp & Ginger Dumplings
with soy reduction and Sriracha-mayonnaise
Over at Prosperity Bao and Buns:
Char Siu Pork Bao
Chinese BBQ pork, pickled red onions, jalapeño
This was unfortunately disappointing for me. The attempt to marry char siu (which wasn't that tender and lacked flavor) with a banh mi flavor of picked onions, cilantro, and jalapeño did not mix well, and the bao was mostly an allium taste.
Also at Prosperity Bao and Buns:
Mickey Chinese Hot Dog Bun
I didn't try this, but I ran into Tom Bricker of Disney Tourist Blog, who said it was disappointing.

A dessert at Prosperity Bao and Buns:
Mango-Pineapple Pastry
layers of flaky pastry filled with pineapple jelly and diced mango

At Longevity Noodle Co.:
Chicken Meatballs and Lo Mein Noodles
with cabbage salad and apple-ginger sauce
This was pretty tasty, and though it did seem like something available at a Chinese take-out, I still enjoyed it.

At the Lucky 8 Tavern:
Smoked Beef Bulgogi Short Rib
on rice cake with green onion salad
This was more successful than the Char Siu Bao, particularly because the beef had more flavor.  The onions were still strong (and I love onions!), and I felt like this lacked the punch of previous bulgogi dishes at DCA.

Finally, also at the Lucky 8 Tavern booth:
Shrimp Fried Rice
with Garlic-Bacon Edamame
Very garlic heavy and with actual bacon bits too, this was a great burst of umami mixed with savory fried rice and shrimp. Another favorite from the festival!


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