Chinese New Year is just right around the corner, so our good friends from China and other communities will be busy in the following days.
There has been a celebration of Chinese New Year known worldwide as the Spring Festival for thousands of years when it is the most solemn festival of the year for every Chinese. It has also been celebrated in various ways across China's diverse regions for thousands of years.
In Chinese culture, the New Year celebrates the removal of the bad and the old and welcoming of the new and the good. It is when ancestors are worshipped, evil spirits are exorcised, and a good harvest is prayed for during this time. It is also celebrated outside China by Chinese communities. Many wealthy and colorful activities are associated with it today, such as lion dances, dragon dances, temple fairs, flower market shopping, etc.
Undoubtedly, one of the most solemn activities during Chinese New Year is the meal with family consumed during the celebration of the New Year. Foods and Drinks are a vital part of the celebration, and family members gather around a large table and have a New Year's Eve dinner called Nian Ye Fan. It is essential to remember that the food they serve all has some significance in their life. They can be a bonding tool for the family, to bring fortune and wealth, or even for good fortune and prosperity.
If you’re celebrating the upcoming Chinese New Year and don’t know what you can serve at the table, here are fifteen easy recipes that will bring Good Luck & Prosperity to you and your family.
Chinese families usually gather together for the new year to make many dumplings. A round wrapper symbolizes unity and togetherness, while the crescent shape of the finished dumpling resembles the shape of a nugget, China's old currency, so it is also a symbol of prosperity that the dumpling represents. It is common in northern China for families and friends to hold dumpling-eating contests. According to superstition, whoever eats the most dumplings on New Year's Eve will be the most prosperous in the coming year.
Get the recipe here: Pork Potstickers Recipe | EatingWell
Spicy Pork & Vegetable Noodles
The Chinese New Year meal wouldn't be complete without the simple pleasure of noodles, which symbolize a long and happy life. These slightly thick noodles have the springy firmness that makes them perfect for eating on their own or in conjunction with other dishes in a multicourse meal to soak up sauces. While cooking or serving is considered bad luck, ensure they are served as long as possible.
Get the recipe here: Spicy Pork & Vegetable Lo Mein Recipe | EatingWell
Red-Cooked Tofu with Mushroom
It is common for many families to consume an all-vegetarian meal on the first day of the Lunar New Year, which follows Buddhist traditions that the first day of the new year is to cleanse the body and spirit and refrain from killing animals. The braised tofu and mushroom dish is a dish that will make you want to go back for seconds and thirds. The red-braising technique imparts a complex combination of savory, sweet, and earthy flavors to this dish.
Get the recipe here: recipe: red-cooked tofu with mushrooms - briciole (pulcetta.com)
Lion’s Head Meatballs
The giant meatballs and vegetables represent the heads and manes of lions. The lion symbolizes strength and power in Chinese culture, making them perfect for a centerpiece dish. Make sure you have plenty of rice or noodles to soak up all the beautiful braising liquid.
Get the recipe here: Lion’s Head Meatballs: Authentic Chinese Recipe - The Woks of Life
Black Bean Garlic Fish
A Chinese New Year celebration usually includes fish on the table. It is considered a symbol of abundance in the new year since the Chinese word for fish (yu) is a homonym of the Chinese word for surplus. The Chinese New Year meal is often characterized by catfish, or nian yu, which means "year surplus."
Get the recipe here: Stir-fried Fish Fillet with Black Bean Sauce - Rasa Malaysia
Chinese Barbecue Pork with Bok Choy
Since red is considered the luckiest color in Chinese culture, having red-hued foods on the table is especially promising. Soy sauce and hoisin sauce traditionally give Chinese barbecued pork it's rouge hue. Nowadays, cooks sometimes add food coloring to enhance the color of their barbecued pork. It has a lacquered appearance due to the honey in the marinade, which makes this dish stand out at any celebration.
Get the recipe here: Chinese Barbecue Pork (Char Siu) and Bok Choy Rice Bowl - Joyous Apron
During the home celebrations of the Chinese New Year, this dish of spicy diced chicken with smoked chiles is popular in Sichuan province. This bright red color of the chiles signifies the lucky color of the New Year when homes should be decorated with red decorations, and tables should be decorated with foods of a red hue. This dish is made with Sichuan peppercorns known for their tingling and numbing qualities unique to Sichuan cuisine.
Get the recipe here: Chongqing Chicken (Sichuan La Zi Ji) - The Woks of Life
Sauteed Pea Shoots with Garlic
The pea shoots are in season during the winter, mainly December through March, which means that you can find them in many Chinese New Year dinners. Lightly stir-frying the pea shoots with simple aromatics like garlic and sesame oil will produce a fragrant and mouth-watering side dish that will enhance your Chinese New Year dinner.
Get the recipe here: Stir-Fried Pea Shoots with Garlic Recipe | EatingWell
Five-Spice Duck Breasts
There is no better way to celebrate Chinese New Year than to prepare Peking duck for your Chinese New Year feast by condensing the traditional multi-day process into one easy preparation. Ducks are often considered symbols of loyalty and unity in Chinese culture. As a nod to the luckiest color of Chinese culture, the red color results from the soy sauce they are cooked in.
Get the recipe here: Five-Spice Duck Breasts Recipe | EatingWell
Soy Sauce Eggs
In some regions, it is common for children to receive an egg when they receive an egg as a gift on new year's day. Soy sauce eggs symbolize fertility and are shaped like circles to symbolize togetherness and unity. Soy sauce eggs are a common tradition at Lunar New Year.
Get the recipe here: Soy Sauce Eggs Recipe | EatingWell
As well as their thicker-skinned cousins, egg rolls and spring rolls are seen as symbols of wealth due to the shape and color resembling gold bars, and they are usually deep-fried. Still, this healthier option uses an air fryer to achieve a similar crispy texture with much less oil consumption.
Get the recipe here: Air-Fryer Egg Rolls Recipe | EatingWell
Since the 1800s, sweet-and-sour pork has been famous in southern China, but it is now widespread throughout the north and in Chinese communities worldwide. Due to its sound similar to the word for "grandchild," the word for sour ("suan") is often used when multiple generations eat together at Chinese New Year dinners, as well as when families hope to have grandchildren one day.
Get the recipe here: Sweet and Sour Pork Recipe (panlasangpinoy.com)
Shrimp Fried Rice
Rice is essential to Chinese New Year celebrations since it helps soak up the delicious sauces in your dish. Shrimps in this quick-fried rice symbolize laughter and happiness, while the rice should be made from chilled leftover rice. Otherwise, it will be too sticky and won't crisp up nicely.
Get the recipe here: Quick Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe | EatingWell
Since spring onions (scallions) symbolize the new season during Chinese New Year (also known as Spring Festival), they are auspicious during the two-week celebration. Scallion pancakes have signature flaky layers that are easy to achieve by following a few simple steps outlined in this recipe, which are easy to follow.
Get the recipe here: Scallion Pancakes Recipe | EatingWell
Many mangoes grow in Hong Kong and Guangdong province in Southern China, where dim sum was first developed. It is becoming increasingly popular to have mango pudding as a dessert during Chinese New Year celebrations, whether at the dim sum brunch or the formal banquet dinner. It is a dessert with a similar texture to panna cotta, and it makes the perfect finishing touch to a sumptuous, celebratory meal.
Get the recipe here: Mango Pudding (芒果布丁) - The Woks of Life
- Chinese New Year Traditions | Facts Food & Festivals (rmg.co.uk)
- 10+ Recipes for Chinese New Year for Luck, Prosperity, and Longevity | EatingWell