Chinese New Year Recipes for An Auspicious New Year

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  • From Chinese almond cookies, whole steamed fish, dumplings to chashu fried rice, these Chinese New Year recipes are auspicious to grace your holiday menu. May these lucky dishes usher in happiness and good fortune for you this new year!

    Chinese new year food and recipes

    As I’ve just wrapped up with the Japanese New Year celebration, I’m being reminded that Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year) is just around the corner!

    Do you know two JOC team members are of Chinese heritage? Yes, that includes my husband who is Taiwanese-American, and Reese who is Chinese Malaysian. They talk about how they celebrate the holiday back home, and I can’t help but feel the spirit of the festivity.

    The Chinese Lunar New Year is a festive time for Chinese people all over the world. Our kids absolutely love the celebration as there are colorful lion dances, fireworks, dazzling dragons, red envelopes (hong bao) with lucky money, and a whole lot of good food!

    Over the years, I’ve shared recipes with Chinese origin and I thought we would round up a collection of Chinese New Year recipes for those of you who celebrate or wish to throw a big feast at home.

    新年快乐 (Xin Nian Kuai Le)!  Happy New Year!
    恭喜發財 (Gong Xi Fa Cai)!  We wish you good wealth in the lunar new year.

    Chinese New Year Recipes for An Auspicious New Year

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    1. Chinese Almond Cookies

    Chinese almond cookies and a glass jar of the cookies.

    Chinese Almond Cookies are simple, crisp, buttery, and full of almond flavor.  It’s a classic treat for Chinese New Year! All you need is simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl, roll into small balls, and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. These cookies are so good with a cup of tea or coffee.

    2. Black Sesame Cookies

    The wooden plate containing black sesame cookies.

    Do you know black sesame seeds are one of the ingredients used in traditional Chinese medicine? They are known to help build the spirit (‘shen’)! For an energetic new year, make these delicious black sesame cookies! They have a perfect combination of nutty and sweet, which is delightful with tea.

    3. Steamed Cake

    3 kinds of steamed cakes placed on a wire rack.

    For a contemporary & healthy touch to the sweet treats, you’re going to love these soft, light and spongy steamed cake. They are lovely as a Lunar new year breakfast or snack. You can choose savory or sweet ingredients. One of our Chinese readers has tried the recipe with red bean paste, which sounds amazing. 

    4. Spicy Shrimp Stir Fry (Ebi Chili)

    A white plate containing Spicy Shrimp Stir Fry (Ebi Chili).

    Inspired by Szechuan-style Kan Shao Shrimp (乾焼蝦仁), this sizzling hot plate of Spicy Shrimp Stir Fry (Ebi Chili) promises you lots of laughter (siu har har 笑哈哈) and a happy belly! My recipe is less spicy than the original dish, so it’s suited for children and adults who prefer milder heat.

    5. Cantonese Steamed Fish

    Cantonese Steamed Fish served on a big platter.

    A whole fish is a staple for Chinese New Year celebrations as it symbolizes prosperity for the new year.  This Cantonese style steamed fish is flavored with soy sauce and covered in shiitake mushroom and green onion.

    6. Chashu Fried Rice

    Chashu fried rice on white plates.

    Fried rice is served toward the end of a meal or together with the rest of the dishes as a filler for anyone who might still be hungry. This Chashu Fried Rice with savory pork belly and fluffy egg is luxurious enough for the celebration. If you’re making homemade char siu (BBQ pork) at home, save up some leftovers for this recipe!

    7. Shrimp Fried Rice

    Rice bowls containing shrimp fried rice.

    Shrimps are synonymous with laughter in Cantonese. This wok-charred Shrimp Fried Rice is about to bring you lots of joy (happy and full belly).

    8. Steamed Pork Buns

    A mini bamboo steamer and a blue dish containing Steamed Pork Buns (Nikuman).

    Steamed pork buns are a classic Chinese breakfast or dim sum brunch item. My recipe includes ground pork, shiitake mushroom, cabbage, and scallion. It has received many rave reviews, so I hope you give it a try. You’d be surprised how easy to make your own steamed buns at home.

    9. Shrimp & Pork Wonton Soup

    a large bowl containing shrimp and wonton soup along with the condiments.

    It’s just not Chinese New Year without the most symbolic food – jiaozi or dumplings.  Shaped like Chinese gold ingots or money bags, wonton dumplings are eaten to bring you good fortune. I always use both shrimp and pork in my wonton as the combo yields sweeter flavor and better texture. Enjoy them in a brothy soup for a heart-warming new year.

    10. Shrimp Egg Rolls

    Shrimp Egg Rolls on a serving platter along with Negi Miso Sauce.

    Deep-fried to golden brown deliciousness, these Shrimp Egg Rolls are a great appetizer to start your Chinese New Year meal. I served mine with a miso dipping sauce, but feel free to serve the egg rolls with sweet chili sauce or garlic soy sauce. The unique technique of straightening the shrimp makes the job easier without having to chop any ingredients. They are so good and addictive that you must make them at home!

    11. Crispy Noodles with Seafood

    A white bowl containing Crispy Noodles with Seafood (Sara Udon).

    For good luck, we must eat noodles in the new year. This Crispy Noodles with Seafood 海鮮炒麵 features stir-fried seafood, pork, kamaboko fish cake, cabbage, bean sprouts, and other colorful vegetables, atop a bed of pan-fried egg noodles.

    12. Fried Lotus Root with Pork

    Fried Lotus Root with Pork on a white plate.

    Delicious pork & shiitake mushroom mixture sandwiched between lotus root and deep-fried until crunchy. This is my family’s favorite way of eating lotus root! Lotus root symbolizes abundance and the unique holes represent an open mind to new ideas, which is what we need for the new year.

    13. Sushi Rolls

    Sushi Rolls (Maki Sushi – Hosomaki) on a Japanese square plate.

    I was told that sushi is very popular for Chinese New Year potluck among the Southeast Asian Chinese in Malaysia and Singapore.  Known for their multicultural communities, you can often see new and modern menus being adopted for the new year celebration. You can easily make sushi rolls with my step-by-step recipe for your party too.

    14. Shumai (Steamed Pork Dumpling)

    Shumai in a bamboo steam basket.

    Another favorite Chinese dim sum brunch item, shumai or steamed pork dumplings are much easier to make than you think! It’s worth getting a bamboo steamer or wide steamer basket so you could enjoy the freshest tasting shumai at home.

    15. Gyoza Wrappers

    Gyoza wrappers in the making.

    If you attempt to make your own dumpling wrappers at home this year, give my gyoza wrappers recipe a try. It yields thinner wrappers than the Chinese potsticker wrappers, so your dumplings cook faster and crispier. This also makes a fun activity to involve the kids.

    I hope you have plenty of good eats this Chinese New Year! Gan Bei 干杯 Cheers!

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