As the most important traditional Chinese holiday of the year, Chinese New Year marks the time for families to gather for celebration, wash away ill-luck and to usher in incoming good luck. Themes of good fortune, happiness and togetherness are commonly found in the activities they partake in, the gifts they bring and the food they eat. This year, Chinese New Year happens to fall on the Year of the Sheep and begins on February 19th. From thoroughly cleaning the house to sweep away the bad luck of the previous year to decorating with red lanterns and firecrackers, Those who look forward to this holiday will be hard at work to make sure they celebrate it right.
However, the grandest event of the holiday is the Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner which is a reunion gathering among family members. A large and sumptuous feast, this dinner often includes traditional meat dishes such as pork, chicken, fish, seafood, dumplings, fruits, noodles and more. Certain ingredients used in these traditional dishes have significant meaning and symbolize prosperity, good luck and money. If you’re looking forward to the feast this year, we have a collection of delicious recipes that are sure to bring good luck this Chinese New Year. For more great Chinese recipes, check out our Chef Martin Yan Page.
Citrus season could not be a better time for Chinese New Year! Fresh tangerines are abundant this time of the year. With their round shapes and golden color, they symbolize wealth and prosperity. This Lucky Fruit Salad by Chef Martin Yan is a fun and delicious way to serve these fruits and gets extra flavor from a homemade zesty orange-lime dressing. Serve in a scooped-out coconut bowl for an extra festive decoration.
Can you already hear that satisfying crunch of biting into a freshly fried egg roll? Egg rolls resemble gold bars and symbolize wealth and gold. This classic recipe is filled with your choice of ground pork, chicken or beef and stuffed with all the fixings of a great egg roll: cabbage, carrot and green onions. Don’t be intimidated by the thought of assembling egg rolls. After all, practice makes perfect and we’ve got detailed instructions for you.
Tangerines are delicious on their own but also work wonders in a wide variety of recipes. If you want to stick to healthier options during Chinese New Year, try incorporating the traditional foods into salads. Our Asian Spinach Salad is topped with tangerines, Shiitake mushrooms and bean sprouts and flavored with a light and simple sauce. Perfect for welcoming luck and good health into your year!
While some may balk at the idea of serving chicken with the head, eating a whole chicken during Chinese New Year is especially important because it represents good health and family unity. When it comes to a family dinner, what could be more comforting than a roasted chicken? This special Cantonese Roast Chicken recipe, developed by Chef Martin Yan, is perfect for ushering in the Year of the Ox and will surely bring the family together.
A fair word of warning: potstickers can be addictive. Potstickers, also called jiaozi, are traditionally eaten during Chinese New Year because their name sounds similar to the word for the earliest paper money. These vegetable potstickers are filled with Shishito peppers, garlic, daikon and fried to golden perfection. To save on time, our Won Top Wrappers make it convenient for making all sorts of potstickers, dumplings and wontons.
Like noodles, eating long beans on Chinese New Year has come to represent leading a long life. Similar to regular green beans, long beans hold up quite well in high heat making them ideal for stir fry. A simple seasoning of minced garlic, green onions, fresh chile, soy sauce and sugar really helps to draw out the natural savoriness of the long beans. And double frying the beans helps keep them extra crunchy yet moist.
If you’ve never encountered Pummelo, you’re in for a treat! This large citrus fruit is an ancestor of the grapefruit and boasts a juicy and sweet flesh. While delicious when eaten on their own, their similar flavor and texture to grapefruit pairs beautifully with Asian-style salads. Our Pummelo Sunshine Salad is filled with all the goodness citrus season has to offer: pummelo, Valencia Oranges and Ojai Pixie Tangerines.
Many dishes for Chinese New year are chosen because of how similar the name sounds to lucky words. Lettuce cups are popular because they sound like the Chinese words for making money and a rising fortune. Our East-meets-West recipe is a fusion twist on Asian lettuce wraps with a fabulous mix of sweet, spicy and savory. A fun idea for would be to serve the ingredients separately and allow your guests to assemble their own lettuce tacos.
Will you be celebrating Chinese New Year this year? What are your favorite foods to eat during this holiday? Do you see any recipes that you’d like to try making in this article?