Looking for recipe inspiration this Chinese New Year? Chinese New Year, or the Lunar New Year officially starts on Febuary 1, 2022 and it marks the transition between the Chinese Zodiac signs.
Now we're headed into 2022, the Year of the Tiger. Festivities begin on Feb 1st and run through Feb 15th, 2022 when the Lantern Festival starts, and traditionally includes getting together with family and kicking things off with a big meal on Chinese New Year Eve.
What to eat for Chinese New Year - Lucky Foods
To help celebrate, it's common see the gifting of lucky Red Envelopes and to eat foods symbolic of the Lunar New Year. These dishes are served to give blessings and are auspicious as to provide prosperity, luck and happiness in the coming new year.
1. Chinese New Year Cake (Sweet Rice Cake)
A must have! Niangao is a very traditional sweet dessert made from sticky rice, the name of this cake (年糕 Niángāo) translates to mean "higher year" symbolizing increasing property. Steamed, then served as is, or lightly pan fried, this dish tastes like warm sweet mochi. Steam your own niangao at home with 3 simple ingrediets and this recipe.
2. Pork & Leek Potstickers
Potstickers or dumplings are considered lucky for wealth as they are shaped similar to gold sycees. You can think of these as representing pockets of money, so it's good to have lots of potstickers during Chinese New Year.
3. Traditional Whole Steamed Fish
Symbolic for a good year from start to finish, it's important to serve the fish whole (the fish head to tail which symbolizes the start of the year to end of the year). This fish recipe also makes for an impressive table presentation but is surprisingly simple and easy to cook with a short steaming time of around 15 minutes. Plus, you'll love the flavors of the ginger and cilantro.
4. Whole Chicken
Similar to the fish, the whole chicken represents unity and family. Usually it's served whole with the head and feet included, but unless you go to an Asian grocery store, these types of chickens are hard to find.
5. Longevity Noodles
Noodle dishes are often served during Chinese New Year as long noodles respresent longevity in life. As such, it's best to serve long noodles and take care not to cut or damage the noodles when cooking. For a delicious and savory noodle dish, try my Pan-Fried Soy Sauce Noodles using egg noodles which tend to hold up nicely in cooking.6. Shanghai Rice Cakes Stir Fry (Savory Rice Cakes)
Similar to the sweet version of my Chinese New Year cakes dessert recipe, these oval cakes (年糕 Niángāo) are also made from sticky rice. Stir-fried with cabbage and your favorite meat or seafood, this savory dish takes less than 10 minutes to cook and will ensure you have a more prosperous "higher year".
7. Traditional Chinese Almond Cookies
Do you remember eating these when you were young? Since these Chinese Almond cookies are circular and baked in the shape of a coin, it symbolizes good monetary fortune. Plus it's a sweet dessert which counts having a sweet year! How do they taste? Simply put, the store bought versions are nothing like the taste of my recipe for these homemade ones. So buttery and flavorful, you won't be able to eat just one!
8. Hot Pot
Hot Pot is one of the favorite family style dinners and also great for family gatherings like Chinese New Year. With a pot of hot boiling soup broth in the center of the table and raw ingredients like sliced meats, seafood and vegetables off to the side, this meal is interactive and fun!
The ingredients can be dipped in savory or sweet sauces, or even eaten plain! The best thing about this meal is that everyone can cook and eat the ingredients they like. For extra fortune and luck, shop and prepare for these suggested items to add to your soup:
Mushrooms: Increased Opportunities
Noodles: Long Life
Dumplings: Wealth and Fortune
Meatballs/ Fishballs: Reunion
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