If you are looking for an inspired reason to celebrate with friends and family, Chinese New Year is a super fun, colorful & flavorful celebration full of tradition and interesting symbolism. After all, this celebration is the cause of the “largest annual mass human migration” in the world, with the number of journeys taken during this period tipping 3 BILLION!!
Food is an important part of any celebration, and that couldn’t be more true for The Chinese Lunar New Year.
Here are some recipes and ingredients to try at your celebration:
Fish represents “to have enough to give to others” and unity.
Traditionally, families serve a whole steamed white fish, and it is generally eaten last in the meal.
Try this Cantonese Steamed Fish for a light & healthy take on what is traditionally a fried dish.
Garlic symbolizes “what lasts”
This Crispy Baked Garlic Tofu lets the garlic shine!
Turnips refer to “good premonitions”
This Turnip Cake is a little complicated to pull off, but if you have the time to make it happen….well worth it.
Chicken for gaining prosperity. The chicken must have the head, tail and feet attached to portray “wholeness & perfection”. But since you may have a difficult time finding a chicken with it’s head and feet, so lets just go with a whole roasting chicken!
This Cantonese Roasted Chicken doesn’t include any head, tail or feet, but it is a really delicious departure from traditional roasted chicken!
Meatballs or fish ball represent “reunion”.
I decided to go with this Sticky Asian Meatballs recipe rather than a fish ball recipe because fish balls are…challenging. At least they were for me!
Oranges represent luck, and this Crispy Orange Beef is a really tasty way to entice luck into your life!
Pomegranates symbolize fertility, and are thought to have the power to keep evil spirits away. I haven’t tried this Egg rolls with sweet chile pomegranate sauce recipe YET, but it is next on my list! Does it not look and sound soooooo gooood?
Noodles symbolize a long life, and must not be cut! These Traditional longevity Noodles
are a little plain, but from a symbolic perspective, they get the job done deliciously!
Dumplings represent wealth, and while they are a little finicky to make, this Shrimp dumplings recipe is worth the effort. These would make a great appy as well.
Okay, one bonus recipe because this is my favorite Lunar New Year food. Bak Kwa (or Chinese Pork Jerky) is so delicious. We searched for it for years after having it in Singapore during their Chinese New Year celebrations. People were lining up and buying STACKS of the stuff, so we had to find out why. One cautionary note….I have yet to find a recipe that I feel captures it the way we had it perfectly, probably because the type I had was cooked over a charcoal grill, and most recipes suggest cooking in the oven. You can BUY the authentic stuff in Vancouver now at BKH Jerky, or try and make it yourself!