Leading up to Chinese New Year (which falls on February 8 this year), we wanted to put together a comprehensive post full of our favorite Chinese New Year recipes and some tips on enjoying them. From appetizers to dessert, we’ve got you covered on most of the ideas that you’ll need to put together a festive new year’s feast for friends and family.
Which brings us to our next point, if you don’t see something that you’d like us to make, leave us a note in the comments! We may be able to cook and post your picks in time for Chinese New Year preparations!
Click the photos to navigate over to the complete recipe and lots more step-by-step pictures on how to make these yummy dishes.
Don’t forget to leave a comment with a recipe request! It can be traditional, specific, or vague–we’ll be posting more Chinese New Year recipes we get closer to the holiday!
Finally, be sure to sign up for our email list so you get notified of future recipes and posts like this one!
Chinese New Year Recipes: Starters
1. Sticky Rice Mushroom Shumai with Homemade Wrappers (Vegan)
These little shumai are the perfect starter to a Chinese feast, and if you’re hosting vegans, they will gobble these up, rest assured!
2. Vegetable Dumplings
Another option for vegetarian and vegan friends. But these dumplings are so good that even the most ardent of carnivores may find themselves appeased! If not though, check out our other dumpling recipes: Pork Chive Dumplings (and homemade dumpling wrappers) and The ONLY Dumpling Recipe You’ll Ever Need. If a full-blown feast isn’t your style, you can have a make-your-own-dinner dumpling folding and cooking party!
3. Homemade Spring Rolls
Do these really need any explanation? Festive, auspicious (they look kind of like gold bars, don’t they?), crispy, and delicious. ‘Nuff said.
4. Taro Cake (Wu Tao Gou)
Taro Cakes are a traditional treat that we always have during the New Year. Serve it as an appetizer or the day of for breakfast–a couple of crispy pieces with a fried or hard-boiled egg is pretty close to Chinese New Year perfection.
5. Turnip Cake (Lo Bak Go)
Turnip Cake is another Chinese New Year brunch classic. You’ve probably seen it served up on steaming carts at dim sum restaurants across the country. We pride ourselves on our recipe, because it boasts a healthy turnip flavor (tastes better than it sounds) with plenty of mushrooms, scallion and Chinese sausage peppered throughout.
6. Fried Chinese Spareribs
This is one of our earliest recipes on the blog (hence the somewhat…ahem…questionable photography). But don’t let photo quality fool you–every time we make these for family gatherings, they disappear as quickly as we can fry them!
Chinese New Year Recipes: Soups
7. Yan Du Xian (Shanghainese Salted Pork Soup with Bamboo Shoots and Tofu Knots)
This is a delicious, classic soup that our family loves. Made with Shanghainese salty pork, the flavors are unique and awesomely savory. Every Chinese New Year table needs a soup, so if you’re looking for something simple and tasty, give this one a whirl.
8. Easy Fish Tofu Soup
Another one of our favorite soups; if you have yet to try out a Chinese soup, Chinese New Year is definitely the time to do it!
9. Cantonese-style Ginger Scallion Lobster
Chinese New Year is the time to eat auspicious (read: expensive) foods to ring in a prosperous and happy new year. What’s more *auspicious* than lobster? This one isn’t for a novice cook, but the pay off is phenomenal.
10. Steamed Whole Fish
A classic titan of the Chinese New Year table is fish of some kind. The fish must be whole and there must be two–one for Chinese New Year’s Eve and one saved for Chinese New Year’s Day. Both must be cooked on New Year’s Eve, however. Make one of these and one of the next recipe or two of each!
11. Chinese Braised Fish (Hong Shao Yu)
This is my maternal grandfather’s specialty–he’s heavy-handed with the vinegar, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, and rock sugar. It all culminates in the tastiest version of this fish anyone has ever had, and we’ve translated his method into this recipe. You may not see this on many menus, but trust us when we say that you won’t regret making this fish!
12. Soy Sauce Chicken
There’s nothing more auspicious than a whole chicken. Technically, the proper Chinese New Year way is to serve the chicken with head and feet included on the plate. We’ll give you a pass on this one, though!
13. Cantonese Roast Pork Belly
If you REALLY want to wow your guests, make this delicious Cantonese Roast Pork Belly. The crispy skin, the five-spice marinade…they’ll practically be groveling at your feet when this arrives at the dinner table.
14. Ginger Scallion Oil with Chilies
Ginger Scallion Oil with Chilies is the perfect condiment for Soy Sauce Chicken and Cantonese Roast Pork Belly. Your white rice will taste *significantly* better with its presence!
15. Shanghai-Style Braised Pork Belly (Hong Shao Rou)
This Hong Shao Rou recipe is my mother’s pride and joy. This dish is authentic, auspicious, and so good, you’ll hardly believe it was made with your own two hands.
16. Big Plate Chicken (Da Pan Ji) with Noodles
A hallmark of an amazing dish at our house is the speed with which we demolish it during a blogging session. Well. This was practically inhaled in the 20 minutes after the last photo cleared approval! It’s spicy, saucy, and full of veggies and chicken; and let’s not forget the surprise bed of noodles underneath!
17. Easy Peking Duck
Until this recipe, Easy Peking Duck seemed more of a cruel oxymoron than recipe title, but believe us when we say that this is pretty much as easy as it gets while preserving authentic flavors. Chinese New Year is the perfect time to give this festive dish a whirl!
18. Steak and Scallion Rice Cake Stir-Fry
Rice cakes are always a much-approved auspicious Chinese New Year food. This saucy version with plenty of juicy slices of steak and caramelized scallions is festive and addictive!
19. Braised Pork Belly with Arrowhead Root
Braised Pork Belly with Arrowhead Root is a traditional and festive Chinese New Year dish that my dad makes sure is on our dinner table. If you can’t find arrowhead root, you can sub in taro or potato.
20. Mei Cai Kou Rou (Steamed Pork Belly with Preserved Mustard Greens)
This is one of my all-time favorite Chinese dishes. And around here, them’s fightin’ words–so you know I mean business. In fact, when I would visit my mom’s aunt’s house around Chinese New Year time, taking home a leftover container of this was a serious and significant highlight of the holiday.
21. A Basic Stir-fried Bok Choy Recipe
Kicking off the vegetable portion of the meal is something that Chinese families will invariably include on the dinner table: a simple and healthful side of green, leafy vegetables.
22. Braised Wheat Gluten with Mushrooms (Hong Shao Kao Fu)
This is a Shanghainese favorite that’s healthy, vegan, and surprisingly tantalizing when done right. This is another good contender for a meat-dish-substitute for vegan and vegetarian family and friends!
23. Buddha’s Delight (Lo Han Jai)
Buddha’s Delight is an auspicious vegetarian dish my dad has been ringing in the new year with since he was a kid going over to his grandmother’s house. To this day, she still cooks up a big batch of it for the kids and grandkids.
24. Pea Tips Stir-fry
Another super simple veggie option, these pea tips are a bit more decadent (and pricy) than your average bok choy. Chinese New Year is a time to splurge–from new clothes, the best foods, and hong bao envelopes for kids. Spring for the pea tips!
Noodles & Rice
25. Sticky Rice with Chinese Sausage
Sticky rice is one of those dishes that seems elaborate and vaguely intimidating, but it’s easier than expected and tastier too! Chinese sausage and dried shrimp add distinctive yet highly traditional flavors.
26. Bian Dou Men Mian (Steamed Noodles and Green Beans)
This was another vital revelation that we probably never would have made without the blog. Pork belly, green beans, chewy noodles, and a delicious soy sauce mixture makes this dish absurdly delicious, and steaming the noodles in the wok saves one more pot from the after-dinner sink!
27. Shanghai Fried Noodles
Shanghai Fried Noodles are a simple and humble longevity noodle for your Chinese New Year table.
A Simple One-Pot Meal
28. Hot Pot
If you’re looking for some lower impact Chinese New Year dinner options, check out our Hot Pot, always best enjoyed with plenty of family gathered around the table.
29. Chinese Walnut Cookies
Traditional, not too sweet, and full of nutty flavor, these go perfectly with a cup of tea or coffee after your Chinese New Year feast!
30. Clementine Cakes
Okay, so these technically aren’t Chinese, but the star ingredient is the auspicious clementine. If you’re going over to someone’s house for Chinese New Year, bring oranges and a batch of these. It’s considered bad form and inauspicious to show up to someone’s house empty-handed!
31. Chinese Sesame Peanut Brittle
This is an easy sweet that you can make in advance of the big day. Enjoy it after dinner or set it out early in the day as munchies for your guests while you work on dinner!
32. Sweet Sesame Crisps
These Sweet Sesame Crisps are another of our favorite easy, low-impact desserts. Serve with a cup of red tea for a simple dessert!
Here you have the beginnings of the perfect Chinese New Year Dinner! Remember to leave your recipe requests in the comments!