Chinese New Year is my kind of holiday—parading dragons, fireworks, and food (lots of food!). The dragons and fireworks are meant to scare off evil spirits and auspicious foods portend prosperity, longevity, health, fertility, happiness, and more for the coming year.
The Lunar New Year is possibly the most important holiday on the Chinese calendar. Everything you do (and eat) that day, and in the days leading up to it, is said to determine how your entire year will play out.
Any holiday that promises to deliver good fortune because I stuffed my face with dumplings, noodles, and other auspicious foods is carved in stone on my calendar, too.
Show Me the shrimp Dumplings
Shrimp will bring a year filled with joy and laughter since the word for shrimp (har) sounds like laughter. Sichuan-style spicy, garlicky Szechuan Shrimp is perfect.
Har Gow, Chinese shrimp dumplings, put shrimp inside a tender, translucent dumpling, making an ideal addition to your Chinese New Year menu. Joy and wealth is a combo I can get behind.
Char Siu Bao is another great dim sum dish—puffy bread filled with delicious braised pork.
Looking to grow your family? Eat nuts and seeds!
Nuts and seeds represent fertility and “many sons,” so if you’re hoping to grow your family this year, enjoy this Sesame Chicken.
Long noodles mean a long life, so noodles are on pretty much every Chinese New Year table. Everyone wants to live long and be healthy. Since noodles represent longevity, they should never be cut or broken.
Singapore Noodles are fragrant with the heady flavors of curry powder and are studded with char siu pork, shrimp, egg, and veggies.
Sesame Noodles are easy to make, tossed with a sauce of with toasted sesame paste, toasted sesame oil, fresh garlic, fresh ginger, and an optional dollop of chile crisp or chili oil.
From shrimp to represent joy and laughter, noodles to represent longevity, dumplings to represent wealth, nuts and seeds to usher in fertility, sticky rice for family togetherness and more, symbolic foods usher in hopes and dreams for a bright new year.
This spicy, garlicky shrimp is quick and easy to make but full of flavor. It uses both spicy bean paste and chili oil with fermented black beans, both of which can be found in Chinese or Asian markets or the international foods aisle of many supermarkets.
Seasoned with curry powder and studded with sliced Char Siu or Chinese Roast Pork, prawns, julienned carrots, thinly sliced onions, and scrambled egg, this quick noodle dish is a delicious one-skillet meal.
This kung pao chicken is just like what you get at your favorite Chinese takeout restaurant. Tender bits of chicken, crunchy peanuts, a salty-sweet sauce, and a hit of spice all come together to make one delicious dish.
Pieces of tender chicken are coated in egg and cornstarch and then fried to a crispy crunch and tossed in a savory-sweet, sticky sauce that is so good I could eat it with a spoon. Add a bowl of sticky white rice and some steamed vegetables and for a perfect easy meal.