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Chinese New Year—35+ Best Recipes

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.

Collage of 3 photos: upper left is an overhead shot of 3 har gow in a steamer basket, top right is a plate of sesame chicken, the bottom is a photo of kung pao chicken in a bowl with white rice

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.

collage of 4 photos: upper left 3 har gow in a steamer basket; upper right kung pao chicken in a bowl with white rice; lower left sesame noodles; lower right scallion pancakes

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.

Or these Five-Spice Seasoned Peanuts.

Long Noodles Mean Longevity

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. 

singapore rice noodles on a table in a restaurant with lots of other dishes. Two hands can be seen lifting noodles with chopsticks.

Other common Chinese New Year foods include steamed whole fish, egg rolls, and the brown sugar cake called niangao

35+ Best Chinese New Year Recipes

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.

By on January 21st, 2021

About Robin Donovan


Hi, I’m Robin! I am a full-time food blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. I spend my days cooking, writing about, and photographing food.

I’m the author of more than 40 cookbooks, including Ramen for Beginners, 5 Ingredient Cooking for Two, Sushi at Home, The Baking Cookbook for Teens, and the bestselling Campfire Cuisine.

My food writing has also been featured in major print and online pubications including Cooking Light, Fitness, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and other popular publications.

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