Chinese New Year, or Lunar 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 Dumplings
Dumplings represent wealth. The little bundles can be made to look like silver ingots or purses, hence the symbolism here. According to legend, the more dumplings you eat during the lunar new year, the more money you’ll bring in during the year.
Dumplings can contain seasoned meat, fish, seafood, or vegetables inside a pasta-like wrapper. They can be steamed or boiled until plump and tender; pan fried or deep fried to give them a crispy, golden brown shell; or baked for a fluffier, more bread like exterior.
Shrimp are said to bring joy and laughter. Har Gow are Chinese shrimp dumplings with a tender, translucent wrapper and a filling of plump, seasoned shrimp. They make 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.
Need a laugh?
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.
Looking to grow your family? Eat nuts and seeds!
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.