Chinese New Year celebrations are filled with time-honored traditions, fun festivals and superstitious beliefs, but the one thing that connects all of them and brings everyone together is the food. But it’s not just any food — it’s good luck food.
The dishes served during Chinese New Year, which lands on February 10 this year, are eaten because of what the ingredients signify or sometimes what the Chinese names can mean. You’ll find seafood, chicken, duck, pork, sausage, noodles and lots of vegetables on the traditional menu. These foods can symbolize abundance, prosperity, togetherness, wealth and more.
Noodles, for example should be served whole and not cut, because that way they symbolize longevity. The same goes for the custom of serving whole head-on fish. Then there are those foods that symbolize family reunion and togetherness like oversized lion’s head meatballs and hot pot, a bowl of boiling broth designed for dipping into with an array of different ingredients that cook right in the liquid. It’s the perfect communal dish. And probably the most recognizable of Chinese New Year dishes are dumplings or shumai (pictured above), which represent wealth. So it’s worth eating a lot of those if you hope to be rich in the Chinese New Year!
If you’re looking for some ideas on what to cook for Chinese New Year, FN Dish has some great recipes listed below. Though good luck isn’t necessarily guaranteed, it’s at least worth eating these foods just in case.
Vegetarian Steamed Dumplings
Dan Dan Noodles
Food Network Magazine‘s Steamed Pork and Mushroom Shumai (pictured above)
Traditional Mandarin Fried Rice
Chinese Seafood Hot Pot
Whole-Fried Black Bass Over Wok-Sauteed Bok Choy, Ginger and Spring Garlic
Lion’s Head Meatballs (does not contain lion meat but actually pork)
Steamed Pork and Mushroom Shumai recipe and image courtesy Food Network Magazine.
What are some dishes you eat for Chinese New Year? Leave a comment below.