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.
Get the Lucky Recipes
Though it’s easy to pick up the phone and order Chinese food takeout, it can be just as simple to cook up those white-box favorites in your own kitchen — often without the extra cost and unnecessary calories and fat. Prep your pantry for traditional Chinese recipes by picking up a few Asian-food staples, such as soy and chili sauces, rice wine vinegar and fresh ginger, and you’ll be ready to serve up classic appetizers and main dishes in a flash. Find a menu of our favorite Chinese foods below, including stir-fried chicken, fried rice, dumpling soup and more.
Though they’re far more heart-healthy than their deep-fried counterparts, Baked Spring Rolls are every bit as light, golden and perfectly crisp. Those pictured above from Food Network Magazine are filled with delicate lump crab, green cabbage and fresh ginger and served with a salty, sweet soy-mirin sauce.
More Chinese takeout recipes »
- Eat a bowl of Chinese noodles for good luck in the new year.
Celebrations for Chinese New Year begin February 3 and continue for 15 days. That gives you plenty of time to cook up lucky Chinese foods at home, from noodles to egg rolls.
Top 5 to Try:
Dan-Dan Noodles: Noodles symbolize longevity, so eat a bowl-full in the new year (but don’t cut them up, which would be bad luck!).
Chinese Dumpling Soup: Dumplings are shaped like ancient blocks of gold or silver, so eat them for prosperity in the year ahead.
- Warm up with this easy Chinese Dumpling Soup, a symbol of wealth to come.
Sunny’s Asian Lettuce Wraps: The Cantonese word for lettuce means “raising fortune,” making lettuce wraps the perfect lucky New Year’s food.
Guy’s Off the Hook Egg Rolls: Crispy, fried egg rolls look like bars of gold, so crunch away for wealth.
- Guy's Chicken Avocado Egg Rolls fry up to look like bars of gold.
Steamed Fish With Ginger: The Mandarin word for fish sounds similar to the word for “abundance.” Serve it up for good fortune in the new year.
- Serve Steamed Fish with Ginger for prosperity.
Find more top foods for Chinese New Year from Food Network. Then check out top picks from Steamy Kitchen’s Jaden Hair writing for Cooking Channel’s Devour.
What are you going to cook up to celebrate the year of the rabbit?