Chinese New Year Recipes: the 25 most traditional recipes to celebrate the Lunar Year

Chinese New Year, or Lunar Year, is celebrated with rich, tangy-flavored dishes. Here it is a selection of 25 traditional recipes, from Chinese dim sum, main, side dishes and desserts.

By Cookist
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Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar Year, is a celebration that welcomes the new year according to the lunisolar Chinese calendar. The date changes each year, but traditionally the day is usually set between mid-January and February.

This festival is all about traditions and food packed with tangy, spicy oriental flavors. We've selected a list of 25 recipes from dim sum, main dishes, side dishes to typical desserts. These Chinese new year recipes are supposed to bring good luck, health and family unity, from spring rolls, longevity noodles to the traditional nian gao cake.

1. Fried Wontons: a crispy, tasty Chinese appetizer that will satisfy your taste buds
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Fried wontons are a delicious appetizer or snack packed with a mouthwatering savory filling made from pork, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and other tasty ingredients that have been sealed in wonton wrappers and fried to sturdy, crispy golden brown perfection.

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2. Chinese Spring Rolls: the traditional Chinese recipe for a tasty, vegetarian appetizer
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Chinese spring rolls is a cylindrical-shaped vegetarian appetizer that is filled and deep-fried. It is a great classic of Cantonese cuisine and which is often proposed as dim sum by traditional restaurants. Serve spring rolls with a light, sweet sauce, and your guests will keep coming back for more.

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3. Turnip Cakes: the easy lo bak go recipe for a classic Chinese dim sum dish
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Turnip cakes, or lo bak go, are a mouthwatering type of dim sum – a Chinese meal of small dishes usually served with a tea. Easy to find also on restaurant menus, this is a popular dish to serve during Chinese New Year because in the Hokkien language, “radish” is a homophone for “good fortune”.

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4. Lion’s Head Meatballs: a delicious classic Chinese New Year recipe
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Mouthwatering lion's head meatballs are a common dish served in banquet-style Chinese New Year celebrations. It's a classic Huaiyang dish, made from large braised or steamed pork meatballs seasoned with aromatic ingredients like ginger, Shaoxing wine, oyster sauce, five-spice, and other tasty, fragrant ingredients.

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5. Chow Mein: Flavorful & Fast Weeknight Noodles
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Chicken chow mein is an incredibly fast and easy weeknight noodle dish. It features thinly-sliced chicken in a flavorful soy sauce-based glaze with chewy chow mein noodles.

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6. Longevity Noodles: the mouthwatering recipe for easy Chinese Yi Mein
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Longevity noodles are a delicious Chinese dish that is popularly served at all sorts of celebratory events from Lunar New Year banquets to birthdays, weddings, and to celebrate the birth of a new baby. Also called yi mein or e-fu noodles, this delicious dish symbolizes long life, prosperity, and good fortune.

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7. Braised Short Rib Dumplings: the irresistible recipe for Japanese Gyoza
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Braised short rib dumplings are typical Japanese meat ravioli also known as gyoza, a recipe that took its origin from the Chinese jiaozi. They are small bundles of pasta, rolled out thinly and artfully sealed with the pressure of your fingers, stuffed with minced pork, cabbage, spring onions, fresh ginger and soy sauce, ingredients that make their flavor unique and unmistakable. The gyoza are browned in a pan to get a golden crust, and then steamed with the braising technique, adding a little water and closing with the lid. The braised short rib dumplings are usually served as an appetizer, dipped in soy sauce or sweet and sour sauce, and are perfect to make at home to amaze guests for a party or a special dinner. So let’s find out how to make perfect braised short rib dumplings by following our recipe step by step.

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8. Easy Lo Mein: a fast, tasty dinner to enjoy week nights
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If you've been searching for a quick, delicious dinner you can whip up in minutes, it's time to break out your wok and make some lo mein. It's a great way to get in a healthy serving of vegetables, and you can customize it to be vegetarian-friendly with tofu, or load your lo mein with protein like chicken, beef, pork, whatever you prefer. Not only is lo mein inexpensive to make and simple to cook at home, it's also much healthier than the versions you'll get when you order a takeaway – a match made in heaven.

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9. Almond Chicken: the original Chinese recipe
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Chicken with almonds is a second course of Chinese cuisine consisting of small soft chicken pieces wrapped in a creamy sauce and characterized by a tasty mix of soy sauce, ginger and almonds. To cook it, you will need a wok.
Chicken with almonds is ideal for a dinner with friends, even a standing dinner, served alone or with basmati rice.

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10. Kung Pao Chicken: the mouthwatering recipe for a popular Chinese takeaway dish
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With its salty, sweet, spicy flavor, kung pao chicken is one of the best-loved Chinese takeaway dishes out there. If you love kung pao chicken but want to make a healthier version, don't fret – this easy kung pao chicken recipe tastes just as good as anything you'll order from a takeaway but is far healthier.

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11. Beef and broccoli: a fast and delicious stir-fry recipe
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This easy-to-make stir-fry is as mouthwateringly tasty as it is healthy. Beef and broccoli is a quick recipe you can whip up in under 20 minutes, which makes it a stellar option for busy families looking to keep things simple without skimping on flavor or nutrition. It's a healthier take on a takeaway favorite that you can tuck into without worrying about excess grease or salt content. Wondering what kind of sauce is used for beef and broccoli? It's a lightly sweet, wonderfully fragrant ginger-garlicky soy sauce that is just so good. This ultra-appetizing beef and broccoli boasts loads of fresh flavors and is a fantastic way to get your kids to eat freshly prepared vegetables. You have a few options for cuts of beef, but as far as what kind of beef is best for beef and broccoli, look to flank steak. Flank steak is the best option for this recipe – it stays tender and can hold up to a longer cook time without getting tough.

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12. Cashew Chicken Stir-fry: complete meal rich of flavor
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If you’re looking for a quick meal that will become your new go-to, this cashew chicken stir-fry is for you! This recipe requires simple ingredients and less than 30 minutes. If you are short on time, you can prep this dish ahead of time by having everything measured and chopped before preparing. This dish results in tender stir-fry chicken in an extremely creamy garlic sauce, accompanied by roasted crispy cashews for the perfect bite. Serve with steamed rice or veggies on the side to complete your meal!

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13. Chinese lemon chicken: the crispiest oriental chicken recipe ever
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This chicken dish has practically all kinds of flavors familiar to mankind! It’s sweet, it’s tangy, it’s salty, and if you wish to add some hot pepper then it can be spicy too. This classic chicken dish tastes just like the one, which you order-in, except that it is much more flavorful and reliable.

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14. Beef Stir-Fry: a quick, flavorful recipe for busy weeknights
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For a fast, easy dish that's packed with flavor, there's nothing like this easy beef stir-fry. It's a simple yet flavorful Chinese main dish recipe that works for any occasion.

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15. General Tso’s Chicken: favorite Chinese takeout made at home
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General Tso’s chicken, consisting of crunchy pieces of chicken covered in a smooth, spicy, and sweet sauce, is a common take out dish from Chinese restaurants. It seems decadent and complicated with the range of flavors and ingredients, but is simple to make. General tso’s chicken is similar to orange chicken, another famous Chinese dish of crunchy chicken covered in a sweet orange sauce.

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16. Shrimp stir fry: the fast, healthy weeknight dinner with incredible much flavor
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This shrimp stir fry recipe is mouthwateringly delicious and absurdly easy to make. It takes about half an hour from the moment you start chopping your veggies to when you're taking your first forkful. Thanks to ingredients like soy sauce, ginger, sesame, and chili flakes, this stir fry is loaded with flavor and offers a clever way to sneak more vegetables into your diet (or your kids'!). This shrimp stir fry recipe is the perfect at-home copycat for the popular Chinese takeaway dish. For that authentic taste, you'll want to break out your wok although a large saute pan will work in a pinch.

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17. Scallion pancakes: the tasty recipe for a classic Chinese street food dish
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Crunchy, chewy, with just the right amount of flakiness, scallion pancakes are a phenomenally delicious Chinese street food that is often found on Chinese takeout menus. These yummy pancakes are also known as cong you bing, and people enjoy them as part of savory breakfast or as an appetizer. That said, these savory pancakes are so tasty, you can cook up a batch for any meal or as a snack. The recipe is a bit of a labor of love, however, the results are well worth the effort!

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18. Chinese sesame balls: Enjoy this yummy sweet preparation very simple to prepare!
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Enjoy this delectable Chinese sweet snack preparation that is really simple to prepare. Just be cautious to get the consistency of the rice flour dough right, so that the dough doesn’t crack up when frying. You may also prepare a big batch of this filling snack at once and then store them in a clean and dry container for later use!

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19. Orange chicken: a delightful tangy and sweet Oriental curry
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This dish is super delicious and takes just a little time to prepare. However, if you can then just marinate the chicken for a couple of hours in the egg mixture.

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20. Roast Duck: the delicious recipe for a phenomenal holiday dinner
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If you're tired of turkey and want to treat your family to something special this holiday season, nothing beats roast duck. Whether you're cooking up a Christmas or New Year's Eve meal, roast whole duck is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

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21. Stir-Fried Lettuce: a fast, tasty Chinese side dish everyone will love
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Stir-fried lettuce is a mouthwatering, quick, and easy Chinese side dish you can make in no time at all. It's a delicious alternative way to enjoy lettuce besides making a salad – Chinese cuisine rarely serves raw vegetables.

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22. Chinese New Year Cake: the delicious, easy recipe for homemade Nian Gao
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Nian gao, or Chinese New Year cake is a fantastic steamed cake typically enjoyed during Lunar New Year celebrations. Made from glutinous rice flour, when served warm it has a sticky, chewy texture that's similar to mochi. It's a little harder and denser when enjoyed cool or at room temperature. Both ways are delicious, although nian gao is best enjoyed cool.

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23. Youtiao Recipe: a delicious Chinese fried dough
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Fried dough may not sound like the most tempting of treats, but once you’ve tried this Chinese fried dough, you’ll be hooked!

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24. Homemade Fortune Cookies: the delicious recipe for a crispy, sugary cookie
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If you're looking for a fun, delicious baked recipe to try, you'll love this wonderful homemade fortune cookie recipe. These tasty cookies are a perfect double for the classic crispy, sugary cookies you get when you order Chinese food.

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