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Chinese New Year recipes – 10 auspicious food that brings you fortune and prosperity

Here are my hand-picked Chinese New Year recipes for you.

Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) is celebrated by millions of people across the globe.  Everyone will make their way home regardless of the distance and locale to be with the family for this festival as it is the most significant occasion for the Chinese. 

Food plays a significant role in Chinese new year celebrations. Family members will gather around the dining table to enjoy the new year’s scrumptious ‘lucky’ dishes. 

Since every family will prepare the biggest feast of the year during this time, I have handpicked the ten best Chinese New Year recipes, ranging from appetizers to main dishes for you. You can use these recipes to plan your feast.

Each dish has its symbolic meaning. These are dishes cooked with auspicious ingredients according to the time-honored Chinese food tradition, which will bring you good fortune, excellent health, prosperity, luck, and happiness.

Please download each recipe and read the complete instructions by clicking the image of the recipe.  It will immediately redirect you to the respective recipe page.

Here is the list of my hand-picked Chinese New Year recipes.

1. Spring rolls that symbolize wealth

The shape of the spring roll resembles gold bars, which symbolize wealth.

The Chinese characters of spring roll (春卷) also signify the arrival of spring, which shares the same character (春) of the Spring Festival. 

You can make spring rolls in advance as they freeze well. Then, deep-fry in hot oil directly from the freezer just before serving to enjoy the glass-shattering texture of freshly made spring rolls. 

Click the image below to access the recipe. 

Spring rolls for Chinese New Year

2. Bak Kwa with an auspicous color

Bak Kwa has a deep red color which is auspicious and believed to bring good luck. It’s available year-round but is hugely popular during Chinese New Year. 

Bak Kwa means dried meat in Hokkien, made with pork or chicken. 

Bak Kwa is incredibly delicious and almost unimaginable not to have it during Chinese New Year. It is like jerky and can be made in advance. 

You can make it with an oven, although charcoal will yield a smoky flavor on the grill. 

Click the image below to access the recipe. 

Bak Kwa - Chinese New Year recipes

3. Nian Gao for a higher achievment in the new year

Nian Gao is considered a good luck food for the Spring Festival because Nian Gao (年糕) is a homonym for ‘a higher achievement year’ (年高). It can be obtaining a good grade in school, higher income, a higher position in the company, a more prosperous business, or any improvement in the coming year.

This sticky sweet rice cake is an offering to the kitchen god each year-end, which resides in every kitchen. The folklore says that the kitchen god will present his yearly report to the Jade Emperor of what happens in each household. Hopefully, the sticky dessert will prevent him from bad-mouthing the respective family in his report. 

Click the image below to access the Nian Gao recipe. 

Nian Gao for new year

4. Buddha’s delight- a must-have vegetarian dish

Buddha’s delight is one of the main vegetable dishes, usually served during lunch on the 1st day of the Chinese New Year. 

This vegetarian dish is called Lo Han Cai (罗汉斋) in Chinese. ‘Lo Han’ is the Chinese name for the eighteen Arhats in Buddhism.  They are the saints equivalent to the apostles of Christianity. According to folklore, they invented this vegetarian dish in honor of their ancestors.

The authentic Buddha’s delight has eighteen ingredients, representing eighteen Arhats. Since it is too tedious to prepare, I have simplified it without compromising the flavor.

Buddha’s delight is one of the most popular Chinese New Year recipes on this blog.

Click the image below to access the Buddha’s delight recipe. 

Buddha's delight, also known as Lo Han Jai

5. Pork knuckle with dried oysters

Chinese style braised pork knuckle is a popular Chinese New Year dish among the Cantonese. The pork knuckle is cooked with black moss called fat choy, dried mushrooms, and dried oysters.

It is incredibly flavorful as the umami from the dried seafood is exceptional. 

This auspicious dish is popular because the name has a unique meaning. Black moss (发菜) is the homonym of making money, while dried oyster 蠔豉 sounds like good business in Cantonese. The pork knuckle (pork hand) indicates that you can grasp any fortune by your hand (橫財就手), and dried mushroom suggest you will be successful in all ways (东成西就). 

Click the image below to access the recipe. 

Pork knuckle with dried oysters

6. Dumplings – more fortune is on your way

Since Chinese dumplings resemble the ancient silver ingots, it is a popular dish on the new year menu.  Hopefully, the more dumplings you eat, the more fortune you will make 🙂

The Chinese words for dumpling (饺子) sound like (交子l, which means ‘exchange at midnight.’ Therefore, eating dumplings has a symbolic meaning to usher in the new and banish the previous year.

You can wrap the dumplings in advance and keep them frozen.  We like to eat it with homemade chili oil, the Szechuan style. It is also suitable for pan-frying, one of the perfect side dishes for dinner.

Click the image below to access the dumpling recipe. 

Dumplings - more fortune is on your way

7. Steam fish – there is abundance of wealth

Steam whole fish is always on the dining table on the first day of the new year. The fish must not be cut, as the entire fish symbolizes completeness and wholesomeness. 

Also, the word fish (鱼) is a homonym for surplus, extra, and leftover (余). Therefore, it signifies an abundance of wealth to bring to the new year.

The most popular way is to steam the whole fish and serve with a soy sauce and topped with scallion and ginger.

Click the image below to access the steam Cantonese-style whole fish recipe.

Chinese steamed fish - Chinese New Year recipes

8. Pan-fried shrimp – this will give you lots of laughter

Shrimp symbolizes fortune and good luck, a great inclusion to the Lunar New Year menu. In addition, shrimp represents liveliness, happiness, and laughter as the Chinese word (虾) is pronounced as ‘ha’ in Cantonese, which echoes the sound of a burst of laughter (hahaha…).

I hope everyone will have a happy and prosperous year ahead. Hopefully, the more you eat shrimp, the happier you will be with lots of laughter in the coming year.

The shrimp cooked with soy sauce is one of the most popular dishes on this occasion. It is easy to prepare and tastes fantastic. 

Click the image below to access the pan-fried shrimp recipe. 

pan fried shrimp for Chinese new year

9. Pineapple tart – prosperity is on your way

The Hokkien dialect for pineapple is ‘ong lai’ (旺来), which means ‘prosperity is on the way.’ 

This tiny tart is made with pineapple paste cooked with palm sugar and spiced up with cinnamon, star anise, and cloves. The pastry is buttery and melts in the mouth. 

These dainty bite-size tarts are sold during Chinese New Year at every nook and corner. 

You can follow this recipe to make it yourself.  The ready-made pineapple filling is available at most baking suppliers, but it is always better to make it your own.

Click the image below to access the pineapple tart recipe. 

Make pineapple tart for Chinese New year celebration

10. Tang Yuan – best to signify togetherness

This bite-size sticky glutinous rice ball in syrup has a significant meaning associated with the Winter Solstice and Chinese New Year.

Traditionally, this delightful dessert is served during the reunion dinner. The word Yuan (圆) carries the meaning of togetherness in the phrase ‘Tuányuán’ (團圓), which means the family is complete when everyone returns home for the reunion dinner.

It is also eaten on the 15th day of the new year, the Lantern Festival.

Here is a simple recipe to prepare Tang Yuan. You can also stuff it with peanut or red bean paste.

Click the image below to access the Tang Yuan recipe. 

Chinese New Year recipes

Other Chinese New Year Recipes

Here are more favorite Chinese lunar new year recipes associated with good fortune and prosperity. A whole chicken is usually steamed or blanched as offerings during prayers. Chinese almond cookies and butter cookies are also popular. Long noodles are served that are related to long life.

Happy Chinese New Year, Cong Xi Fa Cai, and Xin Nian Kuai Le


Monday 14th of February 2022

Request a recipe for fried chicken wings

KP Kwan

Monday 14th of February 2022

I have 2 fried chicken recipes that you can try. Korean fried chicken Indonesian fried chicken


Thursday 20th of January 2022

The recipes look great! I'm so glad you added the meanings and history behind each recipe since I've only heard bits and pieces from my mother and didn't understand.. Thanks for the detailed description. I'm looking forward to trying several of the recipes.

KP Kwan

Wednesday 19th of January 2022

Hi, this is KP Kwan. I am happy to see you in this comment area, as you have read through my recipe. I am glad to reply to any questions and comments as soon as possible.