Fustini's Oils and Vinegars

Ring in the Chinese New Year with These Tasty Recipes


New Year festivities aren’t over yet.  Chinese New Year celebrates the turning over of the Chinese calendar, a transition in zodiac signs.

Whether it’s been part of your traditions for your entire life, have just recently started celebrating or have yet to join in the fun, it can be a great opportunity to try some delicious cuisine and celebrate culture. Especially if the Chinese New Year isn’t part of your tradition, it can be exciting to learn about as you expand your cultural knowledge. 

If you’re celebrating Chinese New Year this month, we’re here to help. We’ll explore a brief overview of what the Chinese New Year is as well as some delicious recipes to help you get the party started, whether you’re with just one or two others or a larger gathering. 

What is the Chinese New Year?

The holiday often involves some great food, drinks and other Chinese traditions. Also called Spring Festival, the Chinese New Year is celebrated annually and can often be quite elaborate, depending on who’s invited. 

The main celebration kicks off  in February and goes until the middle/end of the month. Before the main event, the Little Year holiday is when preparations are made and families and friends get ready to welcome in the new year. Following the main Chinese New Year celebration is the Lantern Festival.

Traditionally, the Chinese New Year is a day set aside to pray to the gods for support in their planting and harvest seasons. In addition, many other myths and legends surround the holiday that include monsters and other beliefs. Firecrackers are set off at night to signify fighting off those monsters and are also set off in the morning as they celebrate the New Year and for good luck. 

The extended holiday also incorporates some taboos like showering or sweeping in order to preserve good luck. Instead of traditional gifts, people receive money in red envelopes during the holiday. There are many more traditions and explanations for all that’s included in the Chinese New Year, making it a great opportunity to reflect on culture or learn something new. 

Recipes to Ring in The Chinese New Year 

Whether you’re brand new to recognizing the Chinese New Year or have grown up with all the traditions, it can come with some delicious dishes, too. Whether you stick to all the traditional dishes or are interested in adding to the week-long spread, here are some tasty options you may just want to try out this year. 

Must-Have Dishes 

Like many other traditions and holidays, there are certain dishes that you just have to have each year. The same is true for Chinese New Year. Each dish also comes with special symbolism that reflects or represents something of culture. Some of these go-to dishes include: 

  • Spring Rolls / Egg Rolls - These well-known and well-loved rolls are commonly filled with ingredients like pork, shrimp, mushrooms and bean sprouts. They symbolize wealth due to their gold bar presentation. 
  • Dumplings - Also called Jiaozi, these are envelopes filled with things like beef, pork and veggies like cabbage or onions. They also represent wealth. 
  • Whole Fish or Meat - Having a whole fish steamed represents prosperity and wishing of abundance. 
  • Longevity Noodles - These long noodles are served with a light broth and symbolize a long and happy life for all. 
  • Glutenous Rice Balls - Made with rice powder and stuffed with things like fruit and nuts, these balls signify family reunion. 
  • Nian Gao - These rice cakes are boiled and served with veggies or meat and intend to wish a higher, successful year. 

In celebrating Chinese New Year, these traditional foods can help you find authentic and creative ideas to help you celebrate well. 

Tasty Recipes for Chinese New Year 

Ready to get cooking? Here we share some great recipe ideas as you celebrate the new year with some memorable favorites or new flavors. 

Pan Fried Dumplings - These traditional favorites are filled with pork and bring in bright flavors with Ginger Honey balsamic and Sesame and Cilantro and Onion oils. 

Holiday Egg Rolls - Bring a pop of color and flavor to a traditional favorite with this egg roll recipe that includes a pomegranate dipping sauce that kicks up the heat by adding in some spicy Korean balsamic vinegar

Shrimp Egg Rolls with Ginger Honey Glaze - Stuff your egg rolls with a zesty shrimp filling that amps up the flavor with a sweet and spicy glaze, complete with a splash of Ginger Lime Agrodolce

Lettuce Wraps with Turkey and Ginger-Honey Rice - Also commonly found in a Chinese New Year spread, lettuce wraps bring a fresh crunch with a pop of flavor. These wraps are also nicely served with a zesty Ginger Honey rice. 

Fried Wontons with Sesame Soy Dipping Sauce - Filled with crab and flavorful herbs and flavorings, these wontons are complete with a zesty dipping sauce thanks to the Spicy Korean balsamic.  

Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce - Packed with shrimp, pork, rice and other great flavorings, these spring rolls get a boost of flavor with a peanut sauce with Ginger Honey balsamic and sesame oil. 

Ring in the New Year with Great Taste 

Whether you stick with traditional dishes or are eager to try something new, the Chinese New Year celebrations can be a great time of food, friends, family and recognizing a key part of culture. However you celebrate, these tasty recipes can help you get the party started. 




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