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Fast and Easy Chinese New Year Recipes: Simple Dishes for a Joyful Celebration

Spend more time celebrating and less time cooking with these quick and simple Chinese New Year recipes. Create a delicious spread of festive dishes for your loved ones without the stress and hassle of complicated recipes. Make this year's Chinese New Year celebration a memorable one with these simple yet delicious dishes.

Colorful ingredients arranged on a clean, wooden surface. A wok and chopsticks nearby. A steaming bowl of noodles and a plate of dumplings

The essence of Chinese New Year is about bringing people together, so it's important to have dishes that everyone can enjoy. From classic appetisers to savoury main courses, delightful side dishes to delectable desserts and sweet treats, there's something for everyone. Whether you're a seasoned cook or a beginner in the kitchen, these recipes are easy to follow and will impress your guests.

If you're a seafood lover, then why not incorporate it into your Chinese New Year feast? Prawns, fish, and squid are all popular ingredients in Chinese cuisine and can add a delicious depth of flavour to your dishes. Try adding prawns to your fried rice or stir-fry, or make a fish dish the centerpiece of your meal. With these simple recipes, you'll be able to create a memorable feast that your family and friends will love.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese New Year is a time for celebration, family, and food, and these simple recipes will help you create a delicious spread without the fuss.
  • From classic appetisers to delectable desserts, there's something for everyone, and these recipes are easy to follow and will impress your guests.
  • If you're a seafood lover, try incorporating prawns, fish, or squid into your dishes to add a delicious depth of flavour.

The Essence of Chinese New Year

A table adorned with traditional Chinese New Year dishes, including dumplings, spring rolls, and sweet rice cakes. Red lanterns hang above, and a dragon dance is depicted in the background

Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year, is a festive occasion celebrated by families across the world. It is a time of joy, prosperity, and surplus. Traditionally, the festival is celebrated over 15 days, starting on the first day of the lunar calendar.

Traditions and Celebrations

The celebrations of Chinese New Year are steeped in tradition. Families gather to enjoy festive meals, exchange gifts, and participate in cultural activities. One of the most important traditions is the reunion dinner, where families come together to share a meal and welcome the new year.

Symbolism of Food in Lunar New Year

Food plays a significant role in Chinese New Year celebrations. Each dish has its own symbolic meaning, representing wealth, prosperity, and good fortune. For example, fish symbolizes abundance and surplus, while dumplings represent wealth and prosperity.

To add a touch of seafood to your Chinese New Year feast, consider incorporating prawns or scallops into your recipes. These delicacies are often associated with good luck and prosperity in Chinese culture.

In summary, Chinese New Year is a time to celebrate with family and friends, and to enjoy delicious food that symbolizes wealth, prosperity, and good fortune. Incorporating seafood into your recipes can add an extra touch of luck and prosperity to your festive meal.

Classic Appetisers to Start Your Feast

A table set with traditional Chinese appetizers, including spring rolls, dumplings, and crispy wontons, ready to kick off a festive New Year's feast

If you're planning a Chinese New Year feast, you'll want to start off with some classic appetisers to get your guests in the mood. Here are three popular options to consider:

Spring Rolls

Spring rolls are a classic Chinese appetiser that are easy to make and always a crowd-pleaser. These crispy, golden rolls can be filled with a variety of ingredients, such as vegetables, pork, shrimp, or chicken. If you want to incorporate seafood into your spring rolls, you can try using prawns or crab meat. Serve with a sweet chilli dipping sauce for a delicious start to your meal.

Dumplings

Dumplings are another popular appetiser that are a must-have at any Chinese New Year celebration. These bite-sized treats can be steamed, boiled, or pan-fried, and can be filled with a variety of ingredients, such as pork, beef, shrimp, or vegetables. If you want to add some seafood to your dumplings, you can try using prawns or scallops. Serve with soy sauce and chilli oil for a tasty start to your meal.

Scallion Pancakes

Scallion pancakes are a savoury Chinese flatbread that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They are made with a simple dough that is flavoured with chopped scallions and sesame oil. These pancakes are perfect for dipping in soy sauce or chilli oil. If you want to add some seafood to your scallion pancakes, you can try using chopped prawns or squid.

Whether you choose to make spring rolls, dumplings, or scallion pancakes, your guests are sure to love these classic Chinese appetisers. They're easy to make, and can be filled with a variety of ingredients to suit your taste. So why not give them a try at your next Chinese New Year celebration?

Savoury Main Courses

A table set with traditional Chinese New Year dishes, featuring savory main courses like dumplings, noodles, and stir-fried vegetables

When it comes to Chinese New Year, savoury main courses are the heart of the reunion dinner. Here are some easy-to-make recipes that will impress your guests:

Beef and Broccoli

Beef and Broccoli is a classic Chinese dish that is perfect for any occasion. This savoury main dish is easy to make and can be served with rice or noodles. To make this dish, you will need beef, broccoli, garlic, soy sauce, oyster sauce, cornstarch, and sesame oil.

First, marinate the beef in soy sauce and cornstarch for at least 30 minutes. Then, stir-fry the beef with garlic and sesame oil until it is browned. Next, add the broccoli and stir-fry until it is tender. Finally, add the oyster sauce and stir until everything is well coated.

Char Siu

Char Siu is a popular Chinese barbecue pork dish that is perfect for any occasion. This savoury main dish is easy to make and can be served with rice or noodles. To make this dish, you will need pork, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, garlic, and Chinese five-spice powder.

First, marinate the pork in soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, garlic, and Chinese five-spice powder for at least 2 hours. Then, roast the pork in the oven until it is cooked through and caramelized. Finally, slice the pork and serve it with rice or noodles.

Chinese Steamed Fish

Chinese Steamed Fish is a healthy and delicious dish that is perfect for any occasion. This savoury main dish is easy to make and can be served with rice or noodles. To make this dish, you will need a whole fish, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, and green onions.

First, clean and scale the fish. Then, stuff it with ginger and green onions. Next, steam the fish for about 10 minutes or until it is cooked through. Finally, drizzle soy sauce and sesame oil over the fish and serve it with rice or noodles.

When cooking these savoury main courses, you can also add seafood such as lobster to the dishes to make them even more special. The seafood will add a unique flavour and texture to the dish. For example, you can add lobster to the Beef and Broccoli dish or Chinese Steamed Fish dish.

Delightful Side Dishes

A table set with colorful and aromatic side dishes, including crispy spring rolls, steamed dumplings, and fragrant fried rice, all arranged in traditional Chinese New Year style

Chinese New Year is a time for feasting and celebrating with loved ones. Side dishes are a crucial part of the celebration, and they add variety and flavour to the meal. Here are some delightful side dishes to try this Chinese New Year:

Chow Mein

Chow Mein is a popular Chinese dish that is easy to make and delicious. It is made with stir-fried noodles, vegetables, and meat. You can use any type of meat you like, such as chicken, beef, or pork. If you prefer seafood, you can add prawns or squid to the dish.

To make Chow Mein, you will need:

  • Noodles
  • Vegetables (carrots, cabbage, beansprouts, peppers)
  • Meat or seafood (chicken, beef, pork, prawns, squid)
  • Soy sauce
  • Oyster sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Garlic and ginger

Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet. Stir-fry the vegetables and meat or seafood in a wok or frying pan. Add the cooked noodles and sauces, and stir-fry until everything is combined and heated through.

Lo Mein

Lo Mein is another popular Chinese dish that is similar to Chow Mein. The main difference is that Lo Mein is made with soft noodles instead of crispy noodles. You can use the same ingredients as Chow Mein, but you will need to adjust the cooking time for the noodles.

To make Lo Mein, you will need:

  • Soft noodles
  • Vegetables (carrots, cabbage, beansprouts, peppers)
  • Meat or seafood (chicken, beef, pork, prawns, squid)
  • Soy sauce
  • Oyster sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Garlic and ginger

Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet. Stir-fry the vegetables and meat or seafood in a wok or frying pan. Add the cooked noodles and sauces, and stir-fry until everything is combined and heated through.

Turnip Cake

Turnip Cake, also known as Lo Bak Go, is a savoury cake made with shredded turnip, rice flour, and Chinese sausage. It is a popular dish during Chinese New Year, and it is believed to bring good luck and prosperity.

To make Turnip Cake, you will need:

  • Turnip
  • Rice flour
  • Chinese sausage
  • Dried shrimp
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Garlic and ginger
  • Soy sauce
  • Oyster sauce
  • Chicken stock

Grate the turnip and soak it in water for at least an hour. Drain the turnip and mix it with rice flour, Chinese sausage, dried shrimp, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, ginger, and sauces. Pour the mixture into a greased baking tin and steam for 45 minutes to an hour.

These side dishes are easy to make and will add flavour and variety to your Chinese New Year feast. Try them out and impress your family and friends with your culinary skills!

Delectable Desserts and Sweet Treats

A table adorned with traditional Chinese New Year desserts and treats, including tangyuan, nian gao, and almond cookies, surrounded by festive red and gold decorations

Looking for some sweet treats to celebrate Chinese New Year? Look no further than these two delicious dessert options.

Pineapple Tarts

Pineapple tarts are a popular dessert during Chinese New Year celebrations. These buttery, crumbly tarts are filled with sweet pineapple jam and are sure to be a hit with your family and friends.

To make the pineapple jam, you can use fresh pineapple or canned pineapple. Simply cook the pineapple with sugar until it becomes a thick jam. Then, roll out some pastry dough and cut it into small rounds. Spoon a small amount of the pineapple jam onto each round and bake until golden brown.

For an extra special twist, you can add some chopped seafood such as shrimp or crab to the pineapple jam before filling the tarts. This will add a savoury flavour to balance out the sweetness.

Sticky Rice with Chinese Sausage

Another popular Chinese New Year dessert is sticky rice with Chinese sausage. This sweet and savoury dish is made with glutinous rice, Chinese sausage, and other ingredients such as mushrooms and dried shrimp.

To make this dish, simply soak the glutinous rice in water for a few hours, then steam it until it becomes soft and sticky. Meanwhile, cook the Chinese sausage and other ingredients in a pan until they are fragrant. Then, mix the cooked ingredients with the sticky rice and steam for another 10-15 minutes.

For a seafood twist, you can add some chopped prawns or scallops to the dish. These will add a delicate seafood flavour and pair well with the savoury Chinese sausage.

Enjoy these delectable desserts and sweet treats during your Chinese New Year celebrations!

Frequently Asked Questions

A table set with traditional Chinese New Year dishes, surrounded by family members. Red lanterns hang above, adding to the festive atmosphere

What are some easy-to-make vegetarian dishes for Chinese New Year?

If you're looking for vegetarian dishes to serve during Chinese New Year, consider making Buddha's Delight (Lo Han Jai), a vegetarian dish that is traditionally served on the first day of the new year. This dish typically contains a variety of vegetables, tofu, and mushrooms. Another option is stir-fried mixed vegetables, which can be flavoured with garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. You could also consider making a vegetarian version of dumplings or spring rolls, using vegetables and tofu as the filling.

Can you suggest some simple chicken recipes for a Chinese New Year feast?

For a simple chicken recipe that is perfect for Chinese New Year, try making Kung Pao Chicken. This dish is made with diced chicken, peanuts, and vegetables, and is flavoured with a spicy and slightly sweet sauce. Another option is General Tso's Chicken, which is made with battered and fried chicken, and is served with a sweet and sour sauce. If you're looking for a healthier option, you could try making steamed chicken with ginger and scallions.

What desserts are typically served during Chinese New Year celebrations?

During Chinese New Year celebrations, it's common to serve sweet treats that symbolize good luck and prosperity. Some popular desserts include Nian Gao, a sweet glutinous rice cake, and Tang Yuan, sweet glutinous rice balls filled with sesame paste or sweet bean paste. You could also serve sweet red bean soup, which is made with red beans, sugar, and water.

Could you recommend some child-friendly dishes for a Chinese New Year party?

If you're hosting a Chinese New Year party for children, consider making dishes that are fun and easy to eat. Spring rolls and dumplings are always a hit with kids, and you could even get them involved in making their own. Sweet and sour chicken is another kid-friendly option, as is fried rice or chow mein. For dessert, you could serve fortune cookies or sweet rice balls.

What are the classic main dishes to prepare for a Cantonese-style Chinese New Year meal?

A Cantonese-style Chinese New Year meal typically includes a variety of dishes, including seafood, meats, and vegetables. Some classic main dishes include steamed fish, which is often served whole and symbolizes abundance and prosperity. Roast duck is another popular option, as is braised abalone, which is considered a delicacy. You could also serve stir-fried vegetables or a seafood hot pot.

Which dishes are considered lucky to eat during Chinese New Year and why?

During Chinese New Year, it's traditional to eat dishes that are believed to bring good luck and prosperity. Some lucky dishes include fish, which symbolizes abundance and prosperity, and dumplings, which are shaped like gold ingots and represent wealth. Noodles are also considered lucky, as they symbolize longevity. Finally, Nian Gao, the sweet glutinous rice cake, is believed to bring good luck and prosperity for the coming year.