The secret to the best 2020 of your life lies on your table. If you are celebrating Chinese New Year this time around, make sure to eat well, and eat lucky, by taking from the traditions of the Chinese culture. Whether it's prosperity, wealth, good health, or harmony in your family, there is a type of food for every kind of good fortune.
Find out what foods are eaten during Chinese New Year, and eat your way to a great new lunar year.
The best food for Chinese New Year
1. Fish for prosperity
The word for “surplus” is a homophone of “fish” in Mandarin, and any new New Year celebration meal will feature a whole fish in China. In China, finishing the year with a surplus is a sign of a better year ahead. So, grab a whole fish and steam, boil, or braise it like they do - carp and catfish are popular choices for auspicious reasons.
2. Dumplings for wealth
Dumplings in Chinese culture represent wealth because they are shaped like old Chinese gold ingots. The word for dumpling, ‘jaozi’ also means the changing of the years, so make some dumplings on New Year’s Eve with the family, letting go of the past and welcoming more wealth in the new year.
Check out our guide on how to make dumplings in 7 recipes.
3. Spring rolls for wealth
Golden deep fried spring rolls that resemble bars of gold also mean wealth. Traditionally eaten during the Spring festival, spring rolls were made to include all the fresh spring produce in one dish, but it’s common to find a whole range of fillings wrapped inside these delicious crunchy fried rolls.
Try our recipe for classic spring rolls with bean sprouts, cabbage and noodles, served with soy sauce.
4. Longevity noodles for happiness and longevity
Make sure any noodles you eat on Chinese New Year are long, if you wish for a happy and long life! Called changshou mian, those who are particularly auspicious may try to down the noodles in one long slurp to avoid ‘cutting’ their good fortune short.
5. Tangyuan for family
No family meal is complete without these sweet rice balls. Tangyuan, a homophone of the word for ‘reunion’, represents family and togetherness, and is a must at any celebration. Made with glutinous rice flour, these sweet, gooey balls are filled with sweet fillings such as bean paste, sesame paste, fruits or nuts then boiled and served in a bowl of warm, sweet syrup.
6. Lucky fruit for fullness and wealth
Any fruit eaten over Chinese New Year should be golden coloured and round if you want to higher your chances of good luck and better wealth in the new year. Bright oranges and tangerines are perfect to have piled up on the table.
7. Nian gao - glutinous rice cake for higher income and career success
Eating glutinous rice cakes at Chinese New Year symbolises a rising income and better luck in your career. Gobble down on Year Cakes on the first day of the new year and (hopefully) see your career take a turn for the better. Try them sweet or salty, fried, boiled or in soup.