Lunar New Year Recipe Round Up
On February 1st, 2022 the Lunar New Year is set to begin! Over the first two weeks of the month, festivities will take place to welcome the Year of the Tiger and the beginning of spring. We’ve compiled some of our favourite recipes inspired by traditional dishes which are served throughout the celebratory period to bring good fortune and ensure a fruitful, prosperous year.
Lunar New Year Traditions
In addition to special foods, celebrating the Lunar New Year involves plenty of other important traditions. Spending time as a family, to prepare for and commemorate the occasion, is an integral part of the festivities. Family members might help one another clean the home to get rid of bad luck so that good luck is well-received once the new year begins. Passing down time-honoured skills, such as dumpling-making or noodle-making, from one generation to the other is another important activity families will do together. On Lunar New Year’s Eve, many households will host a family gathering in the form of a large feast to kick off the next two weeks of celebration. In terms of gifts, citrus fruit, dragon fruit, houseplants, candy and red envelopes containing cash are all considered to be signs of good fortune in the year to come.
Appetizers and Side Dishes for New Beginnings
Dumplings are a must-have dish over the course of the Lunar New Year. Not only do they come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes (with an even greater variety of fillings), dumplings and spring rolls are considered lucky, symbolizing wealth and prosperity for the coming year. Making dumplings from scratch can be time-consuming, so be sure to enlist the help of family members as part of the celebration. Short on time? Keep a selection of frozen dumplings in the freezer to serve with dipping sauce or as an addition to last-minute wonton soup.
Festive Mains for the Whole Family
If you have the good fortune to sit down for a traditional meal over the course of the Lunar New Year, it’s more likely you’ll find chicken, duck and fish served whole. Whole fish, in particular, is meant to symbolize wholeness and abundance (in Mandarin, the word “fish” is pronounced the same way as “abundance.”) The following main dishes are inspired by time-honoured ingredients and cooking methods, but are scaled down in terms of meal prep and yield. If you’re able to find a whole duck or are looking for a pork marinade, our recipe for Chinese Barbecue Sauce is sure to hit the spot.