8 Unique Foods To Eat on Chinese New Year

Chinese language New Yr (also referred to as Lunar New Yr) is a vacation celebrated all through Asia. In China, it’s generally known as the Spring Pageant and like several vacation, special-occasion meals is a serious a part of the festivities. Households will usually maintain an extravagant dinner that includes special-occasion dishes corresponding to seafood or hot pot, a lot of them holding symbolic significance. Dishes can even range vastly relying on province, as every space of China options its personal distinctive native delicacies. This yr, Lunar New Yr falls on February 12 and is a superb time to get pleasure from a particular meal stuffed with household and custom.

Complete Suckling Pig

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In Southern Guangdong province, diners will usually discover a complete suckling pig because the centerpiece of their Lunar New Yr tables. Guangdong is house to Southern Cantonese delicacies, well-known for contemporary seafood and delicate dim sum. However Cantonese delicacies additionally contains a distinctive regional barbecue that’s each complicated and flavorful.

A special day dish, roast suckling pig is often served spread-eagle on a big plate. The crispy pores and skin is separated from the meat, then positioned again on high. Suckling pig is most frequently served with hoisin sauce, scallions and skinny wheat pancakes. Since serving a complete animal is pricey, the presence of a suckling pig on a New Yr’s table was historically an indication of prosperity. To acquire your individual suckling pig, order upfront out of your native Cantonese barbecue restaurant or Cantonese seafood restaurant.

Dumplings (Jiaozi)

In Northern China, meat-packed boiled dumplings generally known as jiaozi type the idea of a central dish of Chinese language New Yr. For a lot of Northerners, a hearty bowl of wheat dumplings, buns, and noodles are preferable to rice. Households will usually collect round on Chinese language New Yr to make dumplings from scratch.

Jiaozi is often boiled (may also be fried) and stuffed with a number of totally different elements. The commonest filling is floor pork blended with ginger, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, and greens corresponding to cabbage or Chinese language leeks. Chinese language dumplings usually don’t embrace garlic and often function just one sort of vegetable (for instance, cabbage shouldn’t be blended with leeks. That mixture is extra frequent in Japanese dumplings, generally known as gyoza). Vegetarian fillings can embrace a mixture of mushrooms, tofu, leeks, radish, or eggs. Wrappers might be made by hand however any native Chinese language market could have pre-made wrappers. To accompany the dumplings, it’s best to dip them in a black, barely molasses-like Zhenjiang vinegar spiked with some chili oil.

Learn extra: How to Make The Perfect Shrimp Dumpling

Complete Fish


Whether or not steamed, fried, or braised, complete fish is served on Chinese language New Yr tables all through the nation as an indication of abundance. In China, celebratory meals function the eating philosophy of da yu da rou (“massive fish and large meat”). Historically,  animal protein was used sparingly within the common Chinese language meal. Many Chinese language dishes make the most of small items of meat and seafood, largely for flavoring or stir fried with greens. Subsequently, the presence of a complete fish or chunk of meat is an ample and spectacular image on the table.

Each area of China has its personal most well-liked manner of cooking complete fish. In Hangzhou, a metropolis within the japanese coastal province of Zhejiang, contemporary carp is steamed with a thick sauce of candy vinegar. In southern Guangdong, fish is steamed and topped with a soy sauce combine topped with silvered ginger, scallions, and cilantro.

Spring Rolls (Chun Juan)


Crispy and savory, spring rolls, generally known as chun juan, are extremely popular throughout Chinese language New Yr. Comprised of wheat, the skinny wrappers generally comprise a savory filling of pork, shredded mushrooms, cabbage, bean sprouts, and carrots. Spring rolls are deep fried and needs to be eaten scorching.

When fried, spring rolls flip a golden colour, resembling bars of gold, symbolizing the wealth and prosperity of the brand new yr.

Cured Meats

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Comparatively unknown within the west, China has an abundance of cured meats corresponding to hams and sausages. In China, it’s not unusual to see complete sides of pork, geese, fish, and sausages hanging within the open air of an outdoor market or on the window ledges of homes.

Two of the preferred cured meats are salted, air-dried pork (larou) and sausage. Larou is commonly constituted of pork stomach and served steamed or sliced skinny and stir fried with greens. Chinese language sausages resemble salami and are best served sliced skinny. Within the central province of Sichuan, sausages are a well-liked element of Chinese language New Yr, stuffed with a mix of pork, floor chilies and mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns.

Candy Rice Balls (Tang Yuan)

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Comprised of glutinous rice flour and full of an assortment of candy fillings, tang yuan symbolize togetherness and household reunion, good for Chinese language New Yr. The precise rice balls are comparatively delicate, just like Japanese mochi in each taste and chewy texture. The fillings are various, starting from candy purple bean paste to black sesame paste. The scale of a ping pong ball, tang yuan are served scorching, generally in easy scorching water or a candy soup flavored with candy fermented rice.

All through China, tang yuan are eaten originally of the Lantern Pageant, the top of Chinese language New Yr. Nevertheless, in Shanghai and southern China, the rice balls are usually eaten all through Chinese language New Yr.

Eight Treasure Rice (Babao Fan)


Rice is a typical ingredient in Chinese language desserts and Eight Treasure Rice could be the best instance of this staple. This layered, candy rice pudding represents nice fortune for all who eat it. Glutinous rice is layered with an assortment of elements: purple bean paste, lotus seeds, almonds, jujubes, candied fruits, plums, and goji berries. The precise “eight treasures” element can range relying on the chef. The entire dish is steamed in a bowl and as soon as cooled, is taken out and positioned onto a plate, revealing every layer of ingredient for diners to get pleasure from.

Fruit (Oranges, Tangerines)

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Fruit is a central a part of conventional Chinese language present tradition and Chinese language New Yr is not any exception. The commonest fruits are oranges, tangerines, kumquats, and pomelos. These spherical, golden citrus fruits characterize prosperity in Chinese language tradition, bringing success to the present recipient. Fruit might be gifted in baskets or nonetheless connected to a small tree, which serves the twin goal of ornament and as a refreshing dessert to an extravagant Chinese language New Yr’s dinner.

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