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Top 10 Lunar New Year Dishes

Lunar New Year is just a few weeks away, and your family and friends will soon gather around the dinner table to celebrate the Year of the Dragon with delicious food that symbolizes good luck and fortune. From sweet and savory, crunchy and soft, meat-loaded or vegan, there’s something for everyone in a Lunar New Year feast.

Several countries celebrate this occasion, and Asian communities worldwide come together to celebrate the Lunar New Year. While China and Korea ring in their new year (according to the traditional calendar) on this day, Vietnam, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore also celebrate the festival with great enthusiasm. If you are hosting the Lunar New Year get-together this year, here are some dishes that will impress everyone at the dinner table.

1. Dumplings

Dumplings bring prosperity and luck to people in the Lunar New Year. Known as gyoza in Japanese, mandu in Korean, or jiǎozi in Mandarin Chinese, dumplings are savory morsels that are hard not to love. Juicy pork and chives, chicken and cabbage, and egg and spinach make the filling of the dumplings.

2. Rice Cake Soup – Korea

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Korean rice cake soup, also known as Tteokguk, consists of chewy yet soft white rice cake. This dish is unique because the rice cake is cooked in steaming translucent broth made using chicken, pork, pheasant, seafood, or beef. While it might look plain, you will be surprised by its delicate flavor, and kids will love this dish due to its mildness.

3. Red Sticky Rice – Vietnam

Red sticky rice, or Xôi Gấc, is a popular Lunar New Year dish in Vietnam. It is also nutritious. Moreover, it comes with the promise of good luck in the new traditional calendar year. The dish contains gac fruits, sticky rice, coconut milk, and sugar.

4. Pan-Fried Pork Buns – Taiwan

Lunar New Year dishes
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Taiwanese pan-fried pork buns, or Sheng Jian Bao, are savory, pillowy, and crispy buns filled to the brim with minced pork-spring onion filling mixed with various seasonings. The dish is traditionally served as breakfast but can also be served to your guests during the LNY get-together.

5. Pandan-Flavored “Snow White” Cookies – Indonesia

Pandan-flavored Indonesian “Snow White” cookies or Putri Salju Pandan is a must-have Lunar New Year dish. The natural vibrant green color of the cookies comes from the main ingredient, Pandan, a tropical plant with fragrant leaves that’s a popular flavoring in Southeast Asia. It infuses these melt-in-your-mouth cookies with a vanilla-citrusy flavor. The cookies are also filled with almonds, peanuts, or cashews. Moreover, the bright color makes it a fan-favorite among the littles.

6. Steamed or Boiled Chicken – Malaysia

Lunar New Year dishes
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Steamed or boiled chicken is a customary Lunar New Year dish in Malaysia. Furthermore, people make different variations of chicken, like steamed ginger chicken, steamed herbal chicken with red dates, and fragrant stewed chicken, to celebrate the warmth of togetherness.

7. Yusheng – Singapore

Yusheng is a traditional raw fish salad served in Singapore (as well as in Malaysia) during the Lunar New Year. The dish usually consists of strips of raw fish and shredded vegetables paired with various sauces and condiments. The guests generally toss the salad. Also, the belief is that the higher the toss, the more prosperity in the new traditional calendar year.

8. Fried Sesame Balls

Fried sesame balls, or Jian Dui, are another popular Lunar New Year dish loved by all. They are crispy, chewy pastries made with glutinous rice flour and filled with sweet red bean paste. The balls are then coated with sesame seeds and fried for a toasty and nutty flavor.

9. Shrimp and Pork Spring Rolls

Lunar New Year dishes
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Spring rolls are a staple to celebrate the upcoming year in every Asian household. These crispy rolls are filled with ground pork, marinated shrimp, and a handful of colorful vegetables, like jicama, carrots, and beans. The crunchy goodness is well-loved by the children because who doesn’t love biting into a super crispy spring roll?

10. Noodles

Called chángshòu miàn in some parts of China, these “long-life noodles,” or “longevity noodles,” are a must for the Lunar New Year feast. The noodles are as long as two feet long and are apt to celebrate several occasions, like your birthday, wedding, or a new baby. They are either fried or served with broth during the LNY feast. The belief is that the longer the noodles, the longer the life of whoever eats them.

Which Lunar New Year dishes will you make for your family and friends this February? Do let us know in the comment section below!

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