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6 Chinese Dishes to Try this Lunar New Year!

By UALHalls 08 Feb 2024

We've put together 6 top Chinese dishes to enjoy for Chinese Lunar New Year 2024!

1. Rice Balls or 'Tang Tuan'

These are a Chinese dessert made by mixing glutinous rice flour with water to shape small spheres. The rice balls can then be cooked and served in a sweet syrup or simple boiling water.

Typically eaten during the Lantern Festival, which takes place two weeks after Chinese New Year festivities being, Tang Yuan symbolises unity and the importance of family. Due to this, it's often a popular choice for family celebrations throughout the year!

a wooden table topped with plates of food on a plate

2. Chinese Dumplings or 'Jiaozi'

'Jiaozi' also known as Chinese dumplings, represent prosperity, especially when eaten during Chinese New Year! (Although they're very popular all year round - and rightly so!)

These delicious dumplings are linked to good wealth due to their resemblance to gold ingots, the currency used during the Ming dynasty in China.

You'll find a wide range of dumpling flavours, ranging from vegetables, fish to minced meat enclosed in a thin and delicious dough!

a plate of dumplings

3. Steamed Fish

During the Chinese New Year festivities, a large steamed fish is often eaten as a sign of wealth and prosperity. When eaten during the festivities, it's tradition to leave some of the fish on your plate at the end of your meal, this symbolises saving and accumulating wealth for the year ahead.

It's also believed that the head of the fish should always be directed at the elders of the family as a gesture of respect. And don't flip the fish over whatever you do! This is considered unlucky as it symbolises a capsizing boat.

steamed fish

4. Longevity Noodles

We couldn't write a top list of Chinese New Year dishes without mentioning noodles now, could we!

Did you know? Noodles eaten during Chinese New Year are typically longer than usual, to symbolise joy and longevity. Reaching lengths of up to two feet (!), these noodles are known as 'Chang Shou Main' or 'long life noodles'. 

Longevity noodles are also popular at other celebrations, such as birthdays! 

a bowl of noodles sits on a plate

5. Chinese Rice Cakes or 'Nian Gao'

These glutinous rice cakes are enjoyed during the Chinese New Year for good luck!

In Chinese, 'Nian Gao' phonetically resembles 'higher year' so are eaten with the belief that they will lead to a more prosperous year ahead. 

Nian Gao can be served steamed, fried or eaten cold. The rice cakes comprise of glutinous rice flour, wheat starch, salt, water and sugar.

a close up of a rice cake

6. Spring Rolls or 'Chun Juan'

Who doesn't love a spring roll! These are eaten during Chinese New Year as they represent wealth and prosperity - even more reason to tuck in. The popular saying for eating spring rolls is 'Hwung-Jin Wan-Lyang' which translates to 'a ton of gold'.

Spring rolls are traditionally made from flour and water with a tasty savoury filling such as meat or vegetables, then fried for their signature golden appearance.

a close up of a spring rolls

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