Lunar New Year Traditional Recipes

Article written by Fion Ho

Edited by Delia Claudette Dumpangol

The Lunar New year is a time where people all over the world have family gatherings and have reunion feasts on New Year’s Eve. Lunar New Year food represents different symbols, for example prosperity, luck and success. For me, I enjoyed having reunion feasts because I got to taste a variety of food, which I loved most of them.  

Braised Mushrooms and Abalone

Braised Mushrooms and Abalone is a traditional Chinese dish. Abalone is quite expensive so it is only served on special occasions such as Chinese New Year and weddings. 


1 can of abalone

1 broccoli

8 pieces of mushroom

1 carrot

½ teaspoon salt

1 tsp cornflour

2 tbsp soy sauce              


  1. Rinse and soak the mushrooms overnight. 
  2. Rinse all the vegetables.
  3. Cut the carrots into slices. Cut the broccoli into spears. 
  4. Over medium heat, boil the broccoli and carrots for 5 minutes, until the texture is soft. Leave the broccoli and carrot aside. 
  5. Braise the mushrooms in a pot with 2 tbsp soy sauce and some water. When the sauce comes to a boil, let it simmer for about 30 minutes. Then, add the abalone in and cook for another 10 minutes. Put the abalone and mushrooms aside.
  6. In the pot, mix the leftover sauce with a tsp of cornflour.
  7. Organise the food on the plate. Serve.

Steamed Fish

Fish is a main dish for Lunar New Year celebrations. It is a MUST have dish for every family. In Mandarin, fish sounds like surplus (yu), which means you will have more than enough for the New Year and surplus for the following year. 


1 red fish (large)

5 pieces onion leeks

3 cloves of garlic

A little carrot slices

1 small ginger (sliced)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp soy sauce                                     


  1. Rub both sides of the fish with salt. 
  2. Lay the fish on the onion leeks and ginger on a ceramic plate. 
  3. Boil the water in the steamer, place the fish in once it is boiling. Steam for 20 minutes. 
  4. Top the carrot slices and remaining onion leeks on the fish. Steam for another 5 minutes.
  5. In a pan with medium heat, fry garlic until golden brown with some olive oil.
  6. Once the fish is ready, put the oil with garlic on top of the steamed fish.
  7. Add a tsp of soy sauce to make it taste better. 
  8. Enjoy!

Fried Spring Rolls

Spring rolls are a traditional Chinese food, which are also called “spring pancakes”. They are eaten during the Lunar New Year celebration (Spring festival) as a way to welcome the beginning of spring. It symbolizes wealth and brings the meaning of a ton of gold because of their shape, which is like gold bars.


1 medium sized Mexican yam (sliced) 

1 Carrot (sliced)

3 cloves garlic (Sliced)

Spring roll pastry

¼ tsp salt

A pinch of pepper                                       


  1. In a pan over medium heat, fry the garlic until golden brown. 
  2. Put in the carrots and Mexican yam, cook until soft.
  3. Add the pepper and salt in with a little water. Let it simmer for a while. 
  4. Put the fillings on a plate, ready to be used. 
  5. Wrap the fillings in the spring roll pastry, folding the two ends up together. 
  6. In a pan over low heat, fry the spring rolls until golden brown and crispy. 
  7. Serve on a plate, with any sauce you like. 

Glutinous rice balls (Tang Yuan)

Glutinous rice balls means harmony and perfection because of their round shape, which is like a full moon. It brings good luck to people and with the hope that they will reunite with their families and friends again in the following year. 


150g glutinous rice flour

50g cornflour

6 tbsp boiling water 

3 tsp sugar

Red Food colouring

Pandan leaves                                                


  1. In a bowl, pour the boiling water on the flour. Mix well.
  2. Knead with your hands until it becomes smooth dough. 
  3. Divide the dough into 2 parts and add a little food colouring to one of it. Mix until the colour is even.
  4. Roll the dough into balls in any size you like. Put aside.
  5. Boil a large pot of water, add the pandan leaves. Put the balls in the pot once the water is boiled.
  6. Put the sugar in. Stir occasionally until the balls float on the surface.
  7. Serve warm.



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