Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with These 30 Lunar New Year Recipes

updated Jan 17, 2023
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hot pot on table with things to cook in it nearby on plates
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

I celebrate Lunar New Year with my Chinese family every year, and it’s one of my favorite holidays because it centers around family and feasting. This year, 2023, marks the Year of the Rabbit and it is said those born under the rabbit sign are thought to be gentle, caring, and promote a lifestyle of kindness. Chinese culture celebrates for about two weeks, starting with a big, multi-course family dinner on the eve of new year, but family visits and eating are an integral part of the whole extended holiday.

Lunar New Year dishes are full of color and symbolism, and you can go all out and prepare an epic reunion dinner or just try a few new-to-you dishes to celebrate. While Lunar New Year is celebrated across many different Asian cultures, including Vietnamese and Korean communities, I’ve centered this collection of recipes around Chinese cuisine, reflecting my personal heritage and upbringing. From stir-fries and dumplings to hand-pulled longevity noodles and whole steamed fish, here’s a list of 30 delicious recipes to usher in the Year of the Rabbit. Gung hay fat choy!

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Taiwanese Cucumber Salad
Rice vinegar and mirin are flavor stand-outs in this crunchy, cold salad.
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Pan-Fried Chive Pockets
This traditional Chinese delicacy can be found both as a casual street food and also as a Lunar New Year mainstay.
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Chinese Bao Board

What is a Chinese bao board, you ask? It basically deconstructs the elements in the delicious buns found at Chinese bakeries and dim sum restaurants and presents it on a board, making them perfect for parties and gatherings.

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Chicken Lettuce Wraps
The Cantonese word for lettuce sounds like "rising fortune," and the leaves are stuffed with other lucky ingredients into one tasty appetizer.
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Classic Chinese Dumplings (Jiaozi)
Dumplings look like the gold ingot currency used in ancient China and represent wealth and prosperity for the coming year.
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Air Fryer Egg Rolls
For delicious and crispy egg rolls, look to the air fryer.
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Oxtail Soup
This comforting, hearty soup from Mister Jiu's cookbook is full of meaty oxtails, roasted veggies, star anise, ginger, and two kinds of peppercorns.
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Curry Fish Ball Skewers
This classic Hong Kong street food of chewy fish balls simmered in curry sauce gets a turn on a smoky grill.
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Chrysanthemum and Tofu Salad (Ma Lan Tou)
An easy, refreshing chrysanthemum and tofu salad tossed with lots of cilantro.
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Cantonese Hot Pot at Home Recipe
At-home hot pot is a fun and simple meal that gets the whole family involved.
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Chairman Mao’s Red-Braised Pork Belly (Hong Shao Rou)
Pork belly is braised until meltingly tender with sugar and soy sauce.
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Red XO Sauce
Chinese XO sauce at its core is an oil infused with dried seafood, salted meat, and aromatics. Stir-fry the sauce with noodles or veggies.
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Chili Oil

A versitile and delicious Chinese condiment of oil steeped in aromatics and infused with dried chiles.

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Shanghai Style Sweet & Sour Sauce
This sweet and sour sauce is the one I grew up with in Shanghai. It's made with black vinegar, rock sugar, and generally served atop tender pork riblets.
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Kung Pao Chicken
A quick, spicy stir-fry of chicken, bell peppers, and roasted peanuts.
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Braised Shiitake Mushrooms with Baby Bok Choy
The classic Chinese combination of braised shiitake mushrooms in a sweet-savory sauce over vibrant baby bok choy.
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Honey Walnut Shrimp

This flavor-packed dish is a must-add to your celebratory table.

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Easy Homemade Noodles with Ginger Scallion Oil
These hand-pulled noodles are a fun and easy weekend project that results in one seriously satisfying dinner.
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Stir-Fried Lettuce (or Baby Bok Choy) with Garlic Chiles
Yes, stir-fried lettuce is delicious, especially when tossed with garlic and chiles.
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Cheung Fun (Rice Noodle Rolls)
When steamed fresh, these rice noodle rolls are bouncy, chewy, a little slippery, and the perfect blank canvas for your sauce of choice.
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Shrimp Fried Rice
An easy, customizable fried rice with juicy shrimp, veggies, and scrambled eggs.
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Fried Rice with Scallops and Five-Spice

The whole recipe can be prepared in 30 minutes, which makes it a go-to dish to round out a Lunar New Year dinner.

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Sizzling Fish
This Cantonese steamed whole fish is topped with ginger, green onions, and fermented black beans and sizzled with hot oil.
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Chinese Lucky Noodle Stir-Fry
Long strands of noodles are topped with a savory stir-fry of crunchy vegetables and Chinese barbecue pork.
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Pineapple Tarts

A pastry synonymous with Lunar New Year celebrations, these mini tarts have a melt-in-your-mouth cookie base and a pineapple compote topping.

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Sweet Sticky Rice Balls in Soup (Yin-Yang Tong Yuan)
Soft and chewy rice balls are stuffed with black sesame or red bean paste and served in warm syrup.
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Nian Gao
A chewy, sticky, traditional steamed Chinese cake to celebrate Lunar New Year.
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Red Bean Mooncakes with Salted Egg Yolk

Mooncakes are regarded as an iconic Chinese celebratory dessert. The savory yolk in these red bean mooncakes is at once creamy and crumbly, and pairs so well with the sweet dough surrounding it.

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Sesame Balls
These fried sesame balls are a dim sum classic and stuffed with black sesame filling for a crunchy, chewy, and sweet treat.
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Butter Mochi
A modern version of steamed nian gao, this coconutty, gluten-free treat is one both kids and adults will love. These treats are known as mochi in Japan but similar sweets using the same rice flour exist in modern Chinese cuisine.
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