27 Lunar New Year Recipes to Bring Luck and Prosperity

Sheng Jian Bao

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

The Year of the Rabbit starts January 22, when the Lunar New Year is celebrated in Chinese, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Tibetan, South Korean, Indonesian, Singaporean, and Malaysian communities around the world. Lunar New Year, also called Spring Festival, is a time for friends and families to gather, feast with dishes that symbolize good luck and fortune for the year to come. From Longevity Noodles, to Whole Fish Drizzled with Hot Ginger-Scallion Oil, and Microwave Bánh Deo (Mochi Mooncakes) with Black Sesame–Chocolate Filling, these recipes will help you ring in the Year of the Rabbit.

01 of 27

Lunar New Year Dumplings

Lunar New Year Dumplings
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Plump and tender dumplings symbolize longevity and wealth. Danielle Chang fills hers with a fragrant and flavorful blend of garlic, ginger, scallions, and Chinese chives bound with tender ground pork. Store-bought wonton wrappers may be substituted for freshly made dough if needed.

02 of 27


Korean Rice Cake Soup Recipe
Jennifer Causey

This Korean soup of chewy-soft rice cakes cooked in steaming translucent broth is a good-luck dish that carries symbolic significance. The white color of the rice cakes signifies purity, so the soup represents a way to start the year off fresh. And traditionally, when you enjoy your New Year's bowl of rice cake soup, your age increases by one year. Though the soup can be made with chicken, pork, pheasant, or seafood, these days it's typically made with beef.

03 of 27

Whole Fish Drizzled with Hot Ginger-Scallion Oil

Whole Fish Drizzled with Hot Ginger-Scallion Oil
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

The Chinese word for fish (yu) sounds similar to the Chinese word most closely translated to "abundance," so for her Lunar New Year celebration, Lucky Chow producer Danielle Chang serves fish to usher in prosperity and abundance in the new year. Chang uses light soy sauce in this dish, as it is lighter in color and higher in salt than dark soy sauce, making it ideal for imparting flavor in steamed seafood.

04 of 27

Peking Duck

Peking duck
Photo by Christopher Testani / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Prissy Lee

This delicious roast duck dish popularized in Beijing is known for crispy, intensely golden brown skin and tender meat. It traditionally takes days to prepare, but our version is ready in just over a day, with most of the time spent refrigerating the duck. The recipe gets plenty of flavor from a combination of soy sauce, honey, Chinese five spice, and hoisin sauce, resulting in a duck that's umami-rich and satisfying.

05 of 27

Mandarin Pancakes

Mandarin Pancakes

Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Shell Royster

These tender pancakes come together quickly, with just three ingredients. They have just the right amount of chew, making them perfect for eating with Peking duck or moo shu pork. 

06 of 27

Microwave Bánh Deo (Mochi Mooncakes) with Black Sesame–Chocolate Filling

mochi mooncakes
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Prop Styling by Christina Daley / Food Styling by Ali Ramee

Pastry chef Doris Hô-Kane of Ban Bè in Brooklyn uses a microwave to make both the chewy mochi skin and rich black sesame–chocolate filling of her beautiful Bánh Deo (Mochi Mooncakes), which are a fun, festive project for Tết, the Vietnamese New Year celebration. Hồ-Kane's mochi mooncakes use a combination of black tahini and chocolate to create a nutty, smooth, and creamy filling. Black tahini is especially nutty in flavor, but in a pinch, regular tahini will do. You will need a wooden mooncake mold that measures about 1 1/2 inches in diameter for this recipe.

07 of 27

Sheng Jian Bao (Pan-Fried Pork Buns)

Sheng Jian Bao

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

These Taiwanese pork buns are savory, pillowy and crisp. The light, tender dough creates a fluffy bao that recipe developer Tiffany Chen says is one of her favorite breakfast dishes. 

08 of 27

San Bei Ji (Three-Cup Chicken)

San Bei Ji

Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Shell Royster

The “three cups” refers to the heady amounts of rice wine, soy sauce, and sesame oil used to braise the chicken for this classic Taiwanese dish. They make the chicken extra tender and incredibly flavorful.

09 of 27

Putri Salju Pandan (Pandan-Flavored Indonesian "Snow White" Cookies)

Putri Salju Pandan (Pandan- Flavored “Snow White” Cookies)
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

Pandan, a tropical plant with fragrant leaves that's a popular flavoring in Indonesia and other parts of Southeast Asia, imparts a vanilla-citrusy flavor and a naturally vivid green color to these melt-in-your-mouth cookies. When measuring the dry ingredients, be sure to scoop them into the measuring cup instead of scooping the measuring cup directly into the container for the most accurate results.

10 of 27

Taiwanese Beef Soup

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Shell Royster

This classic soup gets its richness from meltingly tender braised beef. Those ingredients are complemented by the star anise, Sichuan peppercorns and the classic aromatics of garlic, ginger and scallions. Much of the appeal of this dish comes from using sliced, boneless beef shank, a cartilage-rich cut that becomes meltingly tender and full of contrasting textures when braised. 

11 of 27

Pork Bakso Dumplings

Pork Bakso Dumplings
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

An aromatic blend of ground coriander, ginger, and lemongrass pairs with umami-rich fish sauce to season these delicate pork dumplings. These dumplings are inspired by carts selling noodles in Indonesia as the wonton skin mimics the noodle but still paying homage to the springy, funky meatball and its slippery, rich broth.

12 of 27

Yin-Yang Tang Yuan (Sweet Sticky Rice Balls in Soup)

Yin-Yang Tang Yuan (Sweet Sticky Rice Balls in Soup)
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

This soothing, sweet Chinese dessert soup of rice flour dough balls stuffed with black sesame seeds in a rock sugar–sweetened broth is typically served during reunions because the round rice balls symbolize harmony and togetherness. Lucky Chow producer Danielle Chang likes to make it as a sweet treat for her Lunar New Year celebration. To keep the dough moistened throughout the assembly process, cover it with a damp towel.

13 of 27

Longevity Noodles

Longevity Noodles

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Margret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

This quick dish pairs light, umami-seasoned lo mein noodles with crunchy snow peas and water chestnuts. In Chinese culture, the custom of eating longevity noodles during Chinese New Year and celebrations such as birthdays and anniversaries dates back to the time of the Han dynasty. These noodles are thought to bring luck, prosperity, and, as their name suggests, a long life.

14 of 27

Maple Root-Vegetable Stir-Fry with Sesame

Maple Root-Vegetable Stir-Fry with Sesame
© Con Poulos

In Korea, cooks typically create stir-fries with just one kind of vegetable — lotus root, say, or potatoes. David Chang decided to break with tradition and stir-fry an assortment of vegetables, including Jerusalem artichokes and parsnips. Also unconventional is the maple syrup he adds to the dish; while there are maple trees all around South Korea, there is not much maple syrup.

15 of 27

Hakka Salt-Baked Chicken

Hakka-Style Salt-Baked Chicken
Greg DuPree

This whole chicken baked in hot salt is the most famous dish of Hakka, in southeast China. Chinese culture scholar and cookbook author Barbara Tropp says that Hakka cooks have one hand in the north and one in the south; the northern hand reaches for garlic, ginger, and an extra shot of rice wine, while the southern hand opts for light-colored sauces and favors steaming over stir-frying. This chicken, while baked in salt, emerges exceedingly juicy and not at all salty. It is served with bold dipping sauces, including a northern-style one made with plenty of fresh ginger.

16 of 27

Chilled Sesame Noodles

bowl of Lucas Sin's chilled sesame noodles
Emily Kordovich

There's good reason to believe that cold sesame noodles were first brought to New York 40 years ago by chef Shorty Tang at Hwa Yuan in Manhattan's Chinatown. Since then, chilled sesame noodles have been a ubiquitous part of Chinese takeout. 2021 Food & Wine Best New Chef Lucas Sin has been serving these noodles at New York City's Junzi since it opened, a favorite thanks to a deeply flavorful, carefully layered sesame sauce made of pure sesame paste, aromatics, and fermented tofu. Finish off the dish with chile oil and it's a classic—but not like one you've had before.

17 of 27

Lu Jitui (Braised Soy Sauce Chicken)

Lu Jitui

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Soy sauce, Shaoxing rice wine, garlic and star anise give this cozy Taiwanese braised chicken tons of flavor. This classic comfort dish often found in Taiwanese bento boxes features chicken legs cooked with soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and Shaoxing rice wine. A touch of sugar balances the salty, savory soy and lends the dish a subtle sweetness, while garlic cloves, scallions, star anise and bay leaf deepen the flavor of the braising liquid. 

18 of 27

Sambal Terung (Malaysian Roasted Eggplant with Chile Sauce)

Sambal Terung (Malaysian Roasted Eggplant with Chile Sauce)
Photo © Russ Crandall

This Malaysian dish features roasted eggplant covered in sambal, made with chiles, bell peppers, shallots, garlic, and tomatoes. The sauce which gives the eggplant deep, savory flavors as well as heat.

19 of 27

Prosperity Toss Salad

Prosperity Salad
Charissa Fay

Tossed with a sweet-tart and salty dressing made from umeboshi, or pickled Japanese plums, each ingredient in this colorful composed salad has an auspicious meaning used to commemorate the Lunar New Year. Piles of cucumbers, taro root, and carrots are cut into noodle-like ribbons to represent longevity. Radishes, pomelos, and green vegetables like cucumbers are symbols of good fortune. 

20 of 27

Shochu Punch

Shochu Punch
Charissa Fay

This vibrant, citrusy make-ahead Shochu Punch features four distinct tastes – sweet, sour, spicy, and bitter — coming from the fruits, flowers, honey, and aromatics that fill the punch bowl. Danielle Chang serves it at her Lunar New Year celebration, where citrus fruits symbolize luck and fertility. 

21 of 27

Chow Dau Miu (Garlicky Stir-Fried Pea Sprouts)

Chow Dau Miu (Garlicky Stir-Fried Pea Sprouts)
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Around the Lunar New Year, green vegetables are a necessity because green is the color of money. This versatile recipe works with most tender leafy greens — including baby bok choy and choy sum (flowering cabbage) — so pick whatever looks best at the market. Once it is swirled into the garlic-scented oil, the fermented soybean paste adds a layer of savory pungency.

22 of 27


© Evi Abeler

Yusheng is a traditional raw fish salad served in Malaysia and Singapore. It is a communal ceremonial New Years dish. The ingredients are placed individually on a serving platter, the salad is dressed and then all the guests toss the salad up in the air with chopsticks. The higher the toss, the more prosperity in the New Year.

23 of 27

Ba Bao Fan (Eight-Treasure Rice)

Ba Bao Fan
Charissa Fay

Any variety of dried and candied fruits can decorate this lightly sweet sticky rice dessert, but using a lucky assortment of eight is traditional. The Chinese word for the number eight, ba, sounds similar to fa, which means prosperity and confers fortuitous meaning on the dessert. 

24 of 27

Singapore-Style Noodles with Roast Pork

Asian Noodles with Roast Pork
© Jonny Valiant

This traditional Singaporean dish is a savory mix of tasty noodles, Chinese broccoli and pork. Add more vegetables if you prefer to make this heartier without additional meat.

25 of 27

Moo Shu Pork

Moo Shu Pork
Greg DuPree

This iteration of the classic Chinese dish of stir-fried pork, egg, and mushrooms is served with a tangy peanut butter-hoisin sauce. Plus, the peanut butter–hoisin sauce is the star of this meal. 

26 of 27

Steamed Shrimp Dumplings with Chinese Chives

Steamed Shrimp Dumplings with Chinese Chives
© Abby Hocking

At the Manhattan outpost of the Michelin-starred dim sum house Tim Ho Wan, these shrimp dumplings are a top pick. Making the wrappers might take a little extra time, but it is simple to do and well worth the effort.

27 of 27

Shrimp and Pork Spring Rolls

Shrimp-and-Pork Spring Rolls
© Michael Turek

Designer Zang Toi's supremely crispy spring rolls are filled with a mix of marinated shrimp, ground pork and a handful of colorful julienned vegetables, like carrot, jicama and beans. The fried shallot rings add alluring flavor and crunch to the spring rolls, too, but they're optional. Toi even makes his own chile sauce to serve as an accompaniment.

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