8 Good Luck Foods for Chinese New Year + Recipes

While the traditional United States New Year is more about drinking, the Chinese New Year is an opportunity to honor family and friends, and to enjoy some culinary traditions. We crafted a list of 8 foods you should have on hand, to ensure a prosperous and happy year to come, and recipes that will inspire you to use them.  

Our good friend, Chef Martin Yan, has a few things to say about Chinese New Year, this year: 

8 Foods that Symbolize Good Luck for Chinese New Year

1. Noodles
If noodles are being served, then you want to keep them as long as possible, representing long life.
Recipe from Melisa's 50 Best Plants on the Planet

2. Tangerines/Oranges
In Chinese, the words for gold and orange sound alike, while the word for tangerine echoes luck.  Also, displaying and eating these fruits is said to bring wealth and luck.  This Watercress and Orange salad is packed with nutrients and flavor.

3. Pummelo
This large citrus fruit is popular because it is said to bring status and prosperity. The tradition comes from the way the Cantonese phrase for pomelo sounds similar to the words for prosperity and status.

Sweet and young, or white and brown, coconuts symbolize togetherness for Chinese New Year.  Good thing everyone loves them!

5. Pineapple
Eating Pineapple during Chinese New Year is supposed to bring luck in gambling.  Enjoy some before the Big Game and you may come out a winner?!

6. Leafy Greens and Long Beans
Long Beans and/or Leafy greens, such as Chinese broccoli (aka Gai Lan), are served whole to wish a long life for parents.  Here is a tasty way to prepare Long Beans this year: Twice-Fried Long Beans

7. Whole Fish
The Chinese word for fish sounds like the word for abundance, says Lum*. It’s important that the fish is served with the head and tail intact, writes Gong, “to ensure a good start and finish and to avoid bad luck throughout the year.”
Photo: NY Times

8. Jai
This vegetarian dish is eaten because it’s “part of the Buddhist culture to cleanse yourself with vegetables,” says Lum*. It’s also packed with good-luck foods, writes Gong, breaking it down by ingredient: sea moss for prosperity; lotus seeds for children/birth of sons; noodles for longevity; lily buds to “send 100 years of harmonious union”; Chinese black mushrooms to “fulfill wishes from east to west”
Photo: Chowhound

* Reference: Chowhound

Resource: Visual Guide to Asian Vegetables

Click the photo above for the full article:

Melissa's Asian Essentials

Vegetables are not only fundamental to Chinese New Year but also to Chinese cuisine as a whole. People love to eat green, leafy vegetables at each meal because they’re not only incredibly healthy but also versatile in a vast number of recipes. When it comes to popular green Asian vegetables, we at Melissa’s have the best of the best from top quality growers. Let’s take a look at some of the Asian vegetables we’re offering that would be perfect for Chinese New Year and other Chinese-inspired dishes. We also have a wide variety of essentials for Chinese New Year including vegetables, tropical fruits, noodles and other great items to make tasty dishes for the holiday. 

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