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Chinese New Year Recipes {Year of the Rabbit!}

Making wishes and setting off “lanterns” at the Taiwan Pavillion at the World Expo in Shanghai, September 2010

The lunar new year is just around the corner! This year we welcome the year of the rabbit on February 3, 2011.

But New Years is hardly a one day celebration! Most businesses and schools close for the entire week as workers travel back to visit their families. In fact, more trips are taken during this period (Spring Festival travel season, “Chunyun” 春運)  than the total population of China (yes, 2.26 billion trips taken in 2008!!!). The entire New Year celebration is actually 15 days long, starting with the huge feast on the Eve and ending with the Lantern Festival on the 15th day.

Food is a huge part of the New Years celebration, with the New Years Eve meal being one of the biggest. Families get together and often enjoy fish (symbolizes abundance), dumplings (symbolizes wealth), and “Nian Gao” (new year cake). Uncut noodles are super popular, as the long noodle represents longevity. Chinese pan fried cakes (typically taro or turnip, but why not pumpkin?) is also associated with the New Year. People eat vegetarian on the 13th day of the New Year, mostly to clean out their stomachs after gorging the rest of the time! On the last day of the new year, everyone enjoys tang yuan 湯圓 (rice balls), one of my favorite foods!

I’ve compiled a bunch of my Asian recipes together in one visual spread so that you can explore at your own leisure. :) Enjoy!

mustard greens kong xin tsai
Mustard Greens Sauteed Chinese Watercress
Spicy Minced Pork with Sour String Beans Chinese chives and Tofu
Spicy Pork with Sour String Beans Chinese Chives and 5-Spice Tofu
broccoli salad tea eggs
Crunchy Broccoli Stem Salad Tea Eggs
winter melon soup' pork winter melon soup
Simple Winter Melon Soup Traditional Winter Melon Soup
ro geng mian hand pulled noodles
Pork & Fishball Noodle Soup Hand-pulled Noodles
Lion's Head Casserole beef noodle soup
Lion’s Head Casserole Beef Noodle Soup
Steamed Fish with Black Bean Sauce mapo tofu
Steamed Fish with Black Bean Sauce Spicy Mapo Tofu
meat sauce
Chinese Sticky Rice Taiwanese Meat Sauce over Rice
bawan batzang
“Bawan” – Taiwanese “Meat ball” “Batzang” – Taiwanese Rice Dumpling
homemade manto gua bao
Homemade Baos (Mantou) Traditional Pork Belly Buns (Gua bao)
Savory Chinese Pumpkin Cakes red bean mochi cake
Savory Asian Pumpkin Cakes Red Bean New Year Cake (Nian Gao)
Chinese Egg Puffs black sesame ice cream
Chinese Egg Puffs Black Sesame Ice Cream
spiral mooncakes Chinese Egg Tarts
Pumpkin Spiral Mooncakes Chinese Egg Tarts

Muir Glen Gift Box
It’s not to late to enter the Giveaway for a beautiful gift box of reserved tomatoes from Muir Glen! Giveaway ends This Friday, January 28th, 2011.

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