Although the holiday falls on a different date each year (this year it’s Jan. 23) the celebration only starts there, but continues for another fifteen days. That gives you more time to enjoy some of the delicious recipes that symbolize prosperity, luck, wealth or good fortune for the coming year.
Chinese culture is all about symbolism and the dishes served for New Years reflect the culture. Noodles represent a long life, but be sure not to cut or break them as you prepare, serve and eat them. A whole chicken represents family unity, a whole fish—surplus, tangerines are used for wealth and oranges for good luck. Steer clear of squid as it symbolizes getting fired in the upcoming year.
Check out these healthy versions of Chinese New Year dishes.
Kung Pao Chicken
Usually heavily laden with calories, this version of the popular recipe comes in at a mere 276 calories
General Tso’s Chicken
When you think of General Tso’s chicken, images of high calorie, fat and sodium soaked chicken come to mind. This recipe opts for baked chicken and a sugar and salt-conscious sauce for a low-calorie meal that comes in at only 236 calories.
Lion’s Head Meatballs
Regional variations include sweet and sour sauce in Shanghai and hot and spicy sauce in Chongqing. In Wuhan, it depends on the season and the mood of the chef.
Vegetable Fried Rice
This recipe is a light version of fried rice and uses instant brown rice.
Chicken Chow Mein
Chinese condiments of light soy sauce and toasted sesame oil accompany the fresh crunchy vegetables in this dish. Remember not to cut or break the noodles—for long life.
Zesty Chile Tiger Prawns
This dish can be served up in minutes and forecasts a year filled with happiness and laughter.
Fruit Salad with Star Anise Syrup
These fruits are often eaten and gifted in abundance during the New Year. Try this fruit salad for a taste of them all.