Dishes to Eat on Chinese New Year – Xīnnián kuàilè (新年快乐)!

Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means we will earn a commission on the products or services you purchase using the links. There is no additional cost to you and the earnings help keep this website running. Read the Affiliate Disclaimer for more information.

Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means we will earn a commission on the products or services you purchase using the links. There is no additional cost to you and the earnings help keep this website running. Read the Affiliate Disclaimer for more information.

With the Year of the Rat right around the corner, I’m excited to share some of the dishes to eat on Chinese New Year a.k.a Lunar New Year.

Our Chinese New Year celebration changes year to year depending on where we are in the world. When we’re not with my family cooking up a feast, I like to make dumplings or hot pot.

This year, we get to celebrate with family and make some of my grandmother’s beloved new year dishes featured below.

Dishes to Eat on Chinese New Year

Dishes to Eat on Chinese New Year

These are some of the dishes my mom and I made a few years ago. Hope you enjoy reading about the dishes and the special meaning behind them.


Fish represents having surplus for the following year. My mom made this pan fried fish in spicy black bean sauce that was a crowd pleaser. We made sure to have some leftovers for the new year which we enjoyed over noodles. By the way, noodles are important because they represent longevity.

Chinese spicy fish


Meatballs represents being together with loves ones. These pork meatballs were covered in sweet rice and steamed inside white mushroom caps. These were such huge a hit, we made it again the next day and Joe even declared it his favorite dish.

Chinese steamed meatballs


Dumplings represent wealth and prosperity and a must have on new year’s day. My mom made the wrappers from scratch so we could steam the dumplings. The great thing about dumplings is you can make all types of fillings and it’s a fun activity for the whole family.

Chinese steamed dumplings


This dish is part of our family tradition and certainly an indulgence on Chinese New Year. This sweet and savory braised pork belly is also referred to as five layers of happiness. Now, who wouldn’t want to start the year off right with a generous helping of happiness?

Chinese pork belly


This plate of golden deliciousness is fried shrimp. My grandparent’s used to let me sneak one right when it came out of the wok. Since I fried these bad boys, I didn’t have to sneak one. Someone needs to taste test and Joe’s not always available to get the job done.

Chinese fried shrimp

There you have it! My grandmother would have been proud of the Chinese feast we put together. There were many more dishes that didn’t make it into this post. It’s safe to say we recreated every one of my grandmother’s dish that we could think of.

Happy Year of the Rat to you! 新年快乐! I wish you happiness and good health in the new year.

If you are interested in recipes or other food content, head on over to the food section.

Leave a Comment

10 thoughts on “Dishes to Eat on Chinese New Year – Xīnnián kuàilè (新年快乐)!”

  1. Please share the braised pork belly and fish recipe?
    We lived in Shanghai for a year, husband was a Fulbright Professor teaching at a law school. Everyone always asks us what we miss most about living in China and we answer, the FOOD!

    FYI – In December, we purchased our first Class B RV, 2018 Hymer Activ 2.0, with the power sofa. It’s winterized now since we live in Maryland. Looking forward to using it to attend our son’s college lacrosse games this spring in the Northeast US. Also, want to trek across the US to visit our daughters in Chicago and LA. We are not RVers, nor campers, but, after watching hours of your videos and reading your first book, I was inspired and excited about taking the plunge to RV life. And, I love the Hymer. Hubby, for now, is along for the ride, only I drive. Looking forward to reading your second book before we head out on the open road this spring. BTW-I am half Filipino so I have an affinity for Kait since we share an Asian background.

    • Hi Renae. I didn’t write down the recipe for those two dishes, but if we make them again I’ll make a note of the ingredients. Did you and your husband ever make it to Chengdu? It’s considered the “The Capital of Chinese Gastronomy.” Also, congrats on your camper and that’s awesome you’re driving! Enjoy your trip this spring and maybe we’ll see you on the road.

  2. Wow, that looks great. What a feast. Joe you are a lucky guy to have wait and her family to share their traditions. My wife started a 30 day Vegan challenge. I am trying to be supportive but it would be too drastic for me. Best of luck when you get your new rig. I can’t wait to see what you chose. Happy camping.

      • Hey Joe,

        I enjoy you and your wife Kate’s videos. I look foward to traveling around the country in 3 years. My wife has a son who is a sophomore in high school. Maybe after that I can talk my Chinese wife to see the country in an RV? (not easy to get a chineese women to really enjoy the RV life….with a dog, but I’m working on it)
        I see you guys sold your class A not to long ago and are waiting to recieve your class B unit. Good luck with it when it arrives. Im thinking 2 year old Super C. Anyway keep up the good work and happy trails.

        Mark from Elk Grove Ca.

        • Good luck working on changing her mind Mark! Kait was the one who came up with the idea to do this so she was the one trying to convince me!
          A Super C is a great choice in my opinion. We’re ready to get back on the road and hoping we have the new rig soon.


Leave a Comment