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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.