Happy Chinese New Year! The Lunar New Year is the most important festival for Chinese people in mainland China and around the world.
In the legend of Chinese New Year, a demonic creature called Nian used to pass through villages on the first day of every year and eat all the crops and livestock and even some children. But eventually, the villagers learned from a god how to overcome Nian—by cloaking the villages all in red, making loud noises, wearing masks, and carrying lanterns. Chinese New Year marks the victory over Nian, so to celebrate, we are offering up some vegan recipes for a feast so delicious that it might even have persuaded Nian to stop eating children.
Jiaozi is a classic Chinese dumpling. Making these dumplings brings the whole family together, as all hands are needed on deck to prepare the dish. The shape of Chinese dumplings resembles ancient Chinese currency, which some people believe represents prosperity in the New Year.
The longer the noodle, the better! Serve your noodles in a variety of ways, including in soups, stir-fried, or cold. Dress them up with some tofu or veggies. A superstition warns against cutting noodles because they symbolize longevity, so be super-careful, and use chopsticks to avoid breakage.
The Cantonese word for lettuce sounds like “rising fortune,” so it’s common to serve lettuce wraps filled with other types of food that symbolize good luck.
The Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival, so we had to include spring rolls on this list. Spring rolls (chun juan) are a Cantonese dim sum dish that’s relished as a Chinese New Year food. The words “chun juan” literally mean “spring” and “roll.” This treat is traditionally served on the first day of the Chinese New Year.
Tangerines and Oranges
Tangerines represent wealth, and oranges are a popular symbol of good luck. These citrus fruits are known for the luck that they are supposed to convey. Eat one—or more—because we all know that fruit is part of a well-balanced diet.
These round, glutinous dessert nuggets symbolize the full moon. When they’re grouped together in a bowl, they represent the circle of harmony within a family. They’re chewy and gluten-free, so everyone can enjoy this plant-based treat..
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