It’s getting close to the Chinese New Year, and many have already prepped their homes for the 15-day celebration. Many Chinese homes have been swept from top to bottom, and red has become the decoration color of choice. From red lanterns to red banners, the color is considered lucky for the new year (and any formal occasion, really; even weddings!) Food is no exception when it comes to bringing in luck, good health, and prosperity.
If you began to lag behind in your New Year’s resolutions, here’s a second chance to start over and gain some good luck while you’re at it. Bring in the Year of the Ox with these 5 lucky foods. For the ultimate menu of menus, check out our updated Chinese New Year Vegan Food Guide!
Noodles symbolize longevity. The longer the noodles, the better. However, whatever noodles you do decide to eat, DO NOT cut them. Or, at least try not to let a single noodle break during the process of cooking or eating them. (Sounds like a challenge, right?) It’s all about the slurp and it’s probably the one time you’re allowed to use that excuse.
Get your slurp on with this Dim Sum Soy Sauce Chow Mein Noodles or this Miso Roasted Pumpkin and Grilled Tofu Over Udon Noodles.
2. Dumplings (Jiaozi)
Chinese dumplings, known as Jiaozi, are eaten for prosperity during the new year. A jiaozi dumpling resembles the shape of the boat-shaped, metal ingots used in ancient China’s currency, thus bringing wealth to whoever eats it.
Try out these Vegan Dumplings for your New Year Eve’s family reunion dinner!
3. Tangerines & Oranges
Many Chinese families will be displaying fruits on home shrines made to honor ancestors, such as the Jade Emperor or The Kitchen God. Fruits, such as tangerines and oranges, signify good luck and prosperity. “According to the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco, the tradition stems from the way the Chinese words for gold and orange sound alike, while the word for tangerine echoes luck,” explains Chow.
Eat these fruits as desserts or try them in a salad like in this Kale Salad with Fresh Figs and Oranges.
Mushrooms are thought to help grow wealth. Try this Pan Fried Tofu tossed with Ginger, Spinach, and Mushrooms. (Fried tofu signifies gold.) Or, how about Stuffed Mushrooms with Pecans as an appetizer? Peanuts are known to bring longevity, along with “health … birth of prosperity, continuous growth, multiplication in wealth and good fortune, [and] stability,” so try substituting pecans for peanuts. Or try adding peanuts to your other dishes; it might be worth a shot!
Walnuts signify family happiness! As you gather around the family dinner table, add them to up everyone’s happiness. Plus, they’re a great addition to any dish, including these Raw Coconut Mango Tarts with Figs, Walnuts, Cinnamon, and Ginger. Or try walnuts alone, like in this Homemade Walnut Butter.
Let’s bring in the new year with some of these lucky foods! Wear red, enjoy some of these foods today, tomorrow, and for the next two weeks of Lunar New Year. And Xing Nian Kuai Le (Happy Chinese New Year) to you and your family! Gan bei (cheers) to that!
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