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Chinese New Year: A Holiday Recipe Collection

Updated on April 3, 2013

Chinese New Year is just around the corner, and it is celebrated with a feast on New Year`s Eve. The following recipes are easy to follow and will help you create an atmosphere to celebrate. Enjoy the meal starting from the soup to finishing with a sweet treat! As there are many dialects in the Chinese language, I will use Cantonese to say: “Gung hay fat choy” (may you become prosperous) and “sun nien fai lok” (Happy New Year)!

Soup is often served as an appetizer to the feast and can be filling, such as won ton soup, or light, like the following recipe.

Egg Drop Soup


This is a very easy soup to make and tastes great.  The trick for a fantastic looking soup is to turn the heat off when stirring in the egg.  This will provide finer threads of egg rather than chunks of it. 




1 egg, beaten

2 ½ cup chicken broth

1 tsp. finely chopped green onion (preferably only the green)

White pepper


Sesame Oil (Optional)


On high heat, bring the chicken broth to a boil.  Add pepper, salt and sesame oil to taste.  Turn the heat off.  Holding the bowl with the beaten egg above the chicken broth, slowly pour the beaten egg into the broth while stirring in one direction.  Garnish with green onions.


This recipe can easily be converted to Egg Drop Pea Soup by adding fresh hulled peas or frozen peas to the boiling broth.  To maintain the fresh green in the peas, do not overcook.  You can also add fresh sliced shitake mushrooms or white mushrooms for added texture.

 For the main course entrees, here are a few suggestions.

Chinese Chicken Fried Rice

Instead of chicken, you can substitute turkey, pork, beef or tofu. If you prefer a vegetarian dish, omit the meat and eggs.


3 cups rice, cooked and cold

1 cup chicken, chopped and cooked

1 egg, beaten

2 tbsp. soya sauce

1 tbsp. oyster sauce (or teriyaki sauce)

1 garlic clove, minced

½ cup peas and carrots, frozen mix

1 green onion, chopped

2 tbsp. vegetable oil


Black pepper

Ideally, fried rice should be cooked in a wok, but if you do not have one, a large pan or skillet will work.

Heat the wok on medium heat. When hot, add the oil. Once is oil is hot, but not smoking, add the cold rice and garlic. Stir continuously for approximately 3 minutes or until the rice is separated and hot. Next, add frozen peas and carrots. Mix thoroughly.

Add the soya sauce and either the oyster or teriyaki sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Once the flavouring is mixed thoroughly through the rice, add the cooked meat. Cook until the meat is heated through, approximately 4 minutes.

Push the fried rice to one side of the wok and add the beaten egg, cooking it like scrambled eggs. Once cooked, mix the egg in with the remainder of the fried rice. Add the green onions and mix thoroughly. Serve hot.

Chicken Fried Rice
Chicken Fried Rice
Kung Pao Chicken
Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken

Chicken is always served on the eve of New Year’s as well as on the day.  It is said that when one serves chicken, then there is discipline in the house. 




1 egg white


2 tsp. cornstarch

1 lb. chicken breast, skinless, boneless


1 tbsp. hoisin sauce

1 tbsp. rice vinegar

2 tsp. Soya sauce

1 tsp. sugar

½ tsp. hot chilli paste

1 garlic clove, minced

3 tbsp. water


2 tsp. peanut oil

4 dried Sichuan chilli peppers, seed removed and discarded

3 cups steamed broccoli florets

¼ cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped, unsalted


In a medium bowl, whisk the egg white, salt and cornstarch until smooth.  Pat the chicken dry and dice into ¾” cubes.  Add the chicken to the cornstarch mixture and stir to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.


In a small bowl, mix the hoisin sauce, vinegar, soya sauce, sugar, chilli paste and garlic with 3 tbsp. water.  Set this aside.


Heat the peanut oil in a large non-stick skillet or wok.  Add the peppers and cook until blackened, stirring as needed for approximately one minute.  Transfer the peppers to a plate with a slotted spoon.  Reserve the small amount of oil in the skillet. 


Return the skillet to the heat.  Add the chicken mixture.  Cook by tossing lightly until the chicken becomes translucent, but not brown, for approximately 2 minutes.  Transfer the chicken and any pan juices to a plate and keep warm.


Return the skillet to the heat.  Add the hoisin sauce mixture, cooking and stirring constantly for 30 seconds.


Stir in the chicken, broccoli and peppers.  Cook and stir gently for approximately 3 minutes until heated through.  Sprinkle with peanuts.  Serve immediately.  Steamed white rice is often the side dish to this entree.  This recipe makes approximately 4 servings.

Lemon Chicken
Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken

This is a classic restaurant version that we have in our family. It’s easy to prepare and one serving is never enough.


2 ½ lbs. chicken breast, boneless, skinless

For the marinade:

½ tsp. salt

2 tbsp. soya sauce

For the batter:

2 eggs, large

White pepper

¼ cup cornstarch

½ tsp. baking powder

Oil, for deep frying

For the sauce:

1 cup chicken broth

⅓ cup sugar

1 ½ tbsp. cornstarch

2 tbsp. lemon juice

¾ tsp. salt

3 slices of lemon, peeled

2 tbsp. oil

1 tsp. lemon zest, grated

Wash the chicken breasts and pat dry. Cut into 1” cubes and place in a bowl. Mix the cubed chicken with soya sauce and salt. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Beat the eggs until the texture is evenly mixed. Add a pinch of white pepper, cornstarch and baking power. Whisk together until mixed. Coat the marinated chicken with this batter.

Heat the deep fryer to 350⁰ F. In batches, deep fry the chicken until fully cooked. Set aside on plates lined with paper towels. If you do not own a deep fryer, you can use a wok to cook the chicken. After the chicken has drained, transfer to a serving plate.

For the sauce, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, chicken broth, lemon juice, salt and lemon zest until well combined. Add the lemon slices to the sauce.

In a wok, heat 2 tbsp. oil. Stir in the lemon sauce and heat until well mixed. The sauce will become clearer. Remove the lemon slices and pour the sauce over the chicken. Mix until the chicken becomes coated with the sauce. Serve hot. Accompanying side dishes include steamed rice.

Sweet desserts add a final touch to the feast.

Chinese Almond Cookies
Chinese Almond Cookies

Chinese Almond Cookies

This is a recipe that is a variation of what my father makes. The key ingredient is the lard as this is what gives this cookie its unique flavour. You can substitute shortening or butter, but be warned, the final product is not quite the same as the authentic almond cookie.


2 ¾ cup flour

1 cup sugar

½ baking soda

½ tsp. salt

1 cup lard

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp. almond extract

Sliced or whole almonds for decorating

Preheat the oven to 325⁰ F.

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Cut in the lard until the mixture resembles cornmeal, as you would when making pie pastry. Add the egg and almond extract. Mix thoroughly.

Roll the dough into 1” balls, placing them on an ungreased cookie sheet approximately 2” apart. Flatten the cookie slightly. Decorate with an almond or almond slices. Brush the tops with egg for a finished, glazed look.

Bake for 15 – 18 minutes. Cool on cookie racks. This recipe makes approximately 2 dozen cookies.

Chinese Egg Tarts
Chinese Egg Tarts

Chinese Egg Tarts

This is one easy recipe, especially if you purchase the tart shells lined with premade pastry. For those who like to make their own pastry, I have included the recipe and method. Many times, I simply bake the filling in a glass dish and serve the custard from it once baked, thus omitting the pastry for those who are calorie conscious.


1 cup confectioners’ sugar

3 cups flour

1 cup butter

1 egg, beaten

⅛ tsp. vanilla extract

Mix together the sugar and flour in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture forms small crumbs. Stir in the egg and vanilla extract until the mixture forms a dough. The dough should be slightly moist. If it is too dry, add more butter. If it is greasy, add more flour. Shape the dough into 1 ½” balls. Place the balls into tart shells and press until the bottom and sides of the shells are covered. Pinch the dough edging with your fingers into an inverted “v”.

Preheat the oven to 450⁰ F.


⅔ cup white sugar

1 ½ cups water

9 eggs, beaten

⅛ tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup milk, either evaporated or whole

In a medium sauce pan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to a boil, cooking until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.

Strain the eggs through a sieve and whisk in the sugar mixture. Stir in the vanilla and milk. Strain the filling through a sieve. Fill the tart shells.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown and the filling has puffed up. Serve warm or cold. This recipe makes approximately 16 – 24 tarts depending on size of tart shells.

Written by: Beth100

February 8, 2010

© 2010



The Lion Dance, or Dragon Dance, is my favorite dance to watch during the festivities. This clip is from the 2006 Championship held in Malaysia and is of the c


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