Lunar New Year: Foods for the Dragon

As this new Year of the Dragon roars in, cook up some red foods, to frighten evil spirits away. Make some sticky rice cakes and give them to someone you want to reunite with and stick close to this year. Each item on a Lunar New Year menu is there for a purpose—to bring good fortune in a specific area of life. For example:

Dumplings, for financial success

A dumpling-making party is a Lunar New Year tradition. Families share the work to make these little packets of goodness because they look like Chinese silver ingots. According to legend, the more of them you eat, the more earning potential you’ll have in the coming year. Mix the dough, roll it out into rounds, and use them to wrap your fillings. Then pinch the wrapper together and cook.

Spring rolls are another Lunar New Year staple, and for the same reason—they’re said to look like gold bars. Our Thai Fresh Rolls are a fresh take on that tradition.

Fish represents “plenty”.

In Chinese, the word for "fish" sounds like the word for 'surplus'. So, fish is a traditional Lunar New Year dish because it represents having a surplus at the end of the year. Our recipe for Thai Green Curry Fish is so good and so quick to make, it’ll guarantee you a surplus of compliments, not to mention extra time. It may be tough to leave any leftovers, but if you do save some, legend has it that you’ll earn and save even more in the next year.

Long noodles, long life

Uncut noodles are a classic Lunar New Year dish, because long noodles symbolize longevity. Boil them, serve them in a bowl with broth, or stir fry them like we do in our Stir Fry Noodles with Green Tea, so you can get the additional longevity-enhancing benefits of buckwheat and green tea.

Happiness is a good shrimp dish

Shrimp represent a lively, happy new year, because the Chinese word for “prawn” sounds like laughter! We’ve got a quick, easy Spicy Malaysian Shrimp we love. And, bonus, you get noodles for longevity at the same time.

How does a tangerine sound?

Tangerines, pomelos, oranges—the Chinese words for them all sound like good wishes for a prosperous new year. And that’s a lucky coincidence, since it’s peak citrus season now, and we have the best of the crops in our produce section waiting for you. Come taste our grower-partners’ successes and fill a bowl with some golden goodness for your Lunar New Year table.

Now fire up your stove, and freestyle your own happy, prosperous Year of the Dragon menu. Need preparation tips? Chef Joya’s got you. Just check out her recipes here on our site.

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