5 Lucky Dishes to Celebrate Lunar New Year
We tapped local chefs—including Torafuku restaurant’s Chef Clement Chan—for special dishes to serve to friends and family on Lunar New Year.
It’s no coincidence that “auspicious” sounds a lot like “delicious.”
With Lunar New Year just around the corner (we officially enter the Year of the Monkey February 8) we thought we’d ask local Vancouver chefs to share some of their favourite celebratory recipes for ensuring good fortune in the year to come.
“Eating turnip cakes during Chinese New Year meant you were setting yourself up for good luck and fortune. It is often given as a gift. As a kid, I helped my grandma shred the raw turnip/daikon radish to make this cake during Chinese New Year. It was hard work, but definitely worth the delicious result at the end. I like mine pan-fried, crispy, and with hot sauce on the side.” —Chef Clement Chan, Torafuku
“Fried rice is a must during Lunar New Year. It signifies abundance with the variety of ingredients. Our healthy wild rice version highlights B.C.’s finest seafood, such as diver-caught uni and trap-caught Dungeness crab from Vancouver Island.” —Jenice Yu, Fresh Ideas Start Here
“On Lunar New Year’s day, our family always served a version of what we call, ‘the Buddha’s Feast.’ It is all vegetables. Back in the day, in Buddhist tradition, a vegetable-only diet was recommended for the first five days of the year as a form of cleansing. This is our take on the popular dish with the tofu batons and mushrooms.” —Chef Jenny Hui, The Lazy Gourmet
“Eating a whole fish during Lunar New Year means good luck and prosperity from start to finish.” —Jenice Yu, Fresh Ideas Start Here
“XO sauce is a very aromatic condiment made with dried scallops and dried shrimp, two items that signify wealth and luxury. Adding it to dishes is a great way to wish your friends and family more luck and prosperity. This recipe is my personal XO recipe. My family often asks me to make it, but I normally only have time during Lunar New Year.” —Chef Jenny Hui, The Lazy Gourmet