Chinese New Year feast

Posted on: 18 January 2012 by Richard Lam

Richard Lam, 50connect's very own king of shopping and the culinary arts offers a feast of dishes for Chinese New Year.

You can’t celebrate Chinese New Year without a delicious Chinese feast. Many foods are associated with  good fortune in the Chinese language, such as fish (surplus), oyster (good business), vermicelli (long life), seaweed (wealth).

Chinese New year is also a time for family and relatives to gather together, no way is better than eating together at the table with the food we love. I have put together a selection of the traditional Chinese dishes my dear mother used to prepared for us on Chinese New Year's Eve and the second day of the New Year (Opening the Year) celebrations. As the numbers 4 and 7 are unlucky numbers for Chinese, so we usually have either 5/6 dishes or even more than eight dishes.

Chinese-style roasted chicken

Chinese-style roasted chickenIngredients

  • 1 medium size chicken (corn-fed chicken is ideal)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 4 pieces of fresh ginger
  • 5-spices powder
  • salt & pepper
  • ginger powder
  • dark soya sauce
  • honey



  1. Mix two tea spoons each of salt, pepper, ginger powder and five-spices powder in a small bowl and rub evenly all over the chicken;
  2. Slightly crush the garlic and ginger and put it inside the chicken and leave it for a half hour;
  3. Pour two tablespoons of dark soya sauce and mix with a little oil - brush it evenly all over the chicken;
  4. Roast the chicken according to the cooking label (according to the size and weight of the chicken);
  5. Brush more soya sauce to give extra colour and some honey for the glaze for the last 5 minutes of the cooking time and leave the chicken in the oven to settle;
  6. Either serve it in slices or chop it up in the traditional Chinese way (here the skill of presenting the chicken as a whole despite being chopped up).


Chinese mushrooms with pork steak and broccoli in oyster sauce

  • 20 Dried Chinese Mushrooms
  • 2 pieces of pork steak/belly pork cut in cubes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 pieces of fresh ginger
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • salt & pepper
  • 5-spices powder
  • soya sauce
  • sherry
  • corn flour
  • oyster sauce


  1. Wash the dried Chinese mushrooms several times and soak it in water for 2/3 hours (even better over-night);
  2. Marinate the pork steak/belly pork cubes with salt & pepper, five-spices powder, one teaspoon of soya sauce, sherry and corn flour for 30 minutes;
  3. Drain the soaked Chinese mushrooms but keep the liquid aside;
  4. Put some oil in the non-stick pot and fry the slightly crushed garlic and ginger first, then add the pork steak/belly pork for five minutes;
  5. Add the Chinese mushrooms and fry it for another five minutes and pour the put-aside liquid, break the stock cube and bring it to boil and reduce the heat to simmer for at least 3 to 4 hours; stir it occasionally to ensure it is not being dried-up (add more water if necessary);
  6. Until the Chinese mushrooms are tender, pour two table spoons of oyster sauce and thicken it with corn flour mixed with little cold water;
  7. Pour it on top of the already cooked broccoli and serve (for better presentation turn the mushrooms faced-up).


Sweet and sour pork ribs with pineapple

  • 4 pieces of pork ribs/pork steak cut in cubes
  • 1 tin of pineapple pieces
  • 1 small onion finely copped
  • salt & pepper
  • sherry
  • 1 egg
  • 5/6 table spoons of corn flour 
  • tomato sauce
  • vinegar
  • sugar


  1. Marinate the pork rib/pork steak cubes with salt & pepper, sherry and break one egg and mix it well;
  2. Coat the rib/steak cubes in corn flour and deep fried them until it turns golden and put it aside;
  3. Fry the onions on low heat with a pinch of salt & pepper and add the pineapple pieces;
  4. Squeeze four tablespoons of tomato sauce, two tablespoons of vinegar, 2/3 tablespoons of sugar and one cup of water, bring it to boil and simmer for 10 minutes;
  5. Taste it for the sweet and sourness and add extra sugar/vinegar accordingly and thicken it with corn flour mixed with little cold water;
  6. Pour it on top of the deep fried pork ribs/ pork steak (warm the pork ribs in the oven if necessary to keep the crispness).


King prawns with celery and cashew nuts

  • 20 raw/cooked tiger prawns
  • 3 stalks of celery cut in pieces
  • 20 cashew nuts
  • 1 medium onion (pieces)
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • 2 pieces of fresh ginger
  • soya sauce
  • salts & pepper
  • corn flour
  • sherry


  1. Marinate the prawns with salts & pepper, soya sauce, sherry and corn flour;
  2. Fry the slightly crushed garlic, ginger and onion pieces first for three minutes and add the celery pieces to fry for another five minutes;
  3. Add the prawns and mix them well and when it is nearly cooked, thicken it with corn flour mixed with little cold water;
  4. Throw in the cashew nuts and serve.


Chinese-style mixed vegetables

  • 1 tin of Chinese straw mushrooms
  • 1 tin of sliced water chestnuts
  • 1 tin of Chinese mushrooms
  • 1 tin of baby sweet corns
  • (alternatively just use closed up and/or chestnut mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli etc)
  • 1 small onion (pieces)
  • salt & pepper
  • soya sauce
  • corn flour


  1. Fry the onions first and add the mushrooms, water chestnuts, baby sweet corn (or your alternative vegetables) and sprinkle salts & pepper and fry for five minutes;
  2. Add soya sauce (or any other Chinese sauces: oyster, black bean or even chilli bean sauce) and thicken it with corn flour mixed with little cold water.


Dessert: lychee and pineapple with ginger syrup

  • 1 tin of lychees
  • 1 tin of pineapple pieces (fresh one will be ideal)
  • fresh ginger (minced)
  • honey or golden syrup 


  1. Put the lychees and pineapple on a dessert bowl;
  2. Mince some fresh ginger and fry it in a sauce pan on low heat for five minutes and add honey or golden syrup with a little water, simmer for 10 minutes to make a sticky syrup;
  3. Pour it on top of the lychees and pineapple and add ice cream if it takes your fancy;
  4. For the luck of the Chinese New Year; serve it with two tangerines (it sounds double good luck in Chinese) and a ‘lai see’ (red packet usually filled with money for children and those are not married): so a £20 note will do nicely.


Happy Eating!

Here a toast to a very prosperous Chinese New Year of the Dragon and Kung Hey Fat Choy!!  

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Richard Lam

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