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What Do Chinese Eat for Chinese New Year?

Chinese New Year meal
The annual Chinese New Year celebrations begin with a big family reunion dinner where everyone gathers to spend time together and share their wishes for joy, health, and prosperity in the coming year. It is considered the biggest celebration for the Chinese.

At the reunion table, each of the foods has a special significance. In this post, we are pleased to list the top Chinese New Year dishes eaten at the reunion dinner and why they are preferred in Chinese New Year celebrations.

Read on to find out!

1. Whole Fish

whole fish
Many Chinese are familiar with the term “to have abundance every year” (年年有余). Chinese households like to offer fish as a sign of abundance during the Chinese New Year since the word “fish” in Mandarin has the same pronunciation as the word “abundance”.

Another custom is to offer a whole fish that still has its head and tail on because they symbolize the start and finish. The phrase means that one must be disciplined and complete all tasks that they begin. As long as the fish is served whole, it can be steamed or fried.

2. Spring Rolls

These handheld spring rolls, which are particularly well-liked in Eastern China for the Lunar New Year, represent wealth. Spring rolls are a Cantonese delicacy that are loaded with meat or just veggies, and wrapped in thin dough that is fried to golden brown.

The Chinese proverb “a tonne of gold” is commonly used to wish for wealth while eating spring rolls, since they resemble gold bars.
spring rolls

3. Tang Yuan

tang yuan
The Chinese New Year celebration officially comes to an end on the fifteenth day of the month. On this day, people hang lanterns, watch lion dances, and eat both sweet and savoury tang yuan.

This Chinese delicacy is made of balls of glutinous rice flour that are filled with black sesame, red bean, or peanut paste and then served in hot broth or syrup.

It is a good idea to try out the shrimp tang yuan this year instead of the more typical sweet tang yuan.

4. Hot Pot/Steamboat

Chinese families typically gather for a steamboat dinner on the eve of the Chinese New Year.

This is because the steamboat pot, which is often spherical in shape, symbolizes a family “reunion.” (a symbol of one). Eating steamboat is a family custom that promotes harmony and happiness.

This Chinese New Year, explore a great variety of audacious EB Food Hot Pot series, including seafood bean curd rolls, crab nuggets, Steamboat 5-in-1, and many more.
DIY Steamboat

5. Longevity Noodles

longetivity noodles
Longevity noodles, sometimes referred to as “Yi Mien,” are a popular noodle dish served for special occasions like Chinese New Year and birthdays. This audacious noodle dish is for wishes of abundance and luck.

The noodles should be eaten whole, without being cut. It is believed that a person will live longer if their noodles are eaten while still intact. The practice actually originated from the Han Chinese belief that people with long faces usually live longer.

6. Dumplings

According to Chinese legends, the more dumplings you consume at Chinese New Year, the more money you will be able to earn in the upcoming year. Chinese believe that eating dumplings on the special day brings in the new and gets rid of the old.

The form of dumplings is based on the Chinese silver ingot, a type of money resembling the shape of a wonton used in imperial China. Make sure the dumplings have lots of pleats since they represent wealth.

Check out EB Food Dim Sum series for many more choices.
mushroom shrimp wonton

7. Nian Gao

nian gao
Sticky rice, sugar, chestnuts, dates, and lotus leaves are used to make the traditional glutinous rice cakes called Nian Gao. “Getting higher year after year” is a saying that goes with eating Nian Gao. It means that life is getting better all around.

In the Chinese language, the word “nian gao” means “rising higher year after year,” signifying growth and auspiciousness.

Final Takeaways

EB Frozen Food wishes you and your family an auspicious and prosperous Chinese New Year! May both wealth and luck follow you.

EB Frozen Food, a popular household name for frozen dim sum, steamboat frozen food supplier, and frozen shrimp products, manufactures and supplies halal certified food products across Malaysia.

For a yummylicious Chinese New Year reunion dinner or holiday gathering, feel free to explore our different food series.

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

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Hot Pot Combo (Mushroom Soup) 600gm
Hot Pot Combo (Mushroom Soup) 600gm

Hot Pot Combo (Mushroom Soup)

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Hotpot picks all in one! Consists of Kyoto Yuba, Seafood Bean Curd Roll, Flower Cheese Tofu, Fish Roe Lucky Bag and Fish Sandwich. Comes with savoury Mushroom soup that is hearty and warming.
Hot Pot Combo 600gm
Hot Pot Combo 600gm

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Hotpot picks all in one! Consists of Kyoto Yuba, Seafood Bean Curd Roll, Flower Cheese Tofu, Fish Roe Lucky Bag and Fish Sandwich. Comes with fiery Mala paste which is perfect for spicy lovers!

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Made from Vannamei shrimp and coated with our special- made batter. It’s super crispy, springy and flavourful! It tastes great on its own and also goes well with any of your favourite dipping sauces!

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Shrimp Wonton with Mala Sauce 204gm
Shrimp Wonton with Mala Sauce 204gm

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Shrimp Wonton with Mushroom Seasoning 154gm
Shrimp Wonton with Mushroom Seasoning 154gm

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Filling with juicy whole shrimp and wrapped in signature wonton pastry. It comes together with special made mushroom seasoning sachet. Tenderness & Juicy guaranteed!
Fried Bean Curd Sheet 150gm
Fried Bean Curd Sheet 150gm

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MY Daun Prawn Paste (Big leaf) 130g

MY Daun Prawn Paste (Big Leaf)

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Prawn Paste 130gm
Prawn Paste 130gm

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Steamboat 5 in 1 500gm

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Imitation Shishamo 500gm

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Cheese Tofu 500gm

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Seafood Tofu 500gm

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Chicken Roll (Salted Egg) 600gm

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Chicken Roll (Cheesy) 600gm

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Chicken Roll (Original) 600gm

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Cheese Finger 500gm

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Fish Finger 500gm

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Fish Patty 500gm

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Fish Chip 500gm

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Made by quality fish meat and premium breadcrumbs, tastes crispy and delicious! It can be deep-fried, baked in the oven or grilled!
Prawn paste

Prawn Paste

Made from big chunk of high quality prawn meat. Every bite gives a smooth and light crunchy texture with preserved prawn taste. It can be a dish by itself, complement ingredients, or blend into versatile food.

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Big chunks of tiger prawn meat mixed with refreshing water chestnut and wrapped with crispy bean curd skin. Simply deep fry to golden brown and pair with any meal of your liking. Its tender, sweet and juicy texture will leave you wanting more!