Looking for recipes for your Chinese Lunar New Year feast? We’ve partnered with home cook Yok, who has shared her favourite family recipes for Chinese Lunar New Year.
Meet home cook, Yok
Chinese Lunar New Year brings everyone together over mountains of delicious food. We chatted to Yok, about recipes, traditions, and the importance of family.
Tell us a little about the recipes you’ve shared with us.
These are just some of the recipes that have been handed down within our family for years. The times will change, my hair gets greyer, but the recipes still stay the same. It is both a comfort and a responsibility to make these dishes year-on-year for the cherished people in my life.
Do you have Chinese New Year traditions?
On the first day of Chinese Lunar New Year (midnight to midnight) I don't sweep the floor as it is said all good luck will be swept away! I was told that by my mother and now I tell that to my daughter.
What's your favourite part about the Chinese Lunar New Year festive season?
All my family coming home to enjoy a meal together is always what I most look forward to every Chinese Lunar New Year.
What are some of your favourite things to do with your family?
Sitting around talking, eating, and laughing. All my favourite moments and memories are around the dinner table.
Read on to learn how to make Yok’s family recipes.
Yok’s Golden Rolls
Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 20 mins | Refrigeration Time: 4 hours | Cook Time: 15 mins
These simple yet delicious, crisp golden spring rolls are a symbol of wealth due to their resemblance to small bars of gold. They are enjoyed during Chinese Lunar New Year to bring wealth and prosperity in the year to come.
- Ready to use spring roll sheets
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp corn flour
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1kg pork scotch fillet, finely sliced
- 700g pre-peeled prawns
- 1 packet of rice vermicelli noodles (200g)
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1kg bean sprouts
- 1/2 a green cabbage
- 8 eggs
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- ½ tsp of salt
- ½ tsp of corn flour
- Water, to seal the rolls
- Fried onions (Dragon and Phoenix fried shallots)
- Vegetable oil, to deep fry
- Black pepper and salt for seasoning
- Hoisin, soy or chilli sauce - whichever is your preferred dipping sauce to serve!
- In a large bowl, marinate the pork with soy sauce, pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of corn flour. Refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours.
- In a medium bowl crack the eggs and lightly whisk.
- To create 4 mini omelettes, heat your pan on medium heat and pour in the mixture. Work in small batches (each omelette should be roughly 10cms wide). Set aside to cool.
- Once the omelettes have cooled, stack them on top of each other and roll into a cylinder. Slice the omelettes into small strips and put aside.
- In a large bowl, cook the rice vermicelli noodles as per the directions on the packet.
- To start the Golden Rolls filling, first thinly chop the shallots and garlic.
- Then on a medium heat, fry the shallots and garlic in 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Cook for approx. 3 minutes until you can smell the aroma.
- Add the prawns, sliced pork, and shitake mushrooms to the wok, and cook for a further 6-7 mins.
- Then add the soy, dark soy, oyster sauce, white pepper, salt and vermicelli rice noodles into the pan and mix to combine.
- Transfer the filling to a bowl and let cool slightly before adding the bean sprouts (otherwise the mixture will be too watery). Tip: if the mixture looks too wet, tilt the bowl on an angle to drain the excess water from the filling.
- Add a pinch of salt to taste.
- Working with one spring roll sheet at a time, place the sheet on a clean, dry bench or plate and prepare a bowl with cold water to help seal the spring rolls.
- Scoop the filling onto the centre of the sheet, top with fried onions and shredded omelette. Tip: Place the fried onions in the centre of the mixture to avoid them burning when cooking.
- To wrap the spring rolls, gently fold the wrap in half making a triangle, then fold both ends into the centre. Finish by rolling the final edge over the top and rolling into a cylinder.
- As you wrap the spring rolls, make sure you seal the edges with water. Tip: keep the remaining spring roll sheets under a cold, damp tea towel to keep them from drying out.
- In a large wok, heat the vegetable oil over a medium heat.
- Before cooking your spring rolls, test that the oil is hot enough by placing a wooden spoon or chopstick into the oil – if it bubbles around the wood then you’re ready to start frying!
- Carefully place the rolls into the vegetable oil and fry for approximately 3 minutes or until golden brown.
- Stack the spring rolls on a platter, serve with hoisin, soy, or chilli sauce on the side.
Yok’s Longevity Noodles
Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 10 mins
Eaten during times of celebration, these Shanghai Noodles or “Longevity Noodles” represent a wish for a long life of happiness. The length of the noodle is important and symbolises a long life, so the noodles are never served cut or broken - the longer the better!
- 500g of pork scotch fillet, sliced thinly
- Vegetable oil for cooking
- 2 tbsp of soy sauce
- 1 tsp of white pepper
- 1 tbsp of corn starch
- ½ green or purple cabbage, sliced
- 8 fresh shiitake mushroom, sliced
- 400g or 2 packets of shanghai noodles
- 2 tbsp of soy sauce
- 1½ tbsp of dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp of oyster sauce
- 1 tsp of sugar
- ½ cup of chicken stock
- In a large bowl, marinate the sliced pork with soy sauce, white pepper, and corn starch. Set aside while you prepare the vegetables.
- To prepare the vegetables, thinly slice the cabbage and mushrooms.
- On a medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp of oil into a wok and bring it to heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add in the cabbage and stir fry for about 30 seconds to let it soften, then add in the sliced pork, mushrooms, and noodles.
- Add the remaining marinade into the wok, reduce the heat, and cover. Cook for 6-8 minutes.
- Once all the liquid has soaked into the noodles, mix everything to combine.
- Turn the heat to high and cook the noodles for another 2-3 minutes.
- Optional, but highly recommended, drizzle with chilli oil to serve.
Yok’s Glutinous Rice Balls
Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook Time: 15 mins
What better way to end a feast than with these small, sweet, and delightful rice balls! Formed with glutinous-rice flour and water, they are served during Chinese Lunar New Year to symbolise togetherness and the gathering of families. These are the perfect end to a meal.
For the dough:
- 1 ½ cups (150g) glutinous rice flour
- 1 ½ cups (150g) of regular while rice flour (or tapioca flour).
- 9 tbsp (135 mls) boiling water
For the syrup:
- 1.3 litres of water
- 5 tbsp of white or brown sugar (add more to taste)
- 7cm ginger (sliced and slightly pounded to release the flavour)
- 4 pandan leaves
- In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk together the glutinous rice flour and regular white rice flour.
- Add in the water, starting with 133mls and mix to make a soft but non-sticky dough. Add an additional tbsp of water if necessary. Divide the dough in half.
- Working on a plate or bench dusted with rice flour, roll both halves of the dough into cylinders about 4cm thick, and cut the dough into 2.5 wide segments. Dust with more glutinous rice flour as needed to prevent sticking.
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to the boil.
- Once boiling, carefully add the dumplings in and gently stir to prevent sticking at the bottom of the pot.
- Simmer for 15 minutes, taking care not to let the water boil vigorously or else the dumpling skins will tear. The dumplings are done when the skins are almost translucent.
- To prepare the syrup, boil the water in a pot and add the ginger and pandan leaves.
- Simmer on medium heat, until you can start to smell the aroma of ginger and pandan leaves.
- Then, add the sugar and continue to simmer over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Once ready, set aside.
- To serve, ladle as many rice balls as you like into a bowl and cover with the syrup.
To make these easy-to-follow Chinese Lunar New Year dishes at home, head to Roxburgh Village to find everything you need.