We are going to usher in the Year of the Monkey in just less than 3 weeks’ time. This year I will be having my reunion dinner a few days earlier as my hubby will be away for the whole of the CNY period and I haven’t started stocking up on ingredients yet. Coming up with a CNY feast can be hard work but it gives me a great sense of satisfaction. The only problem is, I can never just settle for that few dishes because I have so many ideas running through my head that I just have to cook aplenty so that we get lots of leftovers to last through a couple of days into the new year, lol. 年年要有余! (meaning abundance through the year)
So have you guys finalised your menu for your reunion dinner yet? Fret not if you have not done so. There’s always the steamboat to the rescue! Read my post here on Ingredients for Steamboat, Easy Soup Bases and the Best Dipping Sauces. This is probably the easiest and most fuss-free CNY feast to whip up for the whole family.
And if you’ve thought of making yu sheng at home for your upcoming lo hei, do check out my Smoked Salmon Yu Sheng Recipe which includes a variety of vegetables & fruits. I know many of you would probably avoid raw fish due to those scary incidents that had happened in Singapore last year so feel free to substitute the salmon with canned abalone, limpets, razor clams and the like or even scallops and crab meat. Or how about sliced roast duck meat for a change? There are endless possibilities – just add whatever you want in your yu sheng. 😉
This year, I have again compiled a list of Chinese New Year recipes which includes a combination of old and new, classic and modern dishes. Not forgetting a hot favourite for many – Salted Egg Prawns! 😉
1. Salted Egg Prawns
I’m sure this needs no further introduction. It’s a dish that’s well loved by many and it’s a must-order at tze char stalls or seafood restaurants. Fresh, crunchy prawns coated with salted egg yolk and butter that’s infused with aromatic curry leaves. What’s not to like? I suggest to cook a generous portion of this cos’ they will definitely go very fast.
Click on the link for my Salted Egg Prawns Recipe.
2. Crispy Roast Pork
Sio Bak is a classic must-have during Chinese New Year. Nothing beats a freshly roasted pork belly with a crispy crackling on top. Not only are these delicious on their own, you can also use them in stir-fry, claypot, rice or soup dishes to complement your reunion dinner.
Click on the link for my Crispy Roast Pork Recipe.
3. Crispy Fried Wontons
Forget about buying wontons from outside that are usually full of skin without much filling. Homemade wontons are still the best cos’ each wonton can be made like a plump gold ingot so when you bite into each morsel, it’s crispy and crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Alternatively, you can also cook them in boiling stock for the more health-conscious.
Click on the link for my Crispy Fried Wontons Recipe.
4. Seafood Prosperity Pot
My version of a 海鲜一品锅 that you can get from most tze char stalls in Singapore. For best results, use the freshest seafood you can find. And if you like, you can also spruce it up with more premium ingredients like sea cucumber, fish maw and abalone.
Click on the link for my Seafood Prosperity Pot Recipe.
5. Spring Onion Pancakes
When we think of carb dishes for Chinese New Year, bread, mantou, fried bee hoon or rice will probably come to mind. For a change, how about making some spring onion pancakes to impress your guests? Perfect to munch on as a snack and they taste equally delicious when paired with curry chicken, braised pork belly and whatever saucy dishes you may have.
Click on the link for my Spring Onion Pancakes Recipe.
6. Oven Baked Curry Chicken
Goodbye old-fashioned curry chicken. Let’s try a dry one this time. This recipe was inspired by a similar dish I had during my primary school days except that the drumlets were baked in the oven instead of being deep-fried. And despite that, they were still finger-licking good because the curry powder made them so aromatic and moreish. A sure hit with the young and old.
Click on the link for my Oven Baked Curry Chicken Recipe.
7. Honey BBQ Chicken
Who says we can’t have western style chicken for Chinese New Year? I love the colours of this dish that just spell festivities. A touch of honey makes the days ahead a bit more 甜甜蜜蜜. 😉 Pair it with tortilla wraps or the spring onion pancakes (above) for a east-meets-west combination.
Click on the link for my Honey BBQ Chicken Recipe.
8. Nyonya Fish (Head) Curry
The burst of flavours with each mouthful of gravy is like an explosion of firecrackers – the sweetness of the pineapples, sourness of the tamarind juice and spiciness of the chillies – all came together so perfectly. Ang Sai, Ang Goi and Ang Go Li are the most popular choices of fish used in fish head curries in Singapore so tell your fishmonger to give you either type if you prefer to use fish head instead of fish steaks like what I did.
Click on the link for my Nyonya Fish Curry Recipe.
9. Pork Ribs Curry
A curry doesn’t necessarily have to be chicken, beef or mutton. Pork can be an excellent choice of protein in a curry too. This is like a dry version of rendang with a very flavoursome spice paste that can be easily made from scratch.
Click on the link for my Pork Ribs Curry Recipe.
10. Tropical Chicken Salad
After a heavy reunion dinner, it is unlikely our tummies can fit in cut fruits at the end of the meal so I thought of recommending this salad dish that includes tropical fruits that will give everyone an extra vitamin boost because healthy food can be good food too. Plus the colours are attractive just like spring which is also what Chinese New Year is all about.
Click on the link for my Tropical Chicken Salad Recipe.
11. Cuttlefish Kangkong
Also known as Jiu Her Eng Chye, one of Singapore’s hawker favourites. I’m recommending this dish because it requires very minimal cooking and few ingredients to make the robust tasting sauce. It’s a pretty appetising vegetable dish.
Click on the link for my Cuttlefish Kangkong Recipe.
12. Peanut Paste
Last but not least, how about ending your meal on a sweet note with a traditional Chinese peanut paste dessert served with glutinous rice balls with filling of your choice? It’s creamy, smooth and absolutely nutty and yummy.
Click on the link for my Peanut Paste Recipe.
I hope this recommended list of Chinese New Year recipes has given you a little more inspiration to plan that reunion dinner menu. Bear in mind, it’s not how expensive the dishes have to be, it’s about getting the family together for some bonding time over a table of home-cooked food made with love. Go ahead and cook up a storm, peeps and here’s wishing all of you a Happy Monkey Year in advance! 🙂
For more Chinese New Year recipe ideas, check out my 12 Easy Chinese New Year Recipes for Good Luck & Prosperity.
Hosting a party or potluck gathering and looking for non-Asian/Chinese dishes to prepare? Check out my 10 Easy Dinner Party Recipes That Will Wow Your Guests.