A Foodie’s Delight: Easy Meat-Free Swaps for Chinese New Year
Everyone looks forward to Chinese New Year dinner on New Year’s Eve, eating delicious food with friends and family to hopefully bring good luck for the coming year. Food is vitally important for many celebrations, bringing people together to reflect on the year gone past and look to the future
Everyone looks forward to Chinese New Year dinner on New Year’s Eve, eating delicious food with friends and family to hopefully bring good luck for the coming year. Food is vitally important for many celebrations, bringing people together to reflect on the year gone past and look to the future.
We all love the common Chinese New Year foods like dumplings, spring rolls and Niangao, but what can you eat at Chinese New Year if you’re adopting a meat-free lifestyle? Luckily, it’s easy to substitute meat with other delicious products in a variety of Chinese New Year dishes. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to get creative with flavours, textures, and introducing the meat-free way of life to your loved ones!
The importance of food during Chinese New Year
At Chinese New Year, it’s not only the dishes themselves that matter, but also how they are prepared, served and eaten. We eat foods at Chinese New Year that have traditional symbolic meanings, so we can embrace these values and attributes in the coming year. Here are some examples of Chinese New Year foods and what they represent.
- Fish - wealth, fortune and surplus
- Glutinous rice balls - a family reunion
- Noodles - longevity
- Spring rolls - wealth and ‘fresh starts’
- Glutinous rice cakes (nian gao) - rise in career and salary
Your favourite Chinese New Year meals, made meat-free
Lucky Sour and Spicy Soup
This traditional Chinese Sour and Spicy Soup combines beautifully aromatic flavours with protein-rich Quorn Swedish meatballs to create a perfect Chinese New Year dish.
Warm, filling and absolutely delicious, the vegetables and meatballs in this classic dish will have you full and satisfied with a unique play of contrasting flavours.
Spicy Auspicious Szechuan Chilli Chicken
La Zi Ji is a Szechuan stir-fry dish seasoned with chilli, garlic and peppercorns to create an explosion of spicy flavour and taste.
This version uses Quorn pieces that are battered tempura-style to create a deliciously crispy Chinese New Year dish. Perfect for the vegetarians and vegans around your celebration table!
Joyous Braised Longevity Noodles
This Chinese classic is believed to have been created by the cook of an official of the Qing dynasty, Yi Bingshou. It's said he accidentally dropped some noodles into a wok of boiling oil and, running late, just dunked them in broth and served them!
This version of the dish uses Quorn sausages, brom buja shimeji mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms to create a warm, comforting and absolutely delicious dish for your enjoyment.
Emperor’s Herbal Sauce Fillet
Embrace the flavours of goji berries, chicken, Chinese mushroom and red dates to create this delicious and nutritious Quorn Chinese New Year recipe!
High in protein, this dish can be topped with spring onion and chilli strips before serving with rice for a fantastic addition to your Chinese New Year celebration table.
Salted Duck ‘Eggs’
Salted Duck Eggs are a Chinese New Year delicacy, and are usually boiled or steamed before being peeled and eaten as a condiment. They can also be added to congee or cooked with other foods as a flavouring. Salted Duck Eggs lend themselves well to meat-free and vegetarian dishes, as they can be used as a coating for vegetables and meat-free proteins.
Golden Spiced Nuggets
Is there anything better than a delicious, crispy, juicy, flavoursome chicken nugget? Perhaps if it’s made with Quorn!
These Golden Spiced Nuggets are the perfect finger food for your Chinese New Year party, combining the flavours of curry, turmeric, garlic and onion to create a truly yummy bite of vegan heaven.
Eight Treasures Quorn Stir-Fry
Create a luxurious and seriously special dish this Chinese New Year with the Eight Treasure Stir Fry from Quorn.
Combining the ‘eight treasures’ of roasted chestnuts, gingko nuts, lotus seeds, goji berries, green peas, Chinese mushrooms, garlic and green capsicum; this is a dish you won’t have to miss having at your table.
Fat Choy with Mushrooms
Fat Choy is a terrestrial cyanobacterium that is a commonly used vegetable in Singaporean cuisine. When dried, it looks like black hair, hence why it is commonly called the ‘hair vegetable’! When soaked, fat choy has a soft texture similar to very fine vermicelli noodles.
Quorn is made from Mycoprotein and fat choy is a cyanobacterium, meaning they both consist of fermentable fibres. This fibrous texture makes dishes interesting, filling and delicious! This dish can be made meat-free by substituting the pork belly for a protein product like Quorn pieces or mince. Bright and fresh veggies such as chinese broccoli make this dish a winner!
Mala Hot Pot
There’s something inherently festive about Mala hot pots, as everyone gathers around the burner to cook their favourite meats and vegetables in the delicately mastered soup broth. This makes this dish perfect for a meat-free Chinese New Year option, as you can add your own meat-free alternatives to the hot pot to suit your tastes. They’ll use almost every item in the typical Sichuan pantry, but that beautiful broth is always worth it in the end.
Lo Bak Gou (Cantonese Turnip Cake)
Turnip cake, also known as radish cake or Lo Bak Gou, is a savory steamed traditional Cantonese snack often found in Chinese dim sum restaurants. It’s filled with shredded turnip, and is steamed and pan fried until crispy golden brown. You can garnish it with fresh cilantro, soy sauce and chilli to make this delicious meat-free Chinese New Year dinner snack.
Go meat-free this Chinese New Year with Quorn
Your journey to being 100% meat-free all year round is made easy with Quorn’s range of meat-free protein alternatives. Our products are convenient, easy to cook and available to suit many tastes. They’re the perfect meat-free addition to a variety of Chinese New Year meals! Plus, Quorn products are non-GMO< soy free and cholesterol free.
Click here to find out where you can buy Quorn products for this Chinese New Year.