5 Must-haves in Your Next CNY Potluck

Chinese New Year - a joyous celebration with our loved ones and of course the perfect opportunity to indulge in some good food. Embracing the spirit of unity and abundance, there's no better way to celebrate this auspicious occasion than by gathering with loved ones for a joyous potluck feast. From symbolic dishes steeped in tradition to contemporary twists that add a dash of innovation, prepare your taste buds for a journey like no other with these "huat" dishes!

1. Dumplings

Resembling ‘money bags’, dumplings are said to represent fortune and prosperity in the coming year. They are often filled with minced meat and vegetables, and are eaten to usher in wealth and good luck for the New Year. The word for dumpling in Chinese, "jiaozi," sounds similar to the word for the earliest paper money used in China, called "jiaochao." Hence, it is strongly believed that the more dumplings you eat during New Year time, the more money you will make next year. Furthermore, dumplings are often made in a communal setting, with family and friends gathering to wrap them together. The simple process of making dumplings reinforces the idea of unity, togetherness, and the strength of family bonds. So, when you savour the exquisite flavours of a succulent dumpling during the Chinese New Year, you're not just enjoying a tasty treat—you're indulging in a tradition packed with cultural symbolism and the promise of good luck and prosperity for the year ahead.

Photo by: BBC

2. Whole Chicken

Chicken is a homophone for ji (吉, meaning 'good luck' and 'prosperity'). That is one thing that makes it such a welcome dish at reunion dinners. Togetherness is an overarching theme of the Lunar New Year, and a whole chicken is another visual signifier of that unity. Chicken being served whole also signifies 'a good beginning and end' to the year.

At All Things Delicious, we don’t just stick to the ordinary. Our rendition of this classic CNY dish transcends the mundane, offering a modern twist. Juicy, sweet and tender Organic Roast Kampung Chicken filled to the brim with an amazing stuffing of fennel chicken sausages, cashews and goji berries, what’s not to love about that? Choose from two marinades: The lightly smokey, Korean Gojuchang or the peppery Lemongrass Ginger marinade. Any of the flavours will be a hit for you and your guests!

Photo by: CJ Wadhwa, All Things Delicious

3. Spring rolls

Spring rolls (chun juan) take their name from the holiday for which they're traditionally prepared: the Spring Festival (chunjie), also known as Chinese New Year. These golden cylindrical-shaped, deep-fried appetizers are stuffed with savoury vegetable fillings and are wrapped in wafer-thin wrappers. The crisp golden rolls are meant to symbolize bars of gold and are believed to attract wealth and prosperity in the year to come.

Photo by: Red House Spice

4. Yu Sheng

The dish is deemed auspicious because of the homonymic meanings behind its ingredients, which suggest blessings and good fortune for the new year: yu is a homonym for “fish” and “abundance”, while sheng means both “raw” and “life”. Together, yusheng implies “abundance of wealth and long life” —and each component is added not just for taste and visual appeal, but for its auspicious symbolism. At All Things Delicious, our Yu Sheng is made with all-natural ingredients, starting with our Hawaiian-inspired sashimi-grade raw Salmon Poké. In addition to spiralized carrots and radish, this yusheng includes fresh mangoes, pomelo, pomegranate seeds and an amazing housemade sesame dressing. This signature Yu Sheng continues to be a best-seller every Chinese New Year. Ours is tradition with a twist - HUAT AH!

Photo by: CJ Wadhwa, All Things Delicious

5. Longevity Noodles

The tradition of eating long-life noodles goes all the way back to the Han Dynasty. The dynasty’s emperor, Emperor Wu, believed that people with longer faces lived longer lives. Hence, longevity noodles today symbolize long life. According to tradition, the chef can't cut these delicate noodle strands, and each strand needs to be eaten whole – without breaking it. The unsevered length of these noodles is not a mere culinary preference but a deliberate choice to represent the eater's life — the longer the noodle, the longer and more prosperous the life envisioned.

Photo by: Taste.com.au