Three inspiring Lunar New Year dishes


Three inspiring Lunar New Year dishes

Lunar New Year is around the corner and traditional comfort food is always present at every reunion dinner table. Reunion dinner happens on New Year’s eve, and is considered the most important meal of the year. Extended family members will often travel long and far just to make it in time for reunion dinner and reconnect with loved ones.

Joanne and Wes are Australians with Chinese backgrounds from South East Asia, and love these dishes because they remind them of Lunar New Year celebrations back home in Singapore and Malaysia, respectively. They will show you how it’s done!

Char Siew Noodles

These Char Siew Noodles are similar to what you’d get at your favourite Chinese restaurant, except this is made at home and cooked in under 30 mins! It’s made with tender noodles, fresh choy sum, marinated pork belly and a simple savoury sauce. A reunion dinner-worthy dish!

*Pictured: Gold table runner and from Target

Serves 4
Preparation: 1 hour + minimum 4 hours refrigeration
Cooking time: 30 mins


  • 800g pork neck or belly, sliced into long strips about 5-7cm in width
  • 400g of fresh thin egg noodles
  • 1 bunch choy sum
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • Pickled green chillis and sriracha to garnish


  • 1 ½ tbs sugar
  • 1 ½ tbs Hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbs red fermented bean curd with 2 tbsp of its liquid
  • ½ tsp five spice powder
  • 3 crushed garlic cloves
  • ½ tbs grated ginger
  • 1 tbs light soy sauce
  • 1tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbs Shaoxing rice wine


  • 3 tbs sugar
  • 2 tbs water
  • 4 tbs honey

Noodle sauce

  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 2 tbs light soy sauce
  • 1 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp pepper (preferably white pepper)


  1. Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a large mixing bowl. Add the pork and coat the pork completely. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours.
  2. After the pork has been marinated, pre-heat the oven to 220°C. Place your pork on a wire rack over a baking tray lined with foil and place in the oven for 15 mins.
  3. Once the pork is in the oven, combine the ingredients for the glaze in a small pan on the stove and bring to the boil, stirring continuously until the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Remove the pork from the oven and brush with the hot glaze and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes. Brush the pork with the hot glaze again and return to the oven for 5 more minutes. Remove the pork from the oven and brush with the glaze again and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Carve with a sharp knife into half centimetre slices and set aside.
  5. To make the noodle sauce, combine the ingredients in a small pan and simmer until the garlic is cooked.
  6. Bring a large pot of water to the boil with a pinch of salt, and add the choy sum stems. After a minute, add the leaves and boil for another minute. Remove, drain, and set aside.
  7. Bring that same pot of water back to the boil, and add the noodles. Cook for a minute or two depending on the thickness of the noodles. Drain and toss the noodles through the noodle sauce.
  8. To serve, place the noodles and choy sum on the plate and add the slices of pork. Garnish with spring onions, pickled green chillis and top with sriracha sauce.

Steamed Garlic and Chilli Prawns

Prawns are a staple in Chinese New Year dishes, because the pronunciation of prawns in Cantonese - “har” - sounds like laughter (“ha-ha”). This easy, one-ingredient dish is packed full of flavour, thanks to a garlic mixture and rice wine that marinates with the prawns for a delicious reunion dinner dish.

Gold table runner from Target

Serves 4
Preparation: 15mins
Cooking time: 5mins


  • 12 whole prawns
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper (preferably white pepper)
  • 2 tbs shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 10 crushed garlic cloves
  • 2 spring onions, sliced finely
  • 1 large chilli, sliced finely
  • 1 tsp fried garlic (optional)


  1. Butterfly the prawns by carefully running a knife through the shell along the back of each prawn and removing the intestines. Marinate them in the salt, pepper, and rice wine for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Combine the garlic, chilli, spring onions and soy sauce in a bowl and mix well.
  3. Place the prawns on a large plate and spoon the garlic mixture onto each of the prawns. Pour the rest of the marinade over the prawns.
  4. Steam the prawns for 5-6 minutes, or until cooked through.
  5. Remove the plate of prawns from the steamer, garnish with more spring onions and fried garlic and serve immediately.

Salmon Yee Sang

Yee Sang a prosperity dish unique to Malaysia and Singapore, designed with the ritual of tossing and mixing the ingredients high in the air whilst shouting all kinds of wishes of abundance, like having good health, good wealth, and getting good grades (for the kids).

This Salmon Yee Sang, or raw fish salad, is packed with fresh, crunchy veggies, plenty of pomelo (as an optional add-in) and a generous drizzle of plum sauce. It’s worth noting that the fish has to be raw, as the word “raw” - “sang” - also means “growth” in Chinese.

Gold tabler runner, mini bowls on wooden platter, gravy saucer and large blue dish from Target

Serves 4
Preparation: 30mins


  • 200g sashimi grade salmon, sliced
  • 8 wonton wrappers, sliced into small pieces
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 1 tbs white sesame seeds
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely grated or julienned
  • ½ daikon radish, peeled and finely grated or julienned
  • ½ a continental cucumber, peeled, deseeded and fine grated or julienned
  • 1 green apple, finely grated or julienned
  • 3 spring onions, julienned
  • 1 cup pomelo or grapefruit, peeled and broken into small pieces with seeds and pith removed (optional)
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander
  • 2 tbs pickled Japanese ginger


  • 200mL plum sauce
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 2 tbs light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • Juice of 2-3 limes
  • ½ tsp five spice powder
  • ½ tsp pepper (preferably white pepper)
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, stems removed and sliced very finely (optional)


  1. Slice the wonton wrappers into small squares, and deep fry in small batches until crispy. Drain and set aside.
  2. Toast the sesame seeds until golden brown in a dry pan. Set aside to cool.
  3. Finely grate or julienne the carrot, daikon, cucumber, apple and spring onion. Arrange on a large platter in separate piles, alongside the pickled ginger, coriander and fried wonton crisps.
  4. Place the slices of salmon on top of the other ingredients. Spoon over the sauce and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve immediately and using chopsticks, mix together thoroughly with your guests.

Photography and Words: Joanne Phua of Bam It’s Joanne

Cooking and Recipe: Wesley Tan


Sat 24th Aug


Sun 25th Aug


Mon 26th Aug


Tue 27th Aug


Wed 28th Aug


Thu 29th Aug


Haidilao Hot Pot

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