Top 5 Dishes To Celebrate A Vegetarian Chinese New Year

The lunar cycle-based holiday Chinese New Year varies each year, and in 2018 (the year of the dog), it begins on Feb. 15. Unlike Western New Year celebrations, Chinese New Year festivities last for around two weeks. People often give red envelopes of money to friends and family during this period. And some like to offer food and drink to their ancestors. Feasting is central to the festivities, and many celebrants eat traditional foods and make dishes like dumplings to enjoy.

However, if you are a vegetarian, you may wonder what you can eat during these festivities. That’s why we’ve put together our top 5 vegetarian Chinese New Year dishes to help you celebrate deliciously.

 

5.) Vegetable Manchow Soup

Watch this video on how to make vegetarian manchow soup, a warm, comforting and healthy dish. This easy-to-follow recipe makes a great starter for your vegetarian Chinese New Year celebration.

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1½ tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp. chopped ginger
  • ½ tbsp. green chile chopped
  • 1/3 cup heap each of cabbage, carrot, capsicum, cauliflower, beans and mushrooms (all finely chopped)
  • 2½ tsp.
  • ¼ tsp Chinese salt (optional)
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup corn flour mixed with 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup spring onion leaves and tops
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar

Method

  • Heat oil in a wok
  • Add garlic, ginger and fry a little
  • Add green chilies and vegetables
  • Mix well
  • Add salt and fry for a minute
  • Add vegetable stock, sugar and soya sauce
  • Mix
  • When it boils, add corn flour slurry
  • Boil for a minute
  • Add spring onion tops and leaves
  • Serve hot with fried noodles

 

4.) Vegetarian Spring Rolls

Vegetable spring rolls are light, crispy and make a fantastic addition to any Chinese meal. And, bonus: They’re an easy and quick snack to prepare!

Ingredients

  • 10 spring roll wrappers
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 2 oz. julienned carrots
  • 2 oz. julienned cabbages
  • 2 oz. halved Shimeji mushrooms
  • 2 oz. finely chopped wood ear mushrooms
  • 2 oz. julienned snow peas
  • 1 tsp. of soy sauce
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of pepper
  • A pinch of sugar
  • A dash of sesame oil
  • 2 oz chopped glass noodles
  • 1 tsp of cornstarch water mix with 1 tablespoon of water
  • 2 tbsp. of water mix with 3 tablespoons of water

Method

For the preparation, soak wood ear mushroom in water overnight, then finely chopped. Also, soak glass noodles in hot water for about 30 minutes.

  • Then in a hot pan
  • Add oil, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms and peas
  • Stir until the aroma comes out
  • 1 tsp. of soy sauce
  • A pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper
  • A pinch of sugar
  • A dash of sesame oil
  • Mix well
  • Add glass noodles and stir-fry until combined
  • Add cornstarch water mix with 1 tbsp. water
  • Let it cool

To make the glue, add 2 tbsp. flour into a small bowl and mix with 3 tbsp. water.

  • Lay the wrap out flat like a diamond
  • Place 2 tbsp. of room-temperature filling on the spring roll wrapper 2 inches above the bottom corner of the wrapper
  • Tightly roll the wrapper and filling half-way
  • Fold the left edge over right up against the edge of the filling
  • Fold the right edge over until it almost looks like an open envelope
  • Fold it up again, and seal with the flour mixture.
  • Leave no space or air pockets
  • Cover all the spring rolls with plastic wrap to prevent drying out

 

3.) Chinese Scallion Pancakes

Scallion pancakes are a popular dish in China, available from restaurants and street vendors alike. What better way to toast a vegetarian Chinese New Year?

Ingredients

  • 10 oz. (283g) of all-purpose flour
  • 7 oz. (198g) of warm water
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • Some green onion

Method

  • Mix 10 oz. of all-purpose flour with 1 tsp. of salt
  • Pour in 7 oz. of warm water in batches
  • Mix well
  • Knead it for 5-8 minutes or until it becomes a soft dough
  • Put in a bowl which is brushed with oil
  • Turn the dough over a few times inside the bowl until the surface is coated lightly with the oil.
  • Cover it with a plastic film
  • Push out all the air
  • In a small sauce bowl, add 1½ tbsp. of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of black pepper
  • Heat up ¼ cup of vegetable and pour it in
  • Mix this together
  • Shape it into an even longer piece.
  • Cut it into 6 even pieces
  • Roll each piece into a thin sheet
  • Try to get it into a rectangle shape
  • Brush the thin sheet with some flour oil and sprinkle some scallion on it
  • Use your rolling pin to roll the cake into a round sheet about 7 to 8 inches across
  • Put some oil in the pan, just a little bit to cover the bottom
  • Fry scallion pancakes for 3 to 5 minutes on a medium heat or until it is golden brown
  • Wrap it with plastic film before frying and put it in a sealable bag

 

2.) Vegan Dumplings

This recipe will make 20 delicous vegan dumplings.

Ingredients

Dough

  • 3 cups all-purpose baking flour
  • 1 tbsp. Salt
  • 1 Cup Water

Filling

  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 2 carrots grated
  • 1 onion
  • 1 thumb size cube of ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ head of green cabbage
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. sugar

Method

  • Prepare the dough and let it sit for one hour
  • Clean chop/mince all vegetables
  • Sauté onion, garlic and ginger in water for 5 minutes
  • Add mushrooms, carrots and cabbage and cook for 10 minutes
  • Once vegetables are cooked, add sugar and soy sauce
  • Divide dough into small cubes and roll out into thin circles
  • Add filling into dough & wrap any way you want
  • Steam for about 15 minutes

 

1.) Chinese Takeout-Style Tofu And Broccoli

This Chinese takeout-style tofu and broccoli recipe will serve two to four people.

Ingredients

  • 14 oz. firm tofu
  • 1½ tsp. sesame oil, divided
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 3 tsp. vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1-2 tbs. cornstarch slurry (1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. agave syrup
  • 1½ tsp. toasted sesame seeds
  • Green onion (optional)
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

Method

  • Wrap tofu in two layers of paper towels and place on a plate
  • Put another plate on top of the tofu to weigh it down
  • Microwave for 2-3 minutes, or until drained
  • After microwaving, carefully unwrap tofu and slice into ½- to 1-inch cubes
  • Pat each cube dry
  • In a large nonstick skillet, heat vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil over medium-high heat
  • Once the oil is hot, add cubes of tofu and cook on all sides until golden brown, approximately 2-4 minutes per side
  • Remove from pan and set aside
  • Add broccoli to the hot pan and add vegetable broth
  • Cover with a lid and reduce heat to medium-low
  • Steam for 5 minutes
  • Remove lid and turn the heat back up to medium-high.
  • Add garlic, grated ginger and ½ tsp. sesame oil.
  • Stir to soften
  • Add in soy sauce, agave, sesame seeds and cornstarch slurry
  • Stir until thickened to desired consistency
  • Add tofu back into broccoli and sauce mixture
  • Serve over white rice and garnish with green onion and sesame seeds

Whatever you choose to eat this year, make sure you enjoy the celebrations. Gung Hay Fat Choy!

If you find yourself in Singapore on your travels and are after some vegetarian restaurant inspiration. Read our Top 5 Restaurants For Vegetarians In Singapore.

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