8 Vegan Traditional Chinese Dishes To Enjoy During The Lunar New Year

4 Mins Read

With Chinese New Year coming up, we’re all getting excited about the delicious food-filled celebrations (and lai see packets!) ahead. While many of the traditional Chinese dishes typically enjoyed during the Spring Festival feature meat and egg products, there are some age-old dishes that have stood the test of time and are completely plant-based as well. Here are 8 Chinese New Year dishes that are either naturally vegan-friendly or have been altered to cater to plant-based folk. 

1. Mum’s Special Vegan Dumplings 

Source: Choo Choo Ca Chew

Many families enjoy delicious dumplings throughout the festivities. This vegan-friendly dumpling recipe is so easy to whip up, and contains loads of chopped healthy veggies such as cabbage, pak choi and carrots, along with diced tofu and shiitake mushrooms. Steam and enjoy with soy sauce and chilli oil. So yummy, so healthy. 

Get The Recipe: Choo Choo Ca Chew

2. Buddha’s Delight (Lo Hon Jai)

Source: Domestic Adventurer

Buddha’s Delight or Lo Hon Jai is a year-round staple for Chinese vegetarians and vegans! This delicious dish of braised mushrooms, tofu skin, wheat gluten and vegetables of your choice would make the perfect addition in any Lunar New Year dinner celebration. Just make sure to swap out any ingredient-list that calls for oyster sauce for the veggie-friendly version. 

Get The Recipe: The Hong Kong Cookery

3. Chinese New Year Cake (Lin Go)

Source: Delicious Not Gorgeous

What’s Chinese New Year without Chinese New Year Cake? This sweet, naturally vegan and delicious cake is made from a mix of brown sugar, grated orange and ginger zest, glutinous rice flour and water, and steamed to perfection! 

Get The Recipe: Delicious Not Gorgeous

4. Turnip Cake (Lo Bak Go)

Source: One Green Planet

The Spring Festival season is full of cakes! While this popular Cantonese dish has become a favourite dim sum staple enjoyed year-round, it is traditionally reserved for the Lunar New Year. We love this vegan-friendly lo bak go recipe that uses grated turnips, rice flour and diced mushroom and vegetables, and can be enjoyed either steamed or pan-fried until golden brown. 

Get The Recipe: One Green Planet

5. Vegan Spring Rolls 

Source: Simple Vegan Blog

Spring rolls, like dumplings, symbolise wealth in Chinese culture. So it’s a must-have for your Lunar New Year – this vegan spring roll recipe is easy to whip up, and a total crowd pleaser at any party. 

Get The Recipe:Simple Vegan Blog

6. Fried Glutinous Rice Cake 

Source: Saveur

Another common dish enjoyed during Chinese New Year is Fried Glutinous Rice Cakes. It’s a Shanghainese dish of stir-fried chewy rice cakes (you’ll easily find these in supermarkets), sliced napa cabbage, soy sauce, bean sprouts and bamboo shoots. Add a dash of chilli oil for a spicy kick! 

Get The Recipe: Saveur

7. Longevity Noodles 

Source: One Green Planet

Noodles represent longevity and good health, so make sure you fill your bellies with this tasty Chinese stir-fried noodle dish over the holiday. While the traditional version is made with egg noodles, this recipe uses an egg-free version or you can always substitute with a plant-based noodle of your choice. 

Get The Recipe: One Green Planet

8. Sesame Seed Balls 

Source: The Spruce Eats

Sesame seed balls are a great naturally vegan traditional Chinese dessert made from glutinous rice flour, brown sugar, a sweet filling made from red beans, and of course are coated in sesame seeds. While the authentic version usually uses a red bean filling, you can also substitute it with peanut or sesame paste as well.

Get The Recipe: The Spruce Eats

Make sure to check out all of Green Queen’s other amazing plant-based recipes!

Lead image courtesy of Healthy Nibbles & Bits.


  • Sally Ho

    Sally Ho is Green Queen's former resident writer and lead reporter. Passionate about the environment, social issues and health, she is always looking into the latest climate stories in Hong Kong and beyond. A long-time vegan, she also hopes to promote healthy and plant-based lifestyle choices in Asia. Sally has a background in Politics and International Relations from her studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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