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9 Vegan Recipes to Celebrate Lunar New Year

Before diving into dumplings and spring rolls, it’s important to know the difference between Lunar New Year and Chinese New Year: Lunar New Year is celebrated across several Asian countries. For the vegan recipes below, we’re narrowing down the incredibly vast options and sticking to Chinese heritage foods. The multi-day celebration traditionally kicks off with a fantastic display of fireworks, ending with a gorgeous paper lantern festival. Here, we’ve gathered 9 delicious vegan recipes to fuel your Lunar New Year festivities. 

Steamy Kitchen

1 Vegetable Spring Rolls by Steamy Kitchen

Break out the deep-fryer or a deep cast-iron skillet—these are not the fresh, rice paper variety you might be thinking of. We’re talking about crispy, flaky, fried spring rolls stuffed with soft veggies. One bite, and you’ll swoon. 
Get the recipe here

Mary’s Test Kitchen

2 Sweet Chinese Rice Dumplings in Ginger Syrup by Mary’s Test Kitchen

These sweet dumplings, or tong yuan, are made with glutinous rice flour. Despite its name, this flour is actually gluten-free, and it’s the same used to make the outer chewy shells of mochi. The result is a lightly sweet, toothsome dessert one can enjoy while viewing the holiday’s concluding event—the lantern festival. 
Get the recipe here

The Plant-Based Wok

Vegan Mushroom Potstickers by The Plant-Based Wok

Dumplings (aka potstickers) are central in any Lunar New Year celebration. Their variety is infinite—sweet, savory, steamed, pan-fried—you can stuff and prepare them any way you like. These shiitake mushroom potstickers are crisp on the outside, juicy on the inside, and bursting with umami. Make a large batch and freeze a few (uncooked) to last you the entire week. 
Get the recipe here

The Woks of Life

4 Braised Wheat Gluten with Mushrooms by The Woks of Life

You’ll have to swing by your local Asian market to pick up the main ingredient for this cold appetizer, and once you try it, you’ll constantly crave it. Hong shao kao fu is made with dried wheat gluten, wood ear mushrooms, dried lily flower, and peanuts, all soaked in a dark, slightly sweet soy-based sauce. The dried wheat gluten is very similar to tofu in that it acts like a sponge, soaking up whatever flavors you add to it. Bonus to the vegan nay-sayers: this dish has a ton of protein. 
Get the recipe here

The Woks of Life

5 Sticky Rice Mushroom Shumai by The Woks of Life

One look at this puckered dim sum has us drooling. This recipe layers on the textures and flavors with a mix of sticky rice, shiitake mushrooms, and a complex sauce to coat every single crevice. You could easily make a meal out of these. 
Get the recipe here

Celestial Peach

6 Taro Root Cakes by Celestial Peach

Lo bak go is a savory, dense cake made with taro root or turnips. Traditional recipes call for dried shrimp and/or Chinese sausage—both are replaced in this recipe with meaty shiitake mushrooms. How you enjoy them is up to you—either leave them steamed or take an extra step to pan-fry for a crispy-edged finish. 
Get the recipe here

Wicked Healthy

7 Vegan Pork Belly by Wicked Healthy

When we say anything can be vegan, we mean it, and this recipe justifies this claim. The sibling duo at Wicked Healthy replicate the tastes and textures of tender pork belly by slow-roasting then pan-frying dry-rubbed tofu. Just try it. You and your omnivore friends will be amazed. 
Get the recipe here

Radiant Rachaels

8 Vegan Sweet Rice Cake by Radiant Rachaels

Nian Gao is pure and simple. This sweet, dense dessert only requires four ingredients (Chinese cane sugar, chickpea flour, glutinous rice flour, and rice flour), yet the result is nothing short of addictive. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself craving these sweet squares instead of cake in the next coming weeks.
Get the recipe here 

China Sichuan Food

9 Fortune Cake by China Sichuan Food

The ingredients for fa gao are simple, but the result is impressive. This humble cake made from all-purpose flour, water, brown sugar, and baking powder puffs up when steamed into a Chinese fortune-teller-shaped dome. These are served for both breakfast and dessert. 
Get the recipe here

For more vegan recipes, read:
Spicy Vegan Seitan Pot Stickers
Vegan Chinese Turnip Pastry
Vegan Sticky Sweet Char Siu Tofu

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