Life at UCB through the eyes of our international student bloggers

Lunar New Year Foods!

Lunar New Year Foods!

Happy Lunar New Year!

Last week, I shared five Lunar New Year traditions (Make sure to have a look here if you haven’t!) and today, I would like to share five of my favourite foods to eat during Lunar New Year.


• Turnip Cake (蘿蔔糕 – Lo Bak Go)

Turnip cakes or radish cakes are my favourite food to eat during Lunar New Year. It is made with Chinese radish, a type of white-coloured root vegetable and rice flour, with additional ingredients of your choice, usually, we will use Chinese sausage, ham, shiitake mushroom etc.


• Sweet glutinous rice cake (年糕 – Nian Go)

It is also known as Year Cake, which is directly translated from Chinese. It is a cake made with glutinous rice flour and brown sugar, so it usually looks brownish, it can be steamed, or pan-fried. It also symbolizes a ‘higher year’ (growing in the coming year) as the Chinese pronunciation for cake is similar to tall or high.


• Sesame Ball (煎堆 – Jian Dui) 

It is a pastry made with glutinous rice flour and with a variety of fillings such as custard, sweet red bean paste, black sesame paste or peanuts. It is iconic for its golden ball shape, coated with sesame seeds, which is crispy on the outside, soft and chewy inside.


• Deep-fried sweet dumplings (角仔 – Gok Zai)

Although its name is dumplings, it is different from the usual dumplings we have, it is made with a flaky pastry wrapped with peanuts, sesame seeds shredded coconuts and sugar as filling. It is golden coloured and shaped like the ancient Chinese currency ‘yuanbao(元寶)’, therefore, it also symbolises money.


• Chinese candy box (全盒 – Cyun Hap ) 

It is a red coloured box used to store sweets, chocolate coins and other snacks such as candied fruits and roasted seeds during Lunar New Year. Its direct translation is ‘Together/Everything/Complete box’, meaning that everyone is together, and everything will be perfect in the coming year; each snack inside the box also represents a blessing or meaning.


Here are my five favourite foods to eat during Lunar New Year, most of them are available in China Town so if you’re interested, make sure to try them out (Trust me, they are delicious!).

See you next week~

Hoi Yan

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