A new year can be daunting, especially when a lot of our challenges from last year continue to this one. But the new year also ushers in new beginnings! And this Chinese New Year, let’s take a brave leap and welcome 2023 and its challenges eagerly.
To celebrate the year of the rabbit, we have compiled meals and dishes that will not only bring in the good luck this 2023, but will also be an easy favourite for our guests this Chinese New Year!
Bird’s Nest Soup 
This traditional Chinese broth is made with the nest of a swiftlet, hence its name. It has long been believed to remedy illnesses such as tuberculosis, asthma, and stomach troubles. In addition, the edible bird’s nests added into this broth is also believed to strengthen immune function, enhance energy and metabolism, and even improve bone health. 
- 30g Birds Nest
- 8 tbsp rock sugar
- Salt, to taste
- Steam the nest in a mixture of water and rock sugar overnight.
- Remove and chop the nest into portions, removing any feathers from the mixture and patting dry.
- Add the portions to a pot of boiling water and rock sugar for 2 hours and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
- After 2 hours, the bird’s nest should be soft. Remove the bird’s nest from the pot and thoroughly pat dry.
- Serve and enjoy!
Chinese New Year Dumplings 
As they are considered a traditionally lucky food in China, we would be remiss if we didn’t shine the spotlight on it this new year of the rabbit. With its creation dating back almost a thousand years, this Chinese New Year staple is considered lucky due to its shape. Since it resembles a Chinese gold ingot, it is considered a symbol of wealth. 
- 2/3 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
- 2 to 3 tbsp Borges Classic Olive Oil
- 5 cups finely chopped Napa cabbage
- ½ pound fatty ground pork
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- ½ cup chopped Chinese chives
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- 1 ½ tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 ½ tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
- Salt, to taste
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- ½ cup water
- 1 package round dumpling wrappers
- Place the dried shiitake mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with very hot water. Keep them submerged and set aside until the mushrooms are softened, about 20 minutes. Drain the mushrooms well, remove the stems and mince.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the Borges Classic Olive Oil, then the cabbage. Sauté the cabbage, stirring frequently, until the cabbage wilts and is greatly reduced. Remove from heat, then set aside to cool. When the cabbage cools down, wring out the excess water and place in the bowl with the mushrooms.
- Then add the ground pork, ginger, chives, egg, garlic, pepper, soy sauce, sesame oil, fish sauce and wine in with the mushrooms and cabbage, mixing well. Add salt to the mixture as desired. This makes about 2 cups of filling.
- With the filling complete, begin assembling the dumplings. Put a teaspoon of filling into each wrapper, and brush the edges of the wrapper with the cornstarch mixture. Fold the wrapper over into a crescent. Try to create 8 folds, or pleats, on each dumpling for good luck.
- To cook, bring a big pot of water to a boil. Add as many dumplings as desired, and boil until the wrappers are tender and the filling is firm; they will rise to the top when ready.
Steamed Whole Fish 
During Chinese New Year, you cannot forget to serve steamed fish as well. Similar to dumplings, steamed fish is believed to bring an abundance of wealth in every new year that comes. In fact, one famous Chinese saying even explains that, by having fish, you will have a surplus overflowing every year! 
- 1 whole fish
- 8 green onion
- 6 thin slices of ginger
- 2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
- ¼ cup Borges Grapeseed Oil
- 4 tbsp premium soy sauce
- 3 tbsp of sugar
- Stuff 2 stocks of green onion and 3 thin slices of ginger in the fish. Pour on 2 tbsp of Chinese cooking wine and steam for 20 minutes.
- Thinly julienne green onions and slice up the rest of the ginger.
- Heat 1/4 cup of the Borges Grapeseed Oil. In the meantime, in a bowl, mix soy sauce and sugar.
- Once the fish is cooked, transfer the fish onto a new serving plate and remove all the stuffing. Place green onion and ginger on top of the fish and pour on the sauce.
- Drizzle on hot oil all over the green onion and ginger, then garnish with some more green onion. Serve and enjoy!
Tang Yuan (Glutinous Rice Balls) 
Though Tang Yuan is also popularly served during the Lantern Festival, in many places in Southern China, this is also considered a Chinese New Year staple. Made from glutinous rice powder, these are typically filled with bean paste, black sesame, brown sugar, and many other fruits or nuts! 
For the black sesame filling:
- 1 cup toasted black sesame
- ¼ cup toasted peanuts
- 1 cup sugar powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 5 tbsp lard or butter
- 3 tbsp water
For Tang Yuan dough:
- 2 cups glutinous rice flour
- 1 cup warm water
- Vegetable color powder
Make the black sesame filling:
- Toast black sesame in a pan or oven (detailed guide can be find here).
- Add black sesame, powdered sugar, salt and peanuts into a blender. Blend well.
- Add melted lard and water. Mix well. Then chill until hardened and then shape ½ tablespoon of the filling into round balls. Cover with plastic wrapper and chill in fridge again.
Make the dough and cook the balls:
- Stir warm water to sticky rice flour and then knead to form a smooth ball.
- Shape to a long log and shape into 6 portions. Cover 4 portions with wet cloth.
- Halve the remaining 2 portions and turn into 4 portions. Add vegetable color powder one by one and knead until the color is well mixed. Sprinkle water whenever necessary.
- Take a 20g portion and then shape to a small ball, place the dough in and wrap well. Squeeze the ball in turn in two hands to make sure no cracks on surface. If you feel the dough is hard to handle, wet your hand before assembling. Slightly dust the ball with sticky rice flour for further storage. They can be frozen in air-tight bags.
- Bring water to a boiling in a pot (the water should be at least 2 cm higher than the balls). Continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes after they float on surface.
- Scoop out with the soup and serve with sugar, or sweet osmanthus or syrup.