Slideshow: 8 Recipes for Lunar New Year

Nian gao
Nian gao
Nian ("year" in Chinese) appears in the word for rice cakes (nian gao). It's no coincidence that they're enjoyed throughout Lunar New Year.

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Banh Chung
Banh Chung
Stacked in neat bricks, the sign of a good banh chung is one that's meaty, hefty, and tightly rolled. If it's fresh, the supple leaves will smell slightly of tea and yield just so when pressed.

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[Photograph: Tam Ngo]

Dumplings
Dumplings
An exceptional dumpling fulfills two criteria: a supple, slightly chewy skin and a juicy filling derived from the broth of meat or the liquid of vegetables.

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[Photograph: Chichi Wang]

Mochi
Mochi
Making mochi at home is a completely manageable, albeit sticky, activity.

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[Photograph: Chichi Wang]

Korean rice cakes
Korean rice cakes
Another rice cake recipe for you! The glutinous rice gets pounded to a gluey, sticky mass, which is then formed into a variety of different shapes and sizes. They can be chubby and skinny, tall and short, round and oblong. Color-wise, they can be pale (made with white glutinous flour) or tan (made with brown rice).

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Scallion Pancakes
Scallion Pancakes
The batter is made of the normal culprits: water, eggs, and flour, along with way more chopped scallions than you think would be necessary. Cooked over relatively high heat, they come out of the pan with crispy edges.

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[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]