Good Luck for Lunar New Year

Published on 06 February 2018

Celebrating the year’s big events more often than not involves food. A shared feast, a special dish and culinary traditions mark these occasions – and make them fun! Lunar New Year is celebrated mid-February with delicious traditions including noodles – the longer the better – symbolising longevity and happiness; plump dumplings, symbolising wealth; and sweet rice balls called tangyuan, symbolic of family togetherness.

Oranges are one of the most common symbols used at Lunar New Year. The fruit is exchanged as a gift, kept around the house as an ornament and even used in Feng Shui practice. They represent good luck and abundance and are given as gifts – always in pairs – to the host when visiting family. The orange’s good reputation comes from its name. The words for orange and luck in Chinese are strikingly similar so they share the positive connotation.

We’ve pulled together some delicious recipes that celebrate this lucky fruit to help you ring in the Year of the Dog.


Oranges 3 Ways –
One Spiced Syrup, Three Delicious Recipes

Basic spiced syrup:

  • ¼ cup brown sugar (can be replaced with honey)
  • 1 cup fresh unsweetened orange juice
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 whole clove
  • 2 star-anise
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 2 cracked cardamom pods
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger
  • 1 cup of water 

Place all ingredients into a saucepan and cook over low-medium heat until liquid has reduced by half and is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Strain and allow to cool. Syrup can be kept in the fridge for up to two weeks. 

Orange Iced Tea

  • 4 cups brewed black tea
  • 2 oranges sliced into wedges
  • ¼ cup spiced orange syrup
  • ¼ cup pomegranate juice (or cranberry if unavailable) 

Brew tea for 3 minutes and allow to cool. Add the spiced syrup to the tea and juice. Stir to combine and pour over ice. Garnish with orange wedges.

Pancakes with orange syrup

  • 1 cup orange syrup
  • 2 whole oranges
  • 1 vanilla pod (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 250g mascarpone (can be substituted for Greek yogurt, ricotta or even ice cream)
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 cup milk (can be substituted for almond or soy milk)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tblsp melted butter

Zest the oranges. Remove the rest of the peel with a pairing knife making sure to remove all the pith. Slice into rounds. In a saucepan, add the orange syrup, a few tablespoons of water and the vanilla pod. Bring up to a simmer, add the orange rounds, remove from the heat and allow to steep.

Whip the mascarpone with a tablespoon of the syrup and the orange zest and set aside.

Combine the flour, milk, egg and butter and mix thoroughly. Cook pancakes over a medium heat in a buttered pan and cover with a clean tea-towel to keep warm until you’re ready to serve.

To serve: Pile 2-3 pancakes onto a plate. Spoon over a few slices of the spiced orange. Top with the mascarpone and an extra drizzle of the spiced syrup.

Orange Glazed Pork and Peach Noodle Salad

  • ¼ cup orange syrup
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ cup light soy sauce
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 2 pork chops off the bone (pork loin will also work)
  • 250 grams soba noodles (rice noodles will also work) blanched and chilled in an ice bath
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 head bok choy blanched and chilled in ice bath
  • 1 peach
  • 200g snow peas, blanched and cooled
  • 3 tblsp sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup spring onion, sliced

Combine the orange syrup, garlic, soy sauce and orange juice in jug and set aside. Bring a skillet up to a medium-high heat, season pork chop and add to the pan. All to cook for a minute before flipping. After another 30 seconds, add the orange syrup/soy/juice to the pan. Cook for 4-6 minutes basting with the juices. When cooked through remove from heat and cover. Leave juices in the pan on a low heat to reduce while you prepare the salad.

Add the soba cooked and chilled soba noodles to you serving platter or bowl. Toss them with the sesame oil and seeds. Finely slice the blanched snow peas and bok choy and add to the soba. Toss lightly to combine.

Slice the pork. Top the salad with your peach slices, the pork (sliced), spring onion and drizzle over a little of the syrup. Chilli, either fresh or dried is a nice optional extra.

Swap: This recipe works perfectly with salmon, chicken or tofu as a vegetarian option.



Join the Lunar New Year Celebrations

On Saturday 17 February we're welcoming the Year of the Dog with traditional activities and entertainment including time-honoured lion dances and firecrackers, dumpling tastings, dance performances, lantern making, Chinese calligraphy and more.

Find out more