Red chinese lanterns

Create the perfect night in for Chinese New Year 2018

From spring rolls to takeaway-style favourites, we have all you need to celebrate the Chinese festival

By Rebecca Shepherd, 15 February 2018
Create the perfect night in for Chinese New Year 2018

One of the most colourful events in the global calendar, Chinese New Year is celebrated with huge firework displays, symbolic food, parades with incredible dragons and thousands of families getting together.

The special day falls on February 16th, and this year marks the Year of the Dog, which is said to bring luck and even the coming of 'fortune'.

If you're celebrating, why not create your own perfect night in? You could get the kids to make their own fortune cookies, try your hand at some oriental-inspired dumplings and when you're finished, wash it all down with an authentic Chinese beer

Here's how to have the best Chinese New Year night in...

Prepare a feast

Xiao long bao

Didn't think you could make your own dim sum? Think again. Sometimes called soup dumplings, Xiao long bao are named after the bamboo baskets they are steamed in. They're a speciality of Shanghai and, believe it or not, they're easier to make than they look. The dumplings are made using just plain flour and water and the filling is a mixture of pork mince, rice wine, pepper, sugar, soy sauce, ginger and reduced chicken stock. If you have guests coming, try and get hold of a bamboo steaming basket - they really do look amazing when you serve them up in this authentic Chinese dish.

Char siu pork ribs with spring onions

Ribs are a must-have when it comes to Chinese cuisine. Our barbecue-style ribs have all the typical sweet flavours of Cantonese cooking. To make sure they pack a punch, we've marinated our ribs overnight to make sure the sticky, sweet glaze, made up of honey, soy sauce, rice wine, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and five spice, really takes hold. The delicious marinade would work just as well with chicken, or try pouring over a grilled aubergine for a veggie treat. Serve with griddled spring onions and fresh chilli.

Cumin and chilli beef

Marinated in rice wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, cornflour, ginger, garlic, chilli, cumin and chilli flakes, this beef dish is full of the spicy flavours of the Hunan province. We've served ours alongside jasmine rice and steamed pak choi and garnished with shredded spring onion and coriander leaves for a fresh finish. Ready in just 20 minutes, this is Chinese food at its best!

Vegetable spring rolls

A combination of fresh Chinese vegetables like bean sprouts, red peppers and carrots, in addition to the crispy readymade filo pastry help to gives these rolls a satisfying tasty crunch. Serve these up as a starter or bring them out as a side with your main course. They really are a must if you're serving up a Chinese feast!

Or for those wanting to put their feet up and relax this New Year, try out our range of ready made meals as there's a variety of curries, sides and rice to choose from. There's chicken spring rolls for pastry lovers, chicken chow main to chow down on and a whole Chinese banquet for two to enjoy. 

Keep the kids entertained 

Make some fortune cookies

What Chinese New Year party would be complete without some fortune cookies to snap open? From good luck charms to prophecies, the messages often contained within the miniature cookies are designed to get you thinking. 

So why not be in charge of your own fortune this year by creating your own cookies? The kids will love getting involved shaping the cookies (and eating them too). And don't forget to write or print fortunes onto small rectangular strips of paper before you start.

Decorate your home for the occasion

Fill an empty corner or a spare shelf above the fireplace, with some hanging light up Chinese lanterns, fill your home with candles and throw a gold table cover over your dining table. You could also carry on the gold and red theme with these napkins and some disposable plates

Feeling inspired to celebrate Chinese New Year in the comfort of your own home? Make sure you head online or in store to browse and stock up on all the ingredients and decorations you'll need.