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Chinese New Year is just around the corner. And with many of us spending the Spring Festival holidays at home this year, preparing feasts in the kitchen is shaping up to be an even larger part of the festivities than usual.

To give you some inspiration of what to cook for yourself and your loved ones, we asked three chefs to share their favourite tried-and-tested Lunar New Year-friendly dishes. Maybe they’ll inspire your own Chinese New Year traditions.

1. Peggy Chan’s Stir-Fried Turnip Cake with Vegan XO Chilli Sauce

‘This dish is a Chinese New Year tradition, and also a Cantonese favourite, usually served with tea and dim sum. White radish is also a seasonal root vegetable abundant in Hong Kong during this time!’ says Peggy.
Stir-Fried Turnip Cake with Vegan XO Chilli Sauce


White radish (peeled and shredded) 750g

Shiitake mushrooms 100g

Smoked paprika 1 teaspoon

Toasted fennel seed powder t teaspoon

Coconut sugar 1 tablespoon

Pink salt 1 ½ teaspoons

Coriander with stems, finely chopped 1 small bunch

Rice flour 150g

Wheat starch 38g

Water 180ml

Mushroom seasoning 1 teaspoon

Sesame oil 1 teaspoon

White pepper powder 1/2 teaspoon

Sunflower seed oil 3 tablespoons

Vegetarian XO chilli sauce

White sesame seeds


‘Cut the shiitake mushrooms into small dice. In a frying pan, heat up 1 tablespoon of oil and add the mushrooms. Stir-fry them until golden brown, then add the smoked paprika and toasted fennel powder and stir. Remove them from the pan and put them aside. In the same pan, sweat the radish with the coconut sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt until some liquid from the radish has been released, then add in the coriander stems. 

Mix the rice flour, wheat starch and water together in a bowl until they’re evenly distributed. Add in the sweated radish mixture, the shiitake mushrooms, the rest of the salt, the mushroom seasoning, sesame oil, white pepper powder and sunflower seed oil. Pour the mix into steam-proof container and steam it for approximately 45 minutes, adding water into the steamer every 15 minutes. It’s ready when the substance becomes cake-like and stiff. Reserve it and let it cool. 

To make the XO stir-fried radish cake, dice the steamed radish cake and sauté it in a non-stick pan with a bit of cooking oil until golden brown. Add 1–2 tablespoons of XO chilli sauce, then toss in the white sesame seeds and chopped coriander leaves.’

Peggy is the founder and principal Chef-Consultant of Grassroots Initiatives, and author of new digital cookbook ‘Provenance 譜珍譜法: Principles of plant based cookery'. She is also the founder of plant-based restaurants Gassroots Pantry and Nectar.

Edward Lai’s Fig & Goji Chinese New Year Pudding

‘Chinese New Year pudding is one of our favourite Chinese festive delicacies. Ours comes with a twist: we wanted to create a Chinese New Year Pudding with a healthier and a more complex sweet profile, so we combined figs, goji and Okinawan black sugar,’ says Edward.

Fig & Goji Chinese New Year Pudding. Image courtesy of Black Garlic


Glutinous flour 200g

Tang flour 100g

Okinawan black sugar 250g

Dried figs 70g

Goji berries 15g

Coconut milk 80g

Ginger 30g

Water 300ml


‘First, cook the ginger in the water and some of the Okinawan black sugar to make a ginger syrup, then soak the dried figs and goji in it. Next, melt the remainder of the sugar in hot water, let it cool a little bit and mix in the coconut milk. Combine the glutinous flour and tang flour and add the sugar, coconut milk and syrup gradually while whisking until smooth. Put the mixture in a container and steam it for 65 minutes or until set.’

Edward Lai is the head chef for healthy, Asian home-cooked eatery Black Garlic.

Tatsuya Iwahashi’s Saikyo-Style Grilled Black Cod

‘While this classic Japanese seafood dish takes time to prepare in advance, it’s certainly rewarding. This melt-in-the-mouth signature makes it one of our most popular dishes at Shiro, with the balance of sweetness from the mirin and sugar, combined with the savoury miso paste and sake creating the perfect salty-sweet marinade. Over time, the black cod becomes deeply seasoned with a silky and buttery texture. This dish is utterly delicious and is also healthy, being full of rich omega-3 fatty acids,’ says Tatsuya.

Saikyo-Style Grilled Black Cod. Image courtesy of Shiro


Cod fillet 






‘Sprinkle salt evenly on the cod fillet and carefully squeeze off any excess water. Marinate the cod with Saikyo miso, sugar, mirin and sake for at least five days, until the sweet and salty flavour is fully absorbed into the cod. On a grill skillet, char-grill the cod until it develops an incredible caramelised colour, and continue to flip and cook it evenly for roughly 5–10 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. You can prepare Saikyo-style grilled black cod at home if you can wait five days before eating it! You can also enjoy it anytime at our newly opened Shiro in Pacific Place alongside a chilled glass of sake.’

Tatsuya Iwahashi is the Japanese Cuisine Group Executive Chef at Shiro.