Food & Wine

Top 10 finger foods for Chinese New Year Eve dinner

Updated: 25 Jan 2010
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Finger foods are a must at any New Years Eve celebration. Here are a number of appetizers that will help make your gathering a success.
1. Spareribs
There are a number of Chinese spareribs to choose from, including classic Cantonese Honey Garlic Spareribs (pictured in the photo), spicy Salt and Pepper Spareribs, Spareribs With Black Bean Sauce, Hawaiian Luau Barbecued Ribs, and more.
2. Potstickers
These popular dumplings, steamed on one side and pan-fried on the other, are very easy to make. Choose from Potstickers with Prawn and Cilantro, a basic potsticker recipe with ground pork and Napa cabbage, or a Vegetarian Potstickers with tofu. Serve Potstickers with Soy Sauce With Ginger, Hot Chili Oil or Dumpling Dipping Sauce.
3. Oriental Pate
French and Chinese cuisine come together in this recipe for pate with cream cheese, dried orange peel, oyster sauce, and cilantro.
4. Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts
This simple appetizer is easy to make - water chestnuts are marinated in soy sauce, then rolled in brown sugar, wrapped in bacon and baked.
5. Paper Wrapped Chicken
Guests have the fun of unwrapping their food in this popular Chinese appetizer, also called "Gift-Wrapped Chicken." The recipe includes instructions for deep-frying or baking.
6. Crab Rangoon
Crab Rangoon is a fusion recipe invented by chefs at Trader Vic's chain of restaurants. Crab Rangoon is made by filling wonton wrappers with a mixture of crab meat, cream cheese and seasonings and deep-frying. A simpler version, Baked Crab Rangoon, is made by heating the dip and serving them on baked wonton.
7. Beef Teriyaki
This easy to make appetizer, combining pineapple with soy sauce and brown sugar is frequently found as American-Chinese restaurants.
8. Spring Rolls
Spring rolls are an excellent choice for a New Years celebration, as they symbolize wealth for the coming year. Try Cantonese Spring Rolls, Mini Spring Rolls, or Vegetable Spring Rolls. Serve Spring Rolls with soy sauce or Chinese Hot Mustard for dipping.
9. Lettuce Wraps
Got leftover chicken? Stir-fry it with vegetables in an oyster-flavored sauce and wrap "taco style" in lettuce.
10. Szechuan Guacamole
Chinese five-spice powder gives extra zip to Mexican guacamole. Serve this spicy appetizer with tortilla chips, or baked wonton wrappers.
Final Thoughts:
Don't leave all your preparations until the last minute. Most of the appetizers can be made in advance and refrigerated or frozen.
You can make things easier by including some premade appetizers - pre-made Chinese dumplings can be found in the freezer section of Asian markets and many supermarkets.
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