Looking for a lighter way to celebrate Chinese New Year? Or perhaps you’d like low-calorie, healthy Chinese recipes to enjoy all year round? Either way, we have some fantastic dishes for you to try. Our spicy chicken chow mein, sesame tofu with cold noodle salad and smacked cucumbers are bursting with zingy, fiery flavours. Serve to feed a hungry crowd or for a simple weeknight dinner – these dishes are sure to become firm new favourites.
Don’t forget to read our guide on the 10 best things about Chinese New Year and browse our full list of Chinese recipes.
Healthy Chinese New Year recipes
Healthier sweet and sour chicken
This takeaway classic is usually deep-fried and packed with sugar, but our lighter take on the Friday-night favorite is low in calories and fat, yet still hits the spot. Plus, it’s ready in less than half an hour.
For more easy stir-fries, try our chilli chicken, chicken and cashew stir-fry and plenty more.
Seared sesame tofu with noodle salad
This light vegetarian recipe combines chunky slices of tofu with sesame seeds and cold noodles, coated with a tart, spicy dressing to really liven up the dish.
For another nourishing way with noodles, try our ginger chicken noodle salad with a zingy dressing and lots of crunchy veg.
King pao prawns
This kung pao shrimp recipe is low in calories and can be served with wholemeal noodles or rice. The Szechuan peppercorns and chilli flakes add some spice to the prawns, while the cashew nuts add a crunchy texture to the dish.
We have more prawn recipes, including our delicious prawns pil pil that’s bursting with garlicky, spicy flavours.
Spicy chicken chow mein
A super-simple chow mein recipe, ready in 40 minutes. You’ll need soy sauce and shaoxing rice wine for this recipe, but once you put them in your cupboard, you’ll be able to make this dish – and many other Chinese favorites – again and again.
Want more like this? Check out our Szechuan chicken stir-fry, chilli chicken and more stir-fry recipes.
Hot and sour soup
This zesty soup by chef Sandy Tang has a spicy kick, perfect for warming up in the winter months. Load it with even more of your favorite vegetables, as you like, for a hearty, healthy main.
Make this hot and sour soup, then check out our chicken noodle soup, red Thai curry noodle soup and more soup recipes.
Chinese steamed fish
Fish signifies abundance and an increase in wealth and prosperity in the coming year, so it’s a must-make feature of Chinese New Year feasting. This steamed soy dover sole is served with a pickled red chilli chutney for a kick of heat.
More like this
This is a recipe that Peter Ho shared as part of his guide to Chinese New Year. Check it out to learn about Chinese New Year snacks, sweet-marinated barbecued pork and sticky, glutinous tang yuan (rice balls).
Pak choi with garlic and soy sauce
One of the best ways to serve baby pak choi is lightly boiled and drizzled with soy sauce and homemade garlic oil.
Try this Chinese-style recipe, then check out our Thai-style pak choi and more pak choi recipes.
Shanghai fried beef noodles
For a high-protein meal, try this satisfying, spiced beef noodle dish with soy sauce, oyster sauce and shoaxing rice wine. Ready in just 30 minutes, it makes a great, easy dinner for two.
Try this simple recipe, then check out our top beef recipes, including beef curry and stroganoff steak with sweet potato wedges.
By ‘smacking’ the cucumbers in this Sichuan side dish you create more rough surfaces – all the better for soaking up the zingy pickle.
Add this smacked cucumber dish to a Sichuan feast with lip-smacking mapo tofu and dumplings in hot and sour broth.
Chinese-style purple sprouting broccoli with tofu
The recipe for Chinese-style purple sprouting broccoli with tofu is easy, vegan and under 500 calories. If you’re looking for something a little more filling, serve with brown rice or sesame-dressed soba noodles.
Try this, then check out our purple sprouting broccoli in oyster sauce and more purple sprouting broccoli recipes.
This speedy dinner with ginger, garlic, chilli and soy sauce is perfect on a weeknight – the frozen stir-fry veggies keep prep to a minimum, something we welcome during a busy week.
Make these Singapore noodles for a quick and easy dinner, then try our kimchi noodles and other easy noodle recipes.
Chinese red-braised chicken
This Chinese-inspired chicken dish is quick, easy and perfect for a midweek meal. It becomes ‘red-braised’ thanks to the color infused by the spices.
We have lots more healthy chicken recipes, including our easy butter chicken and Mediterranean chicken tray bake.
This quick cabbage side dish showcases the Sichuan love of dried chillies. It’s low in calories and great served alongside mapo tofu and cold sesame noodles for a nourishing weeknight dinner.
Want more like this? Have a look at our tofu stir-fry, vegan stir-fry, mushroom stir-fry, broccoli stir-fry and more vegetarian stir-fry recipes.