Strong as an ox: how to cook a lunar new year feast and keep your sanity

Plan ahead, embrace the shortcut, let some flavours meld over night – and don’t be ashamed to order out for duck

If you’re anything like me, regular new years are boring. On a regular New Year’s Day, you wake up hungover. But on the lunar new year you wake up with money.

It’s not just the cold, hard cash that makes it important to the Chinese calendar. It is an opportunity to clear out your house (our version of a spring clean) of all the bad luck from the previous year and welcome the good fortune of the year to come. It’s a time to gather with your family, acknowledge your ancestors, and feast on auspicious food. Carrying on into the early hours of the morning with too much cognac while playing mahjong is optional.

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