Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Lucky Lunar New Year Salad

Lucky Lunar New Year salad, crisp, vibrant and so chock full of lucky foods it should bring you an abundance of riches and good health! (photos from Deborah Brooks)


While Lunar New Year began on January 23, it’s a weeks-long festival of food, fun and celebrations that culminates with the Lantern Festival on February 5.  I’ve decided to join in on the celebration with this Lucky Lunar New Year Salad.

The significance of foods bringing luck, prosperity and long life is at the core of the celebration. There are most definitely dos and don’ts for your dinner table that are centuries old traditions. Traditions passed down from one generation to the next that connect people around the world.

This crisp and vibrant salad is so chock full of lucky foods it should bring you an abundance of riches and good health. Well, for sure it will be delightful on your palate. I know that I’m now going to be making this year round.

Here’s a breakdown of the ingredients chosen for this salad based on good luck, health and prosperity from several Asian cultural traditions.

  • Kumquats, oranges and tangerines: These fruits are often brought as gifts for Lunar New Year as they are thought to bring good luck and happiness. The round shape symbolizes togetherness and harmony. The color gold symbolizes prosperity. I used all three!
  • Baby Bok Choy, Snow Peas and Spinach: Vegetables are considered purifying. Baby bok choy in particular is considered good fortune for the future. It’s symbolic for longevity for babies and the elderly. Pile that on my plate!
  • Pomegranates: Longevity, prosperity and fertility, in particular, are strong tie-ins for this nutritious fruit, as the interior is filled with a multitude of luscious kernels.
  • Ginger: More good health and longevity. I’m obsessed with ginger! It’s in the dressing.
  • Peanuts: Peanuts are thought to bring long life. I used roasted peanut oil in the dressing. If you have a peanut allergy simply replace with neutral oil.
  • Sesame Seeds: Luck. I used toasted sesame oil in the dressing.

I loved learning about these traditions. I do hope that this salad honors them.

May your year be filled with an abundance of luck, health and riches!

Lucky Lunar New Year Salad:
Makes a side salad for 3-4

2 packed cups baby spinach leaves, stems removed
2 packed cups baby bok choy leaves, use the leftover stems for a stir-fry
Handful of snow peas
1 large tangerine, or several smaller
6 kumquats
1/4 -1/3 cup pomegranate arils
Orange Ginger Dressing (recipe follows)

Wash and thoroughly dry greens and snow peas.

Peel the tangerine and break into sections. Remove as much of the membrane as possible and then cut into chunks.

Wash and dry the kumquats and thinly slice with the skin on. Remove any seeds. In a large mixing bowl, toss the bok choy and spinach with dressing to taste. I used barely a quarter cup.

Add the fruits reserving some to place on top for service, and toss again.

Put the salad in a serving bowl. Place the snow peas around in a wreath like pattern. Add the reserved fruits on top. Drizzle the top of the salad and the snow peas with some dressing. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Lucky Orange Ginger Dressing:
Makes 1 cup

½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
Zest of one orange
1 tsp agave nectar
¾ tsp kosher salt
1 ½ tsp fresh grated ginger
1 small clove garlic, grated
1 T Toasted sesame oil*
2 T Roasted peanut oil*
¼ cup grapeseed oil or other neutral oil

Whisk together all ingredients except for the three oils until well combined. Slowly whisk in the three oils. Taste for seasoning. You can adjust any of these ingredients to your liking. Put in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Let the flavors develop at least 30 minutes. You can make ahead and refrigerate. If the oils are congealed let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. . Shake well before tossing with the salad.

*Toasted sesame oil and roasted peanut oil have more flavor than the untoasted/unroasted varieties.


All the ingredients you’ll need for the Lucky Lunar New Year’s Salad (photo by Deborah Brooks)
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Deborah Brooks
Deborah Brooks
Deborah is currently a documentary film producer. She is also a former certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition coach. The shutdown of business due to Covid-19 and the implication of an animal wet market connection caused her to rethink her high animal protein food lifestyle. She has spent the last year exploring the world of plant based eating for her own health as well as the health of the planet and all of its sentient beings. Her recipes can be found on Instagram. She would love you to follow along on her journey.

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