As the Cantonese word for "lettuce" sounds like the word for "rising fortune," it's common to serve lettuce wraps filled with other lucky foods during the Chinese New Year. These Chicken Lettuce Wraps by Debbie Gore are flavored with oyster, peanut and teriyaki sauces, and the filling includes water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and ginger.
Long noodles are eaten at Chinese New Year to symbolize long life, and can be prepared in many ways. For a double dose of longevity, noodles are prepared with mustard greens, which are a symbol of long life for parents. Added mixed vegetables symbolize family unity, as in Martin Yan's Fortune Noodle Meatball Soup recipe. Or the noodles themselves can be significant, as with the egg noodles in Katie and Leeann Chin's Homemade Egg Noodles recipe, which combine longevity with the egg's symbol of fertility. Nigelle Lawson's Seared Salmon With Singapore Noodles is a fitting main course for Chinese New Year that includes both fish and long noodles.
Lastly, Lion's Head Meatballs such as these by Mark Bittman are fluffy and light, rather than the denser Italian meatballs we often eat. Served in Napa cabbage leaves, they should be chopstick-tender and nearly fall apart in your mouth.