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3 Easy Chinese New Year party appetizers to feed a crowd

Patricia Conte has a background in marketing communications and works as an independent writer. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to combine her love of writing and food when she started as a contributing writer for the Food channel...

Irresistible finger foods perfect for Chinese New Year

There's no better excuse to enjoy delicious Chinese food — and some fun times with family and friends — than the beginning of the Chinese New Year. To get the party started, we have three easy Chinese food appetizers that will be impossible to resist.

Chinese New Year is upon us (2016 marks the Year of the Monkey), and that means it's time to celebrate the end of winter and beginning of spring and to welcome in new opportunities and prosperity for the year ahead.

In true holiday fashion, Chinese New Year brings together family, friends and food. The recipes below are variations of several traditional dishes that are full of flavor and are true crowd-pleasers.

Irresistible finger foods perfect for Chinese New Year
Image: Patricia Conte/SheKnows

These wings are seasoned with a simple marinade and make an ideal appetizer for a crowd.

1. Baked chicken wings with honey, soy and ginger marinade recipe

Recipe courtesy Lee Kum Kee Panda Brand

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. To a large, sealable plastic bag, add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, ginger and honey. Add the chicken wings to the bag, and seal it closed. Use your hands to massage the marinade onto the wings, then refrigerate for at least a few hours or up to overnight.
  2. Heat your oven to 400 degrees F. Place a sheet of aluminum foil over a baking sheet, and lightly spray it with the cooking spray.
  3. Place the wings on the sheet so they are not touching. Use a brush to lightly add a bit of the marinade to the tops of the wings, then discard it.
  4. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes or until golden on top and the chicken is cooked through.
  5. Remove from the oven, and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

Irresistible finger foods perfect for Chinese New Year

Image: Patricia Conte/SheKnows

Pot stickers (or dumplings) make a truly special treat. This recipe is quite easy to make (use prepackaged shredded cabbage to make your prep even simpler), but don't fret if your "folding" technique is lacking — just make sure to tightly seal all the edges after stuffing them. Your guests will love digging into these tasty packets.

2. Veggie pot stickers recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/8 cup small diced white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 package wonton wrappers
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the cabbage, carrot, onion, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil and black pepper. Mix well.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with about 1/4 cup of water.
  3. One at a time, lay a wonton wrapper on a flat work surface (keep the remaining wrappers covered with a damp paper towel). Dip your finger into the cornstarch-water mixture, and run it around the edges of the wrapper.
  4. Place a teaspoon of the veggie filling in the center of the wrapper. Fold the top and bottom edges together to form a triangle. Fold the tip of the triangle down, then fold the 2 sides in toward the center. You may need to use a bit more of the water mixture to help ensure the edges are completely sealed.
  5. To a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, carefully add the pot stickers smooth side down, and cook for a minute or more, until golden.
  6. Add the 1/2 cup of water to the pan, and put the lid on. Cook for a minute, remove the lid, and continue to cook until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  7. Remove from the skillet, and serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce.

Irresistible finger foods perfect for Chinese New Year

Image: Patricia Conte/SheKnows

You've likely enjoyed crab rangoon at your favorite Chinese restaurant in the form of fried wontons stuffed with a warm, creamy crabmeat mixture. I've deconstructed this version and switched things up a bit. Bake the wontons in the oven for just a few minutes, then use them to dip into this cold, creamy and seasoned dip. What a treat!

3. Crab rangoon dip with baked wonton chips recipe

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2 (6-ounce) cans white crabmeat, drained
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce (more or less, to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 6 green onions, diced (use all the white portions for the dip along with a bit of the green, saving some of the green for garnish)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 20 – 24 wonton wrappers
  • Black sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

For the dip

  1. To a medium bowl, add all the ingredients up to the wonton wrappers, and mix well. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the wonton chips

  1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil, and set them aside.
  2. Use a sharp knife to cut the wonton wrappers in half, diagonally. Place the triangles on the baking sheets so they are not touching.
  3. Dip your finger into a small bowl of water, and run it across the tops of the wrapper pieces. Sprinkle with the black sesame seeds.
  4. Bake for about 4 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven, and serve with the dip.

More Chinese New Year recipes

Long life noodles
Festive Chinese spring rolls
Chinese New Year sticky rice cake

Updated by Bethany Ramos on 2/4/2016

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