top of page

A Vegan Guide to Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is a time for celebration and indulging in delicious foods with friends and loved ones. One of the best things about the holiday are the snacks - a vital part of the celebration.

There are so many tasty treats to enjoy during Chinese New Year, from sweet and savoury snacks to traditional foods that are believed to bring good fortune and prosperity in the new year.

Here’s a handy guide for those who are on a plant-based or vegan diet.

Love Letters / Kuih Kapit

Vegan: No

Vegan Options Available: No

Kuih Kapit or known as "love letters" in English is made by pressing a mixture of rice flour, coconut milk, and sugar onto a hot griddle to form thin, crisp crepes. The crepes are then rolled or folded and served with a variety of sweet fillings, such as coconut or even peanut butter. Unfortunately, egg is a must-use ingredient in this snack.

Nian Gao / New Year Cake

Vegan: Yes

Nian gao is a type of cake that is traditionally eaten as a symbol of prosperity and good fortune. Made from glutinous rice flour and sugar, and often steamed or boiled until it becomes soft and chewy. It can be sliced and fried.

Bak Kwa / Dried Meat

Vegan: No

Vegan Options Available: Yes

Bak Kwa is a dried meat snack made by marinating thin slices or minced meat and then grilling or drying the meat until its caramelised and slightly crispy. Believe it or not, there are plant-based versions available on the market.

Pineapple Tarts

Vegan: No

Vegan Options Available: Yes

Pineapple tarts are one of the most served and gifted treats during Chinese New Year as the word pineapple sounds like ‘prosperity’ in certain Chinese dialects. It’s typically made with butter, hence why it is not traditionally vegan. There are vegan options available and you could also try to make them at home (see recipe linked below)

Rose/Honeycomb/Beehive Cookies / Kuih Loyang

Vegan: No

Vegan Options Available: Yes

These cookies have roots in Indian cuisine and used to be only found during Deepavali, however as time has gone by, all kinds of cookies have become a part of every cultural celebration in Malaysia. The batter for rose cookies is typically made with flour, coconut milk, sugar and eggs. You could make them vegan (see recipe linked below)

Arrowroot Chips

Vegan: Yes

Arrowroot chips are thin, crisp chips that are made from arrowroot, a starchy root vegetable. The chips are made by slicing the arrowroot into thin rounds and frying them in oil until they are golden and crisp. They have a slightly sweet, nutty flavour and a texture similar to potato chips.

Kuih Bahulu / Asian Madeleines

Vegan: No

Vegan Options Available: Yes

This small, sponge-like cake is light and airy in texture, with a slight sweet and savoury flavour. It’s made by beating egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks form. However, there is a way to make the eggless and vegan. Check out the recipe linked below!

While most pre-made snacks contain egg or dairy, we’ve put together some vegan options so you don’t have to miss out!

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

Make it with Australia’s Own Almond Milk

Vegan Honeycomb Cookies

Make it with Australia's Own Coconut Milk

Vegan Kuih Bahulu

Get your aquafaba from Coppola canned beans

Vegan Fortune Cookies

Get your aquafaba from Coppola canned beans

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Green Pea Cookies

Make it with Australia’s Own Soy Milk


bottom of page