Celebrating a Lunar New Year Rooted in Togetherness—& Food

In 2022, Lunar New Year will begin on February 1. For My Shanghai author Betty Liu, it’s a joyful celebration filled with family gatherings and edible treats. Most of these foods enjoyed during Lunar New Year in China, from egg dumplings to tatsoi to s…

In 2022, Lunar New Year will begin on February 1. For My Shanghai author Betty Liu, it's a joyful celebration filled with family gatherings and edible treats. Most of these foods enjoyed during Lunar New Year in China, from egg dumplings to tatsoi to sticky rice cakes, are eaten to symbolize various well-wishes for the coming year. In this excerpt, Liu shares some of those Lunar New Year foods and their meanings.


As a child, Lunar New Year meant family gatherings, the hustle and bustle of preparations for a delicious feast, and 红包 hong bao, “red envelopes filled with monetary gifts.” I didn’t think about it much beyond that, but as I grew older, having spent some of these holidays away from family, I began to appreciate how much this holiday was rooted in togetherness.

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The 6 Pantry Essentials in My Shanghainese-American Kitchen

Welcome to Betty Liu’s Pantry! In each installment of this series, a recipe developer will share with us the pantry items essential to their cooking. This month, we’re exploring 6 pantry staples stocking Betty’s Shanghainese-American kitchen.

China …

Welcome to Betty Liu’s Pantry! In each installment of this series, a recipe developer will share with us the pantry items essential to their cooking. This month, we're exploring 6 pantry staples stocking Betty’s Shanghainese-American kitchen.


China is a vast country with various geographies, terrains, and climates. As culinary preferences stem from the ingredients available from the land, it is not surprising that cuisines across China vary immensely. When I visit China, I take great joy in discovering and trying other regions’ cuisines, but despite my love for this vast spread of regional cuisines, I keep coming back to the food I grew up with, the food that brings me the most comfort: Jiangnan (江南) cuisine. My family is from this region, and this is the food I grew up eating. My debut cookbook, My Shanghai, is an homage to my family’s cooking—homestyle cooking from the Shanghai region and surrounding areas—and a written record of recipes that had previously been passed down orally. I grew up with the flavors of this region; it is no wonder this has helped shape my pantry, which is unequivocally Shanghainese-American.

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