Lunar New Year is a time for gathering with friends and family. And whether you celebrate Tet, Seollal (or Seol-nal), Lunar New Year, Imlek, or your blended traditions, one thing’s for certain when the holiday comes around: you’re going to be cooking (and eating!) some delicious food meant to usher in good health and fortune. To kick off the festivities, we’re chatting with two home-cooks who’ll share the stories, memories, and recipes that make Lunar New Year so special to them (and we also sat down with the artist who designed our beautiful, limited-edition lucky red envelopes).

To start, we talked to food blogger and content creator Maddy Park about her favorite Seol-nal traditions growing up and the one dish her family makes sure to eat every year…

Dduk guk has always been something I associated with eating at a big table full of family members, just as I grew up eating it in Korea...The past few years, when I couldn’t make it home for the Lunar New Year, I started making it for myself to keep the tradition going.” Maddy Park

Get Maddy’s recipe for dduk guk and read more about her cooking practice and Seol-nal memories here.

Next, artist Jameson Hsu spoke to us about how home cooking is a creative and meditative practice for them, how staying rooted in the food of their culture helps them reframe what nourishing food can be, and the meaning behind the dumplings they make for Lunar New Year…

Boiled dumplings are traditionally eaten on Lunar New Year to bring about wealth in the new year, as their unique shape resembles ancient Chinese ingots. My recipe is a plant-based rendition of the traditional pork-filled dumplings my mom makes on Lunar New Year…the beauty of this dish is the symbolism behind the hidden coin (or the jujube date) that passes wealth and prosperity to the person who bites into that dumpling.” Jameson Hsu

Is anyone else’s mouth watering now too? For Jameson’s yuan bao jiaozi (money dumplings), you’ll need some jujube dates to tuck into the “winning” dumpling(s) and just a little extra time to make the dumpling wrappers from scratch. Let’s get cooking!

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