12 Good Luck Recipes for the New Year

Eat these foods on the first of the year and wish for the best

In many cultures around the world, special ingredients or dishes have been the traditional bearers of good luck for the coming year. One grape for every lucky month in Spain, lentils in Italy, pickled herring in Poland and Germany, long noodles in China and Japan, roast pork in Cuba and other Latin American countries, pomegranates in Turkey, and black-eyed peas here in the United States. To start your year off right, choose one recipe from this collection of dishes featuring lucky ingredients, or serve an entire fabulously charmed feast to ring in the new year with good food and fortune.

Japanese New Year's Soup

Japanese New Year's Soup

In Japanese homes on the first day of the year, the dish to eat is ozoni, a good luck soup composed of pink-rimmed fish cake, daikon, carrot, and shiitake mushrooms floating in a rich dashi (kelp and bonito broth) along with mochi, chewy rice cakes, which are oven-toasted until they resemble fire-licked marshmallows.Ingalls Photography
Lentil Salad with Beets and Pomegranate

Lentil Salad with Beets and Pomegranate

Packed full of glowing winter produce—sweet roasted beets, tart pomegranate seeds—this lentil salad makes a colorful addition to the winter table. Pair it with chicken, beef, lamb, or fish, or serve it as a vegetarian main; it's hearty enough to stand on its own.Farideh Sadeghin
Soba Noodles with Wasabi and Shiitake Mushrooms

Soba Noodles with Wasabi and Shiitake Mushrooms

In Japan, China, and many other Asian countries, tradition calls for eating long noodles, which signify longevity, on New Year's Day. In this simple noodle dish, crisp wasabi stalks add texture, while the tender, chewy leaves are a complex substitute for bitter greens.Helen Rosner
Layered Herring Salad (Selyodka Pod Shuboy)

Layered Herring Salad (Selyodka Pod Shuboy)

In Poland and Germany, herring is considered a bearer of good fortune. In this recipe, salt-cured herring becomes a lavish centerpiece when layered with apples and a sour cream-mayonnaise dressing.Landon Nordeman
Hoppin' John Soup

Hoppin' John Soup

This soup of black-eyed peas and rice, traditionally eaten on New Year's Day in the American South, makes good use of leftover holiday ham scraps.Todd Coleman
French Lentil Salad with Blue Cheese

French Lentil Salad with Blue Cheese

A neutral base of lentil salad lets the pleasant sharpness of the Bleu d'Auvergne cheese, which is aged in sweet wine at La Fromagerie du Comtat, take center stage in this salad from Sue Conley and Peggy Smith of Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes Station, California. Any creamy cow's milk blue will work well in its place.Nicole Franzen

Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder with Parsley Bagna Cauda

Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder with Parsley Bagna Cauda
This hearty pork roast, rubbed with coriander, thyme, and allspice, gets a shot of brightness from a vinegary herb bagna cauda.William Hereford

Soba Noodle Salad with Miso and Grilled Prawns

Soba Noodle Salad with Miso and Grilled Prawns
A miso marinade doubles as a dressing for a flavorful salad composed of watercress, scallions, and soba noodles. Get the recipe for Soba Noodle Salad with Miso and Grilled Prawns »Farideh Sadeghin
Salata Adas (Garlicky Lentil Salad)

Salata Adas (Garlicky Lentil Salad)

This light, Lebanese lentil salad is flavored with lemon juice, cumin, allspice, and parsley.Todd Coleman
Saladu Ñebbe

Saladu Ñebbe

Chile-spiked black-eyed peas dressed with fresh lime juice make a bright side dish.Penny de los Santos
Houston, Chris Shepherd, Grilling, Soba Salad

Soba Salad with Marinated Cucumber and Ponzu

Instead of the cookout-classic pasta salad, serve this refreshing Asian noodle dish zipped up with crunchy vegetables.Drew Anthony Smith

Mojo-Marinated Pork Shoulder Roast (Pernil Asado Con Mojo)

Mojo-Marinated Pork Shoulder Roast (Pernil Asado Con Mojo)
Pork shoulder is soaked overnight in a citrusy mojo marinade in this Cuban recipe.Todd Coleman