For the Fang family of San Francisco, navigating the week-long Chinese New Year is typically a dizzying experience.

Between their two restaurants, Chinatown’s historic House of Nanking, owned by Peter and Lily Fang, and SoMa’s modern Fang restaurant, from chef-owner daughter Kathy, the Fangs usually get home from service and their own Chinese New Year’s eve celebration at 2 a.m., their feet sore and bellies full with fish, dumplings, noodles and other lucky foods eaten for the holiday.

This year, of course, will be different. For the first time, instead of hosting a big dinner party with extended family, they will ring in the Year of the Ox amongst themselves. Just the Fangs, Kathy’s husband, Caleb, and their two young kids.

“It won’t be the same without the sights and sounds of the firecrackers, dances and traditional garb,” says Kathy, a San Francisco native. The city’s parade and all the surrounding hoopla was canceled this year.

What will be the same for all who celebrate the festival, which begins Feb. 12, is the tradition of eating symbolic foods to usher in a healthy and prosperous new year.

Those dishes vary by family and region of origin, of course, from the Fangs’ light Shanghai Steamed Rice Cake to the Festive Stir-Fried Rice that Wuhan-born author and culinary expert Ying Compestine of Lafayette prepares, and the whole Sizzling Fish featured in Brandon Jew’s ambitious new cookbook, “Mister Jiu’s in Chinatown: Recipes and Stories from the Birthplace of Chinese American Food” (Ten Speed Press, $40) due out next month.

Fang and her family typically celebrate the Chinese or Lunar New Year over a period of four days, starting two nights before — the night before the eve of the new year.

“We call it Little New Year’s Eve, and we start by eating round dumplings, which represent wealth,” she says.

Alongside those meat- or veggie-filled dumplings will be a noodle dish, likely Fang’s deceptively easy Firecracker Sesame Noodles with Prawns. Noodles represent longevity. Fang’s get their flavor from the addition of Chinese sesame paste and black vinegar, though substitutions of peanut butter and balsamic vinegar work, too, she says.

For breakfast on New Year’s Day, they’ll enjoy a Shanghai-inspired sweet rice cake with dim sum. Unlike most rice cakes, which are sticky and chewy, this one, which is prepared in a bamboo steamer, is soft and melt-in-your-mouth, with a slight waxy bounce to it. It represents growth.

“The tip to getting that soft light texture is to lightly form the cake inside the bamboo steamer. Do not pack it in too tight,” Fang says. “Also, take your time sifting the flour. Fight the urge to force the flour through the sieve to accomplish the task faster. The flour should be fluffy and moist.”

As a child, Brandon Jew, chef-owner of the Michelin-starred Mister Jiu’s in San Francisco, performed gung fu in the Chinese New Year Parade. And he fondly recalls the Cantonese dishes his family made, from his Ying Ying’s black sesame dumplings to his mother’s steamed whole bass, the inspiration behind Jew’s Sizzling Fish, which is stuffed with aromatics and hit with “a lashing of hot oil” prior to being served.

It represents prosperity — its name sounds like the word for “surplus,” just like certain citrus fruits, like orange and tangerine, also considered lucky, sound similar to “success.” There was significance, too, in the order his family ate certain dishes as the week progressed.

“We always ate vegetarian on the first day, because there is to be no death going into the new year,” Jew says. The Mister Jiu’s Beginning of Chinese New Year dinner kit will reflect that tradition, with a five-course menu for two ($88 prepaid for pickup) that includes Citrus Salad with Tokyo turnips, Crossing the Bridge Noodle Soup with hand-cut noodles and Mu Shu Mushrooms with pancakes and peanut butter-hoisin.

By contrast, the five-course End of Chinese New Year Dinner Kit ($188) features Dungeness crab, Braised Oxtails and Short Ribs (for Year of the Ox, Jew says) and Chestnut Tang Yuan, which Ying Ying always made at the close of the festival. Jew says both kits are designed to feel like a mini banquet experience at a time when at-home celebrations are small and intimate.

In lieu of celebrations, Compestine plans to make a huge batch of the Festive Stir-Fried Rice recipe from her 2011 children’s book, “The Runaway Wok,” and leave portions on the doorsteps of the East Bay friends with whom she’d typically ring in the new year.

“We’ve been doing this for each other since the lockdown, cooking food and dropping it off for each other,” says Compestine, who is the author of 20 books, including “Revolution is Not a Dinner Party” and the forthcoming “Chop Chop Chef in Wuhan,” an account of how one activist girl and her online friends use cooking as a way to care for their quarantined community. The COVID-themed book will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2022.

Growing up, stir-fried dishes always had a place on her family’s Lunar New Year table, alongside the more traditional Lion’s Head meatballs and whole fish preparations. As Compestine explains, stir-fries represent harmony and are easily shareable.