Monday, February 11, 2008

CNY Celebrations

The recent CNY holidays were just fun filled full of laughter, joy and good eats!

The chinese tradition of the enjoyment of food is undeniably the most intense. We gather around a hot-pot (steamboat) for non-stop makan to gather family members, we cook fervently for prayers then eat everything after, and every house you visit has good eats and drinks always! CNY is just such a binge that I wanted to share with you all some snaps of such examples... All you fellas still stuck overseas... Well tough! Just drool then... Kekeke... :)

Mandarin oranges are a must at every CNY as it simbolizes gold!

The table has been set for prayers.

And the dining table is where it all goes after the prayers!

Seeing that there are many "specialty" dishes here with some that differ with family. So here's a simple breakdown of what I get to makan at CNY...

First up is braised "Fatt Choy with Mushrooms" in oyster sauce. Fatt choy is a must at CNY as its name is similar to "Prosperity". Fatt choy is the black fungus strands strewn all over the mushrooms (which are just there to add body to the dish).

Next up is "Roast Pork" which we get from my 5th grand-uncle (he's into this business) and its shiny golden skin is fantastic-ally cruncheeeeee!!! Excellent stuff!

"Lor Bak" is a specialty of my grand-aunty (can't recall which hierarchy) whom the entire family gets our lor bak supply from. It's basically roughly minced pork in 5-spice powder with a little coriander for zest and some water chestnuts for some crunch! Mmmm-mmmmm.... Yummy...

Then this is my mom's signature dish, the "Jiu Hu Char". The name translates as stir-fried cuttlefish. But this dish is actually finely sliced (sliced mind you, not shaven. So imagine the knife-work!) carrots, "bang kwang" (an almost tasteless root-type bulb) which absorbs flavor, and mushrooms with... of course, cuttlefish! Jiu hu char is cooked in large portions with ample to spare. The amazing thing about this dish is that as you fry it when warming up, it dries a little each time and the more flavorsome it gets. So the last remaining plate of this dish is when it tastes best! Good things eh... Can't have much of it in this case :P

This last dish, "Or Ko" (yam paste), that I'm posting is an ancient recipe from my family since my great-great-grandmother's time. It's a savoury dish made of very thick starch. It contains yummy prawns, yam and crab meat if you like! Taken on its own, it tastes of a chewy seafood delight. This can also be taken with "fatt choy with mushrooms" for a more full bodied taste.

The following are hot pots (steamboats) at different places.

This one is at my grandma's for our family reunion

And this one was at my girlfriend's place for their reunion... I was hungry :P

Yummy right? I can't wait 'till next year to enjoy all the yummy stuff... Good eats to all!

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