Our reunion feast!
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! haha although I am posting about our CNY 2013 reunion dinner, I realised it was Valentine’s Day today! Should we eat some tong yuan? =P hehe.
Anyway, like last year and every year in fact, Dad and I cooked up a storm for our reunion dinner. It’s a lot better than going to the restaurants in my opinion, because (A) I just love home-cooked food, (B) it would turn out to be a lot cheaper, (C) we have our own traditions of having sui gow and mantou, which are not usually offered by the restaurants, and (D) we can take as long as we want to eat without pushing and shoving with the crowd!
As usual, it isn’t just cooking on the day itself. A lot of preparation went on for about a week – making the lo sui meats, soaking the jellyfish, soaking and steaming the dried scallops and oysters, etc.
But anyway, want to see what we cooked?
5 treasure assorted platter
First up is the 5 treasure assorted platter! From left to right, we have lo sui pork shoulder, lo sui beef shin, lo sui pig’s tongue, and fun yu. In the centre, we’ve got our sort-of lo hei with jellyfish, carrot, cucumber, rose apple, raw salmon and raw tuna. Oh and the peanuts and wonton skin! I made a tamarind-based sauce for it due to our lack of plum sauce at home…hehehe.
Lo hei is actually not a tradition for us, except for some reason we’ve had it for the last couple of reunion dinners after our friend gave us a bottle of home-made sauce. We like to add jellyfish into it because GC likes it.
Steamed coral trout
Of course must have the mandatory fish! The best way is to eat it steamed in my opinion! We decided to stand the fish up this time =P hahaha.
Shark’s fin soup
Apologies to those who do not eat shark’s fin! We had shark’s fin soup which also consisted of chicken, abalone, and ham. Too bad we didn’t include fish stomach but it was still delicious and perhaps a good thing since there was just so. much. food! haha. There was an abundance of shark’s fin in our soup! This is just my bowl!
Pork & Chinese cabbage dumplings
Our tradition for CNY reunion dinner is that you must eat a bit of every dish. So our dumplings are made only with pork and Chinese cabbage because GC doesn’t like prawns, and GC & JC don’t like chives. So, we make these plain ones.
In addition to the dumplings, another tradition from our Northern Chinese heritage is to have mantou on the table as well. These are small palm-sized mantou in the shape of fish. We just press the dough into a wooden mould then bang them out. Then add 2 red dots for the eyes =) As usual, my Nan has no sense of portion control and we still have plenty of these in the fridge!
Braised sea cucumber and abalone, on lettuce
CNY must have abalone! Initially, Dad and I wanted to get medium-sized abalone to braise and then everybody gets one each, but there were none at the shops so we ended up buying VERY large ones. The size of my hand! It’s too big for one each so we sliced them again. These were actually from the soup so they were very tender and flavoursome =) The sea cucumber was delicious as usual!
Scallops & ‘juk san’
This is dried scallops and juk san. The latter is hidden underneath the scallops. I have no idea what the English name for juk san is – maybe bamboo pith? I’m not sure. But it’s like a sponge-y texture and soaks up whatever sauce it’s cooked in. Regardless of the English name, it’s delicious! haha. The dried scallops were soaked and steamed so they were very tender and soft. We used the soaking water in the sauce so it was all very fragrant.
Prawns with ginger and spring onion
Omgoodness, these are the BEST PRAWNS!!! We had massive tiger prawns that were the length of my hand from the tip of the middle-finger to the base of my palm! They were full of roe as well! This was absolutely delicious! We cooked it similar type to the crayfish yee mien. Simple to let the fresh sweetness of the prawns to come out.
‘ho si fatt choi’ (dried oyster & black moss), on lettuce
Got fish, got prawn, must also have ho si, or dried oyster, and fatt choi, or black moss. This was a simple braised dish as well. Similar to the dried scallops dish, we soaked and steamed the oysters first so they were nice and tender, then used the soaking water in the dish. ‘Mo dak deng ah!’ – absolutely amazing, cannot handle it! haha.
Soy sauce chicken
Last but not least, we need a chicken! We decided to make a simple soy sauce chicken instead of having something deep-friend or roasted, since there was quite a lot of other things to cook. This was yummy – the chicken was cooked just nice and the sauce…well, it’s like our lo sui sauce in the sense that it’s used again and again so the flavours intensify after each use =)
So that’s my family’s reunion dinner for CNY this year! There was a lot leftover, but that’s ok because it’s better to have leftovers on the eve =) They became our lunch the next day! haha. Well…that’s for the people who recovered from the food coma following their dinner. I think I was comatose for like 2-3 days after this =.=’ haha.
After dinner we had some fruits, then Mum and I prepared our CNY snack platter with melon seeds, candied lotus seeds, and so on, while the others played mahjong and watched the CNY extravaganza on the Chinese TV channel (CCTV). We all stay up until 12am on the eve for the countdown, then receive our lai see at 12am on the dot. hehe. It’s a nice tradition we keep and I love it!
Hope you enjoyed me sharing my family’s reunion dinner with you! Most importantly, I hope you had a fantastic one yourself! Don’t forget there are many days until the end of this festive season so let’s continue to have fun, and unfortunately eat…and eat…and eat! haha. Diet later lah =P
Thanks for reading! ^^ Have a nice day!