Monday, 9 February 2009

Chinese New Year Ten Courses Reunion Dinner Menu

Reunion dinner is the most important dinner for the Chinese during the CNY. Traditionally, this is held during the eve of CNY when all the members of the family get home together to have their dinner.

Some families prefer to dine out for this occassion but this is really not a good idea as you would be "slaughtered" with cut-throat prices, on top of a long waiting Q. We had a bad experience few years ago to have a reunion dinner at a popular Chinese restaurant and were made waited from 6.30 till 9pm for the first course to be served. It was almost 11pm when we finished our last course. The food was damn lousy obviously a result of preparation in a haste. Ever since then, my mom-in-law(mil) sworn to cook the reunion dinner herself at home for future new years. Excellent! Think about it, if she doesn't mind the effort, I'd rather pay her more angpow money than paying to the restaurant (hehehe..)

Every year, the history repeat itself. We children have to pursuade my mil not to cook too many dishes but each and every year she has never failed to ignore our advice. Ended up we have plenty of left-over food. But then the Chinese always believe it is okay to have leftovers than not as this symbolises abundance of food for the remaining year. Below are the 10 courses menu for our 2009 reunion dinner. It is not an extravagant banquet, no abalone or lobsters but I think it is considered a deluxe meal as compared to other unfortunate families. At least we still have a wholesome get-together by all our family members.

Yee Sang- a must-have 1st course in our reunion dinner menu as all of us love to "lou sang". This tradition is only pracitised in Malaysia. Yee Sang is an auspicious dish. We simply need to toss over the assorted salads in multi-colours and crispy crackers with toasted peanut, sesame and sweet-sour plum sauce dressing. It symbolises ushering in a year of good health, good luck wealth and longetivity. "Yee
" means abundance and "Sang" means vitality.

The sashimi lovers has bought extra salmon slices and jelly fish to value add on the yee sang. For me, I prefer the vegetarian style.

Pork trotters with sea cucumber. This is a typical dish from the Hokkien clan. Another must-have in our family's CNY menu.

Fish symbolises abundance. It is also a dish not to be missed for every Chinese family.

Fish maw in sweet and sour pineapple sauce. My mil has experimented on us this new dish. The result is not very good as it gets rather watery. But the sweet and sour taste make it rather appetising. I like it though..

Stuffed shitake mushrooms with oyster and fish paste. This is also an auspicious CNY dish. Oyster sounds like "Good Market". All of us hope that the market will ever be bullish.

Fried prawn in batter. It is easier to serve prawns in this manner for kids although the adults prefers the chilly prawns more.

Lo Hon Cai - This is an all-vegetable dish. Assorted vegetables fried with home-made "meen kan" (glutten puff). Lotus roots is a must as it sounds like "the year is good"

Fried chicken wings marinated in "nam yee"(fermented beancurd paste)- a dish ordered by the grandchildrens.

"Wu-tow cow yoke" This is braised pork belly with yam. My mil's specialty. She has pre-cooked this dish a few weeks ago as it is a time consuming dish. But the taste enhances when it is kept frozen for slightly longer period in the fridge.

Bamboo shoots in roasted pork belly. My favourite dish. Normally we eat only the bamboo shoots as the roasted pork is only used to enhance the taste.

A showcase of our reunion dinner menu at 7.00pm (after lou-sang)

When everyone held back their chopsticks at 8.30p
m to toast for the moo-moo year, we still have 2/3 leftover. Moo-uuah!


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