However, we started off with the good ol' fragrant rice and dishes with the family on the 2nd and 3rd day of Chinese New Year onwards, to maintain proper nutrition instead of relying on what mum calls, "fish paste and flour" =P
The following were a few of the colorful dishes prepared by Mum:
Mixed vegetables with shittake mushrooms usually, a staple favourite due to the colorful mix of different vegetables.
Vegetables, in Chinese, pronounced as "Choy" also means wealth and prosperity, and is a dish which will definitely makes its appearance on the table during the CNY.
Fish, also commonly seen on the plates during CNY, is a must to be served due to the meaning/pronounciation in Chinese; "Yu" which means extra, or leftover and is taken by the community to mean more for keeps and to have more than enough for the rest of the year and even until the following year.
Steamed garoupa with Chinese wine
Steamed golden pomfret with Chinese wine
Mum's signature preserved sweet and sour cucumber (usually to go with the preserved pork or duck - Lap Cheong and Lap Ngap in Cantonese)
Preserved food like these are more of a tradition; as in some of the countries, the spring is preceded by colder seasons such as winter, and as festive preparations began earlier, the people would prepare their food and preserve them in some way or another so that they could be consumed during the arrival of the festive season.
Leeks with mixed vegetables
Leeks, symbolizes good calculation of money due to the phonetic sound in Hokkien; "Suan" and is a favourite dish served among Hokkien families during the festive season.
Soup is also usually served by the Cantonese in every meal; not just during festive seasons as they believe that soups are one of the most nourishing lot.
At the same time, soups are also water-based, and for the Chinese, water means luck and wealth. Anyway, the main meaning of soups during CNY is merely for the nutrition purpose, rather than the auspicious meaning :)
Chicken/Meat; any form of meat dishes is also a must as in history, meat usually means luxury and is usually consumed in association with celebration
Don't forget the hot, fragrant and steamed white rice to go with all the dishes, a staple for most Asians especially Chinese, and some call, the secret food to anti aging and good health! =)