This year's reunion dinner is slightly different compared to the past years; as I celebrated with my in-laws (new family) at their place, and this will set a new trend for me for the future.
You can read about my thoughts about my first CNY with the in-laws here
As usual, CNY reunion dinners are often graced by steamboat/hot pot (although when I was younger, we used to have cooked dishes served with rice).
Steamboat is almost everyone's favorite, easy to prepare and offers a wide variety of choices! (Think of all the stuffs you choose to put into the soup and eat in a few short minutes)
I was offering to help my mother-in-law with the food preparation only to find that she was extremely efficient and that she had prepared most of the stuffs days ahead. She told me that she needed no help and that everything is simple! Just like my mum :)
We had a small crowd for reunion dinner this year, as the other brothers-in-law were abroad and could not make it back for CNY, but still, as with most CNY dinners, we had a lot of food for a small group!
That's the thing with the Chinese community, they always prefer to serve MORE compared to less, particularly when it comes to celebrations.
Therefore, I can assure that you will never starve (instead you will be stuffed) when you walk out of a Chinese home after a meal (or several meals!)
The following are the side dishes added to the main; they were brought by hubby's aunt.
Lor Bak - a type of Hokkien dish which is made of seasoned minced meat rolled with fried bean curd sheets and deep fried and goes best with a good chili sauce.
The stuffs for our steamboat:
A can of abalones! Yes, this was a gift from hubby's uncle based in Singapore!:)
I snapped a quick photo of it before mother-in-law sliced it, and she was laughing when I took the photo, "Have you not seen an abalone before?"
Erm, I have, I just felt it complete to share all the photos of the food on my blog, it's more of a blog thing :)
Abalone, mushrooms - those chewy types
Lots of mushrooms and vegetables for the steamboat this round! I love these:)
More mushrooms (enoki) and lettuce
Tong Ho/Garland Chrysanthemum or Chop Suey Green
Assorted seafood tofu
My favorite: Sliced fresh garoupa fish
These are only to placed into the soup using a sieve during the steamboat as it is often cooked instantly and does not taste good when it is overcooked.
The soup was pre-cooked using vegetable ingredients; such as mushrooms, jicama, carrots, etc and left overnight. It left a lingering aroma in the house which smelt really great!
Table settings for dinner
Love the ornate design of the pot used for the steamboat
The best part about steamboat?
Throw everything in, and it is all cooked in an instant, and we can enjoy the food/eating in just a short while yet be enticed by the wide variety in the hot and boiling soup!
The worst part about steamboat?
Overeating, definitely, but that's what happens with most festive seasons, anyway, right?
How was your CNY reunion dinner?
Was it a steamboat or a meal of several luxurious dishes?
Which one do you prefer?