Thursday, February 06, 2014

Lunar New Year Food Diary: Day 1

Following the sumptuous feast from the eve of the Lunar New Year (the night before), the first day of the Lunar New Year is a rather lowdown affair. There are many who will be observing the vegetarian diet as part of their monthly cycle; moreover on the first day of the New Year.
For some of the families, the leftover food (there always must be leftover food from the reunion dinner) will be cooked again with a few additional dishes and to be consumed with the family again.
Some will probably just reheat the food from the night before and then prepare a few additional dishes; though typically most of the food will be from the last night's feast.
There is a reason for the huge feast on the eve and also the leftover to the next day; as there is a taboo observed by the Chinese that no sharp objects are allowed to be used on the First Day of the Lunar New Year; and these include the knives, scissors, etc. In fact, cleaning the house using broom or mop are also frowned upon as this symbolizes the sweeping away of the luck brought upon by the God of Fortune to the family for the New Year. The sharp objects are prohibited for it symbolizes the severing of ties among the loved ones.

Therefore, most of the food are recycled from the reunion dinner's huge feast; and the Hokkiens in Penang practice the preparation of the Kiam Chai Boey/Chap Chai Boey (salted vegetables stew/mixed vegetables stew) which consists of the leftover food being made into a stew and with added salted vegetables.
The salted vegetables are also traditionally used due to it being a preserved vegetable to last longer for the two weeks of the festive season when there are not much food available for sale due to the celebration (even farmers and fishermen were taking a break to celebrate with their families back then).

The leftover food were all compiled and thrown in to slow boiling to a stew; and with added vinegar to lend a sourish and salty taste to the dish. Some may add in chili to make it a little more spicy; to add to the taste of the stew. This is a dish which is commonly found in most Hokkien households; as they ensure that none of the food goes to waste with this creative idea. Though the dish sounds interesting, it receives a mix of likes and dislikes from everyone as there are those who dislike the dish just as many as those who enjoy savoring the dish.
My mother-in-law prepared this stew from the night before; after the reunion dinner.

Another interesting dish which was cooked with some of the raw ingredients left over from the hot pot meal was this Spicy mixed seafood soup ala Thai Tomyam style (something different ^_^)

This was like the 'Star Dish of the Day' as it was a hit with everyone; due to its unique taste and aromatic flavor from the tomyam and lemongrass.

Even I could not stop snapping away at the dish; as I just love the flavors and the colors from the dish.
Oh, and the taste? It was just as wonderful as it looked; with many enjoying second helpings ^_^

The fish; Steamed White Pomfret Teochew Style
(Sweet, sour and a tiny bit of spicy in the broth)

Another fish, also steamed the same style for dinner

Roasted duck from the night before

Golden Fried Rice

It was definitely a Delicious Way to kick start the New Year!
Don't you think?


  1. Oh i love my fish steamed in teo chew style too! i like the spicy-sourish tinge :p

  2. Certainly is a good way to kick start the new year