Monday, February 10, 2014

Lunar New Year Food Diary: Day 4 (Mummy's Dishes)

The festive food galore continues on the fourth day of the Lunar New Year; well, festive seasons, especially the Lunar/Chinese New Year is always (yes, ALWAYS) about food.
Being home means that I get to enjoy the wonderful tastes of home cooked food, and the hot pot saga has officially ended on the third day.
On the fourth day, tantalizing dishes from mummy's kitchen filled the table.

Stir fried leeks with carrots, snow peas, onions and fish cakes

According to the Chinese tradition, leeks are a must-have during the New Year as the name in Chinese. 'Suan' sounds like counting/calculating and it literally brings the meaning of being able to have plenty to count throughout the year; be it fortune, blessings, money, and everything good. It was something which has been passed on for generations, and I believe most Chinese families observed this tradition as well.
This clearly explains the reason behind the price hike of this vegetable before and during the festive season.

Sweet and sour black pomfret, garnished with loads of onions and garlic

Fish, as explained in the earlier post, is one of the auspicious and symbolic food to have during the Lunar New Year as it signifies the meaning of having plenty left at home due to the sound of fish in Chinese, 'yu' which means leftover. Therefore, it is very important for many Chinese homes to have many to look forward to and more than enough to eat, clothe and spend on for the year for the entire family.
For my family, besides the auspicious reason, the other reason being that fish is always my favorite dish to have since I was a child and the black pomfret must always be prepared either sweet and sour, or spicy for it is a fish with a slightly thicker flesh compared to its white counterpart (white pomfret) and cooking it longer would end up in a coarse tasting flesh. Therefore, to truly enjoy the fish, there should be a stronger taste to accompany it; such as spicy chili or sour ketchup sauce.

Another tradition in the family, passed down from my late grandmother is this Sweet and Sour Cucumber slices with chilies.
It is a family recipe and we always have this dish during festive seasons; such as Christmas and the Lunar New Year, that I always associate this dish with celebration.
(That's why they say childhood memories dictate the perception of an individual which can be carried to their adulthood)

Steamed Lap Cheong (Chinese sausages)

It is not uncommon to see preserved food like these appearing on most dining tables in Chinese homes during this season, as this practice dates back to our early predecessors' time whereby they do not have the luxury of our modern technology such as refrigerator to store their food to maintain its optimum state. Back then, they will use salt and vinegar or other methods to preserve most of their food; particular the fresh catches/harvest. Due to the association of meat as the luxurious item and thus, a must-have for celebrations, the meat is preserved in forms such as the preserved sausages, preserved duck/pork, etc.
The steamed sausages is to go with the earlier cucumber dish; with the coldness of the sweet and sour cucumber slices to complement the salty taste of the sausages.

Pan fried Carrot and egg cakes is an experiment by Mummy who wanted to try at making it following a cooking show she watched.
It was an interesting dish, though she wasn't too pleased with the results.
However, it was positively a new dish she innovated from the original intended dish and that is one good way to look at it :-)

With the remaining tomyam left in the kitchen, we threw in the fishballs and mushrooms to make this Fishball tomyam soup.

Our homecooked feast on Day 4!

Tuck in with the rice to the wonderful spread!~

Nothing beats home cooked food, do you agree? ヽ(•‿•)ノ


  1. ng...i love lap cheong :)Lap Cheong

  2. Small Kucing, then you must have had your supplies at home? ;-)

  3. Yummmmm!!!! The beauty of home cooking! None that money can buy!

  4. suituapui, Absolutely! *Slaps Hi-5*