Chinese New Year 2010

17 Apr

I was looking forward to Chinese (Lunar) New Year this year, as it would be the only days that our family restaurant would be closed for business, and my family would get 3 glorious days of rest and just celebrate the most major public holiday in Singapore.

But what CNY REALLY means to me, and my family, is the EATING. Besides getting  those red packets, of course. People splurge this time of year, if it’s any time to go all out and buy the best you can afford and share it with family. My family is no exception. As I finally folded my waitressing apron for the final time of the summer, I was eagerly anticipating my 4 day, non-stop, stuff-your-face-silly feasting before I returned to Sydney.

In recent years, only my immediate family gathers for the reunion dinner, but you’d think that the amount of food that we’d consume could easily feed 15 – NO. JOKE. We could literally eat from 6.30pm through to 10pm, and by then have gone through 2 rounds – a steamboat, then Japanese yakiniku (alla Rengaya ;]).

So no different this time. The Bro and the Father went down to Meidi-ya, the Japanese supermarket, to pick up the pre-ordered Kobe beef and sashimi, and soon after we closed up the restaurant and came home, we settled down to our reunion dinner, starting with the traditional yu-sheng (yi-shang, in dialect).

Yu-sheng is something the Mother likes to call a Chinese salad of sorts. She and the Bro could literally eat this everyday ! Well, I can’t, but it is nice to have it, especially with the significance of it. Each ingredient has a purpose, toppings like peanuts, sesame seeds, sweet sauce and others are poured on top as prosperous phrases are said, wishing everyone a good year ahead in all aspects, pretty much. When that’s done, everyone gathers, and mixes it together, by bringing up the ingredients as high as possible (lao-ing) , as it means the higher you ‘lao’, the more it will come true. It becomes a mess but it’s meant to be good, apparently..Our version was pretty special that we dumped not just the traditional salmon sashimi on top, but chunks of kingfish sashimi, scallop sashimi, and tuna sashimi on top! I admit, I was picking out most of the sashimi!! heh…

We also had additional sashimi. Hehe. And the rest of the Family couldn’t resist the sea urchin… Hm…

THIS, however, was more my highlight of the night. We bought Kobe beef for the steamboat, and OH.AM.GEE.. Quickly blanched in the steamboat soup, then either eaten straight or dipped in Japanese sesame sauce, popped steaming hot into the mouth… The flavour just bursts forth from the fat that has slightly melted in the heat, and I involuntarily close my eyes to savour the wonderful taste in my mouth. Just amazingly juicy and tender.

After the soup from the steamboat was almost gone the Father made his version of Japanese rice porridge with what was left in the steamboat. Just toss in some rice and eggs and you’re done! Filled with the rich flavour of several meats and seafood boiling over a couple of hours, and topped with crab leg meat, some Japanese pickles and Korean kimchi for the tangy zing. Yum.

With bursting bellies, we were back at it after 20 minutes of belly rest, for some Japanese yakiniku! We grilled the Kobe beef karubi, which are thicker slices, hence there was more bite and more oomph to the flavour. As you chew, the juices burst out to fill out and the aroma fills your mouth and nose… I find it hard to describe the taste really, it’s something that actually gives me goosebumps. And so full was my belly that I disregarded my camera for it.

That concluded my reunion dinner, but the eating went on and on for the next 3 days. I didn’t manage to take a snapshot of all the wonderful things my mom stuffed me with before I left, but it was like they were trying to feed me all the best stuff before i returned to student life. Heh.

Golden fried rce with unagi

Sauteed straw mushrooms wrapped in Kobe beef slices and  aburi-ed/grilled

Abalone in sauce with steamed veg

I miss CNY already. I think all the photos have made me hungry. Again.


One Response to “Chinese New Year 2010”

  1. Simon @ the heart of food April 21, 2010 at 12:36 am #

    You’re not the only one being made hungry by the photos!

    The CNY festivities are a great time to splurge on the best. The Kobe beef sounds absolutely amazing!

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