By the time you are reading this, it is already Day 1 of the Year of the Goat, so let me first wish all you people: Happy Chinese New Year! 恭喜发财!Gong Xi Fa Cai! Gong Hei Fatt Choy! Huat ahhhh!!!
Let me show you how my CNY Eve evening went. Of course we had the reunion dinner. We are a Cantonese family, so instead of steamboat, we have rice with dishes. Like in most households, Asian or non Asian, mom is the head of the kitchen. She would start preparations one week in advance and start cooking early in the morning on CNY Eve. I did a commendable job of providing silent moral support. 😉
Then it is time for the dinner. One thing that we have to do before we start eating..
This 鱼生 Yee Sang is a Chinese New Year thing, but you probably have never seen it if you are in China/Hong Kong/Taiwan. 鱼生 Yee Sang originates from Malaysia, and it is now slowly gaining popularity in Singapore and Indonesia.
鱼生 Yee Sang (Fish Raw) is called as such because this typically has raw salmon slices in it, although recently more and more vegetarian versions have been made available. It is basically a big platter of shredded vegetables, pickled vegetables, crispy crackers and plum sauce/honey.
So what we do with this dish is everyone would get a pair of chopsticks, and then attack the plate of thing, mixing and tossing them up and making a big mess of things, all the while shouting well wishes. The act is called 捞生 Lou Sang – 捞到风生水起 盆满盆满 lou dou fong sang shui hei, poon moon poon moon (May all your endeavors be highly successful and you earn full bucketloads of wealth and prosperity).
After making a big mess, we have this Yee Sang as sort of an appetizer. After that it is time for the main dinner. A typical Cantonese dinner would definitely have a soup. A rich soup is a very major component of any Cantonese dinner.
Typically, we would have fish and prawns and all the luxurious whatnot, but this year we changed things up a bit. The sis guaranteed deliciousness buy bringing home a big slab of Roasted Pork from Yut Kee. For RM 160, you get a big slab of pork that you can cut into 10 to 12 thick slices. This is not something that you can just assume to be able to eat by just throwing some cash around. They only make this delicacy on weekends and festives eve. You need to pre-order like 1 or 2 weeks in advance for CNY.
Then dad went all the way to Ipoh to get this 阉鸭 Castrated Duck. Yes, you read right, castrated. If you are not used to it, you might think it is gross and yucks, but it is not. It is bloody delicious! Come on, lets not muck about here, if you are going to eventually eat an animal, what difference does it make whether or not you leave their testicles on when they are alive?
Then of course there’s rice and some vegetables dish. This was how our table of dinner looked like..
After dinner, it is basically just TV, laptops and internet, waiting for the clock to strike midnight and then wish each other Happy Chinese New Year. It is finally raining here after weeks of scorching heat. I think it is welcome rain, but it also meant that we could not do the fireworks routine. Maybe tomorrow.
For now, I suppose I can share you some CNY themed Youtube videos. I love these songs for their alternative approach. If you ever get bored during CNY, you can play these songs to amuse yourself. 😀
Once again, 恭喜发财! Gong Xi Fa Cai! Gong Hei Fatt Choy!