Chinese New Year Eve 2015

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..

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鱼生 Yee Sang

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).

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捞生 Lou Sang – 捞到风生水起 盆满盆满

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.

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鱼漂汤 Fish Maw Soup

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.

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益记烧猪肉 Roasted Pork from Yut Kee

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?

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阉鸭 Castrated Duck

Then of course there’s rice and some vegetables dish. This was how our table of dinner looked like..

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Dinner table

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!

28 Comments

    • Happy Chinese New Year to you too! I think you’ve probably had your fair share of CNY food when you were in China 😉

  1. I’m late too, but Happy Chinese New Year!! Your feast looks SO good. Much much better than what we had. We cooked our own food since everywhere is closed (and because we decided to eat healthier and go on a diet… but more on that later), and it basically consisted of a pre-cooked chicken, veggies, and beans. It was really interesting to read about what you guys usually eat on the holiday. We are from Beijing and eat dumplings and noodles for CNY because they will bring good luck!

    • Yeah, that’s because Malaysian (Southeast Asian) Chinese trace our roots back to Southern China. Our cuisine is different compared to Northern China.

      I’m glad that you have been prepared enough to handle the festive closure of shops. I would feel bad if you tell me that you are going hungry on CNY! 😀

  2. Chiming a bit late here, but first of all a belated Happy New Year!

    Also…I’m really, really, really hungry after reading this now. 🙁

  3. Hey! I missed this one! So very busy with all the things happening past few days but wouldn’t miss it for the world, this once-a-year thing. So much joy, so much cheer, so much love! Food looks awesome – your mum cooked? Must be really good at it. Where’s your contribution? Wink! Wink!

    Had yee sang last year – nobody sent me any this year, can’t get it here – not the Foochow culture and yes, I was quite put off by the resulting mess…all the bits on my lace tablecloth…going through the “holes”, hiding underneath. Quite a relief, not having that this year actually.

    • I think Yee Sang is more of a Cantonese thing, and it gained popularity in the Peninsula side of the country. Usually we would have it in restaurants rather than home, so it is okay to make a mess of things! 😀

      Like I said, my contribution was silent moral support! 😀 😀

  4. I agree that Yee Sang originated from Malaysia. I have argued with countless morons who claimed it originated from HKG and even China. Those morons were sadly Malaysians!

  5. That looks like a very sumptuous spread. Is this your first time having Yut Kee’s roast pork? We would usually order it when we eat there, but this is more of an English roast pork, which is quite different from our local siew yoke.

    • Yeah, my first time. It is different, but that is what we wanted, special dinner 😉 . It was cold by dinner time, but still taste great. I can only imagine how awesome it would be to eat it fresh there!

  6. Yee Sang, lou sang. I miss that so much! It doesn’t taste the same here in Melbourne. Very good photos of the food, they look delicious. I hope no one got too mad at you for snapping so many photos. Happy New Year!

    • They didn’t even know, for most parts. I was setting the table up, so I got early free access for my photos 😉

  7. What a big spread of food!! It looks like your mom was indeed busy and I guess your silent moral support did indeed urge her on! haha

    I had the best intentions of taking pics and had my camera next to me at the dinner table. I took one (which I posted on facebook) of the first dish prepared [I mean cut] and then I got so consumed in talking and eating that taking pics skipped my mind. Oh, well!!

    • You are not supposed to take photos at the dining table, some older people might not like it, so you probably dodged a bullet there! 😀

      Me? I was in charge of transferring the dishes from the kitchen to the table, so I get opportunities for early photo shooting access 😉

  8. Gong Hei Fatt Choy to you & family.. I had my reunion dinner yesterday.. That roast pork looks so good, I can finish all that 12 slices! The eating & visiting marathon begins today.. Hot hot hot….

    • Mm hou wan lah.. That pork, 1 slice is like 1 piece of pork chop. You can polish off 12 servings of pork chop?? Gong Hei Fatt Choy to you too!

  9. Gong Xi Fa Cai! Or rather I say it as Keong Hee Huat Chai! I find that the reunion dinner is the highlight of the festivities. The more family members the merrier. Then it’s downhill from there meeting with long lost relatives the next day 😀

    That slab of roasted pork is what I am interested in 😀 It is basically siew yoke or something different? It appears to be rolled up. And castrated duck? First time I heard of this. It’s roasted? or braised? I don’t see any gravy.

    As for the Yee Sang, I love it a lot but not those ready made ones that contain colorful crispy things. Ooops! That’s the one on your dinner table 😀 The one with fresh vegetables and salmon is best.

    It’s great that your family had the reunion at home. These days people tend to eat out and my family has been doing that since my grandpa passed on. I really miss the home reunion dinner atmosphere.

    • It is Western style, basically a big slab of pork, filled with some ingredients in the middle, rolled up and roasted. My sis bought it from Yut Kee, which is a Hainanese coffee shop that specializes in Western food.

      Haha my dad got it from some friend’s friend’s friend. Usually my mom would get a freshly made one from the pasar, but she didn’t get it this year 😐

      My family, we alternate. This year cook, next year eat out.

  10. Hi there, my family had our second round of reunion dinner on CNY eve and after that we went to River Ang Bao (A CNY river decorations) and at around 10.30pm we went home. Then we waited for the clock to strike 12 and we wished everyone Happy CNY.

    After that, my mom went to sleep whereas me and my sister would turn to tv and internet. I am not so interested in the TV programs so here I am, blogging.

    Gong Xi Fa Cai to you and your family.

    • Two rounds of reunion dinner? Awesome!

      I was bored with the TV too, I watched Ah Boys To Men on TV for a bit, then went to sleep right at 12.

      Gong Xi Fa Cai to you too! 😉

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