Every year…

On the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, it is customary for us to have a bowl of longevity noodles…

Mee sua

…served in chicken soup cooked with our traditional Foochow red wine and so it was this year as well. We had that the first thing in the morning when everyone has got up.

Every year, for many years now, my in-laws would drop by in the evening of the 1st Day for dinner and this year was no exception.

My missus cooked this very nice chicken rendang

CR

…and kacang ma chicken…

KMC

…but she steamed it a little too long and the meat was falling apart a little bit. Nonetheless, it tasted great and everyone loved it.

We only had a bit of the duck for our reunion dinner that previous night so there was a lot more of it…

Duck

…and we served that as well.

Likewise, my missus made a lot of the lokan

Lokan

…and saved most of the lot she made for this dinner with all the members from her side of the family.

Nope, this was not what was left over from the previous night’s dinner. My missus cooked this mixed vegetable dish…

MV

…exactly the same way as she had done the night before and she made this salad too…

Salad

…using the giant freshwater prawns that my brother-in-law gave us recently.

No prize for guessing where I tapao-ed these from…

Otak-otak

- the otak-otak that my mother-in-law fell in love with instantly at first bite, and the mushroom rolls…

MR

…as well as the lamb curry…

Lamb curry

No, I did not get any special discount or none that I know of – I did not ask for it…but they were so kind as to make everything extra large, twice the usual sizes! That certainly saved a lot of work so I think it would make a lot more sense to just buy home all our favourites instead of slaving and sweating it out in the kitchen all day…or for several days in a  row. After all, we’re no spring chicken anymore and no longer have the strength and stamina like we used to.

The highlight of the evening was the yee sang that we started off the dinner with…

Yee sang

…by mixing all of the ingredients together and throwing it up in the air to signify togetherness and for good fortune in the coming Year of the Horse. I’ve had that a few times before but this was the first time I had it in my own home – this is not easily available here, Sibu being a Foochow town and if I’m not mistaken, this is actually part of the Cantonese culture. Thanks to my good friend, Mandy, who went through the trouble of buying that and sending it all the way from KL, we all could have the pleasure of experiencing the traditional practice and enjoying eating that this year.

So how was your Chinese New Year this year? More of mine in the next post, so do stay tuned!

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23 thoughts on “Every year…

  1. nice looking salad!

    Family recipe but missus made the dressing too thick – I think she used peanut butter instead of kacang tumbuk.

  2. otak-otak definitely is my favorite dish!!!

    I just got back from a short local trip and now still enjoying my holidays at home…

    I sure need to go on a holiday…to a place where I can do nothing, just relax and rest.

  3. What a sumptuous dinner! Better than any restaurant food.

    Can’t deny that. Restaurants, CNY here…must collect by noon and eat cold if one does not heat it up before eating.

  4. Your missus must be exhausted after cooking up a storm of delicious food. Guess everyone is having a great time and enjoying the food as much as I enjoy drooling at them.

    She’s fine. She enjoys making an impression – told her to just go and tapao or I could do that but she would not hear of it.

  5. hmmm, talks about every year huh?? well.. every year since like more than 15 years ago, we have steamboat for reunion dinner, and continues for a couple of days after that to clear up the food!! hahahaha.. so i probably only have steamboat that few times a year during CNY.. and for the 1st day of CNY, we have vegetarian in the morning, or to be more exact, vegetarian for the 1st meal of the new year.. :)

    Planning to have steamboat on Chap Goh Meh.

  6. Hello, am back today. Been hibernating for the past 1 week.
    Oohh, I always see the longevity noodles in most “birthday” post, must have 2 eggs..
    I only see 1 egg, where is the other one?
    Gawd, your wifey is the best cook I have ever seen:)

    Birthday, two…New Year, one enough. Hehehehehehe!!!!!

  7. that’s a lot of nice dishes! :) Just shared on some of the dishes my mother whipped up. This year it’s slightly less, as she came back from KL with us and did not have ample time to prepare, but I’m grateful all the same.

    Another 9 days of Chinese New Year to go! :D Dong Dong Chiang !

    Yes, I did not have much time also – been busy but it was ok. Chinese New Year came and went smoothly.

  8. lovely feast for the family. that’s a LOT of food! :D

    It was. Missus anxious to go all the way. Normally, I would cook just enough for the number of people coming so no leftovers, or not that much.

  9. Wah… so many great dishes. I have one request. Could you one day highlight on how to make yee sang? It looks interesting. I’ve tasted once at Sarawak Club, and I like it. :D

    I haven’t the slightest idea! It is made up of different kinds of pickles actually…and of course, the expensive one would have raw salmon thrown in. I just made do with what came in the package.

  10. Next time i go Sibu you must bring me to buy the ang chiew. Makes the Mi suah taste nicer.

    Of course! Round the corner from my house – the best quality one RM8.50 a bottle, dunno gone up already or not.

  11. Longevity noodles? Not for birthday only? I’d go for the salad! :D

    Birthdays, New Year, anniversaries, before the child leaves home, when the child comes home….before the son goes off to get his bride, when he gets to the bride’s house, when the son and his bride comes back to the house. Maybe not in your dialect but in the Foochow culture, it does have a very BIG significance.

    Salad’s ok, can get anywhere – some may even be nicer…but nothing beats home-cooked Sibu Foochow mee sua. The sweet ones in the peninsula suck big time, no…thank you!

  12. Would love to try all the food above!! I have kacang ma too in my fridge but I have yet to cook it.. must google for the recipe first… :) Really so much food in your house, how to go on diet like that? hahhaa…

    You will need traditional white wine, good one, or it will not be nice.

  13. That is certainly a luxurious blob of mayo on the salad. :-)

    Not mayo – our family recipe, an aunt got it on a trip to the Philippines for some international women’s conference, of salad cream plus evaporated milk plus egg plus vinegar plus sugar plus crushed peanuts – I think my missus took a shortcut and used peanut butter and it ended up that thick.

  14. Wow, lots of good food! When I was small, our first day lunch and dinner would be the leftovers. It would last until the third day! Your missus’ salad sure looks good.

    I stayed with an old Chinese couple in Singapore in 1973 – the whole year, they would eat rice and maybe a little dish of something but come Chinese New Year, they would lay out one long table of everything = every meat, every seafood…and they would eat that over the next few days. They kept asking me to eat too but it was quite impossible to finish everything. Traditional practice, I guess…but I thought it was such a waste.

  15. Ah… no wonder i see a lot of mee suah pictures on my instagram and FB the morning of CNY. So it’s customary. I loveeee mee suah. the more wine the better! Happy CNY suituapui!

    Thanks, hope you’ll have a great year too. Yes, especially among the Foochows – a must, first thing in the morning of the 1st day of the new year.

  16. That bowl off mee sua looks good! :)

    We don’t eat it like that for Heng Huas, we eat the dry ones tossed in lard and I haven’t had the ones in soup with red wine for a while now.

    I haven’t had yee sang either, but had poon choy this year, something I’ve always wanted to try but never had the chance and I always thought it was gimmicky and sometimes not as good (was told a certain chain’s poon choy was terrible) but I was glad I tried it for the first time since it was awesome, especially the lower layer.

    My sister went to Payung to eat but I haven’t had the chance to since I got back! It looks great as usual!

    Oh, and I had a banquet (grandma’s brother) at Sheraton and I have to say that their deep fried cod is really, really good!

    Ya, Sheraton’s food is always good – they’ve managed to maintain its standard all these years. I had poon choy in KL – it was nice but it did not really impress me – had the salt-baked fish at the same time and that one blew me away! So very nice, first time i had that! The ones in Sibu are even nicer though…

  17. Ooh …. sumptuous food on cny first day. For me, usually it’s vegetarian food in loh hon chai.

    Seems to be the same with some others. Cantonese culture pr Buddhist practice or what?

  18. So, it’s customary for Foochows to have the longevity noodles on Chinese New Year 😀.
    When my grandma (my mother’s side) was still around, we used to have vegetarian dishes for the first meal on the first day of Chinese New Year. I think it’s customary for the Teochews..
    All the dishes look delicious..very curious how the lokan taste like…

    Something like lor bak, minus the tofu skin – mixed with minced meat, prawns and everything to make that.

  19. That is quite a big feast there by your missus. Used to make the longevity noodles for my grandma when she was alive.

    Yes, too much actually…and we had to eat the leftovers for the rest of the week. :( Usually, when I cook for parties, I would cook just enough for the number of people coming…so there will be no or very little left over. I don’t like having to eat something reheated again and again and again. :(

  20. i love kacangma that steamed a little too long that made the meat falling apart… if rendang is cooked that way.. i can have many pieces at once :P

    You do? It was ok, I guess…just not so presentable when you’re having guests. :(

  21. Wow…mee suah looks heaven!! yum yum yum!!

    Three of you, Lucy, you and Melissa all can cook very well!! All has your own recipe and strong part on the certain dish.

    Ah, so sweet of Mandy, now you can “lou sang” in Sibu too! Huat ar!!

    Yes, we shared that with my in-laws…all sekaligus huat besar besar! :D

  22. Pingback: I really can’t say… | ...Still crazy after all these years!

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