The first days of spring…

When I was teaching Geography a long long time ago, Spring in the Northern Hemisphere was always sometime in March – the Spring Equinox…but somehow or other, Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival.

Well, on the first day, of course, we had the traditional longevity  mee sua (thread/string noodles)…

Chinese New Year longevity mee sua

…for long life and good fortune in the year ahead.

I also got some things ready…

Cakes. cookies and so on

…in case we had some early visitors and we quickly went to visit my parents and also my mother-in-law to perform our filial duties and wish them a Happy Chinese New Year after which, we went straight home to wait for anybody who cared to drop by.

My sister-in-law and her family would be taking the evening flight back to Kuching and she said that before leaving town, they would drop by at around noon. Well, my missus did do a bit of cooking so of course, we invited them to have lunch.

She made some ngor hiang or lor bak as they are called in the peninsula…

Ngor hiang

…and fried her special prawns…

Fried prawns

…with garlic and sesame oil and whatever else.

Her oven-roasted chicken wings…

Chicken wings

…were a hit and so was her kacang ma chicken…

Kacang ma chicken

Of course, we must have fish – 年年有余 (Nian Nian You Yu, meaning “Abundance through the year”) so we had this steamed pek chio (white pomfret)…

Steamed fish

…and this was my missus’ sambal prawns with pineapple…

Sambal prawns with pineapple

…and this one was her satay beef…

Satay beef

I ordered the Bangladeshi lamb curry…

Payung's Bangladeshi lamb curry

…and the green curry chicken…

Payung's green curry chicken

…from Payung and we also had this salad dish…

*prior to the adding of the creamy dressing*

…to go with everything else.

Of course, we also invited anyone who came to visit us around that same time to join in and help themselves to the food except those friends who are unable to eat non-halal food, my sincere apologies to those concerned.

There was a lot of plain white rice left over – probably, most of them just had the food and did not care for too much of it. That was why I next morning, I whipped up this dish of dabai fried rice

Dabai fried rice

…to go with whatever was left of all the aforementioned dishes.

By the evening of the second day, most of the food was finished so anyone dropping by on the third day and thereafter just had the cakes and cookies to enjoy.

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

16 thoughts on “The first days of spring…”

  1. Wow, your missus cook so much on the 1st day of CNY. Kacangma, ngor hiang & steamed fish are my 3 favorite dishes. Though not a fan of dabai, but this dabai fried rice looks great to me as I always like the way you fried the rice, just that dabai was added. Does it make a lot of difference in taste with dabai added?

    It has the slight hint of the fermented dabai taste but what I like is that lemak richness you find in dabais – after all, it is our local version of the olive, oily.

    Oh? I know in the past, Kuching people did not know what it was and those who knew did not know how to prepare it and they went and boiled it. 😀 😀 😀 There are very very very good ones – I would love those. Others may be ok…but there are some that are quite hopeless. We would just throw them away should we get hoodwinked into buying those.

  2. Ooohhhj…. Food!!!
    Your missus’ oven roasted chicken wings looks good! Must get recipe from her. Haha
    My elder cousin and I did boil dabai when I was about 8yo when our parents were out. Waited for almost one hour but the dabai were still as hard as rocks. Lol! Threw it into the river to get rid of incriminating evidence before parents came back. Lol!
    My male cousin trying to impress his bride made dabai goreng kicap! ROTFL!

    Muahahahahaha!!!! The age of innocence! 😀 Never bothered to see what she uses to marinate her chicken wings – we love them…a lot!!! Very nice!

  3. The dabai fried rice was really delicious! 🙂

    It has a very characteristic taste and I like the dried little shrimps you put into it too, adds a lot to the flavor, and the purple color leached out into the rice too. It’s a very nice way to eat dabai, too bad the season is over now.

    I also really enjoyed all the dishes, particularly the pineapple prawns and the kacangma chicken – delicious! Thanks for having me over! Happy CNY to you and your family Arthur!

    Glad you enjoyed the dabai fried rice – personally, I like it a lot more with fresh dabai – but the dabai must be very good to get that rich oil/lemak flavour of the fruit into the rice. Same thing – better to remove the skin so the end result will not look black and kind of dirty. Glad you enjoyed the other dishes too, sure makes the cooking worthwhile. Same to you and all in your family, thanks.

  4. First, the chicken mee sua looks very good. Second the kuih lapis is very tempting too. The rest, I can easily find here, but needless to say everything looks very delicious.

    Really? Easily? I can pinpoint at least two that you can’t get there, the kacang ma chicken and my dabai fried rice…fried rice, yes but not with dabai.

  5. Can share the recipe for the oven-roasted chicken?

    Dunno, you come to Sibu, ask my missus. Hehehehehe!

  6. Wow, your missus cooked so many yummy dishes! And your fried rice sure looks good (as usual).

    I did attempt to do a bit of presentation instead of just dumping everything in the bowl…and sitting down to eat. 😀

  7. Ngor hiang looks great, as does the pomphret – my favourite fish. You have a never ending feast – much to my envy.

    Chinese New Year celebration lasts 15 days…and we had an earlier start with my nephew’s wedding celebration. Don’t envy me – now I dread looking in the mirror…or at my photographs. Muahahahahaha!!!!

  8. Back to work today…

    Wahh..wahh so many good food. I noticed in Sibu open house, most of the families actually took the time to cook a few dishes at home whereas over here, we only have cookies and drinks. Hahah

    Wishing you and family a Happy Chinese New Year and Gong Xi Fa Cai.

    In my younger days, I think most would be like you today – just cakes & cookies but my mum would cook her awesome curry…and people would make a beeline to our house to eat that with bread. They loved it so much. These days, we go a little bit further and have more. Once a year, great to share with family and friends, all can enjoy together.

    Happy Chinese New Year to you and your loved ones too!

  9. Actually I was wondering, has spring really started in china or still winter ? The winter solstice just started in dec right ?
    Wah… Such a sumptuous spread of food. Wheres my angpau? Lol

    Waiting for you to come and give my girl ang pao…and I give to yours. You win liao, you have two! Tsk! Tsk! LOL!!!

    Yes, winter solstice just started in December, I think that was when they all ate those balls, right? Spring will not be till March 20th. That is why I am wondering why they call Chinese New Year the Spring Festival…and probably that is where the phrase “spring cleaning” comes from, I dunno. Everyone was busy cleaning before New year…only to mess their whole place up with the fireworks and firecrackers. 😀

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: