Before the day…

It sure was one hectic time for us, driving here and there with things to get done before all the places closed for the Chinese New Year holidays and going in and out of the medical centre to visit my mum and spend some time with her, just to keep her company, not that there was really anything much that we could do.

Despite all that, I insisted on having our own reunion dinner at home in keeping with the tradition even though it was just the three of us – my girl, the mum and I…and we had an early one so we could rush back to the medical centre right after that.

No, I did not want anything fancy – just steamed fish…

Steamed fish

…and rice. All these years, what I heard was that everyone must have fish at the reunion dinner – 年年有“鱼” and it must not be eaten all at one go. One would have to make sure there is some leftover to eat the following day. However, I read somewhere that the fish must be served whole…so fish head curry does not count, I’m afraid, and my missus saw on some television show that we must eat the middle part and not touch the head or the tail – those would have to be left behind to be eaten the next day, New Year’s Day.

I can’t say I am a firm believer nor a staunch follower of all these customs and traditions but I do find all of them somewhat interesting and I do not mind praticising some of them though I would not go out of my way to do so, solely just to keep our heritage – our customs and traditions alive.

My missus also made this salad dish…


…as well and actually, she had been cooking a few dishes over the past week or so to freeze and keep, waiting for the big day and she insisted in taking out the pre-steamed meat rolls or ngor hiang…or what they call lor bak in the peninsula to fry till they became the much coveted auspicious golden colour…

Ngor hiang

…and there was also the kacang ma chicken…

Kacang ma chicken

…and the satay beef…

Satay beef

…as well as this asam kunyit (tamarind tumeric) giant freshwater prawn and pineapple dish…

Pineapple prawns

I wouldn’t say it was one grand feast to end the Year of the Monkey but yes, it was a good dinner and fingers crossed, it was decent enough to bring the promise of endless good days ahead in the Year of the Rooster.

Author: suituapui

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

11 thoughts on “Before the day…”

  1. The salad dish and chicken both look delectable! 🙂

    The salad dressing is a family recipe, very very nice and the chicken is kind of herbal – normally for ladies in confinement. The leaves used in the cooking have lots of health benefits and are said to be anti-depressant.

  2. Love all the dishes especially the salad…

    All nice, not a really big feast, just enough for three and that was good.

  3. Keong Hee Huat Chye! That was very nice, I see six dishes for your at home reunion dinner. I miss the reunion dinners my family used to have when my grandparents were still around. These days, it’s done at the hotel. I hope your mum is on the road to recovery.

    My mum’s ok, not too good but ok, still in the medical centre so she’s in good hands.

    My missus used to cook a lot more but we had to abort all plans when my mum was admitted – just had to make do with what we already had but I would rather have these than eat at a hotel or some grand restaurant, somehow it is just not the same. A lot of people will order a table and collect to take home to eat (and eat the same ol’ leftovers over the next few days) – I would not do that too. Nothing beats own cooking, no matter how simple and definitely not for such an auspicious occasion.

  4. That’s quite a lot of dishes for your reunion dinner. Very interesting story about the fish. For sure, I love the kacang ma & ngor hiang.

    Fish was very nice and fresh, very smooth and sweet. I think this is from Batang Ai. We stopped eating sultan fish for a long time as those from the fish farms had that horrible mud smell – had these lately, very nice so now we are back to eating this fish. Tilapia tends to be a little too oily for our liking. Kacang ma was good, ngor hiang used to be nicer – I think my missus had to leave out certain sauces, not gluten free. 😦

  5. Nice reunion dinner. Love what you guys had.

    I learn something about eating fish during CNY. Hahaha. Usually we finished up the whole fish on the eve. Hardly anything left for next day and somehow the fish doesnt taste good the following day.

    This one was all right the next day, still as nice, the same. Some fish like bawal putih, the bottom half soaked in the sauce will not be nice…even if it is left over from lunch, eaten for dinner. I always make it a point to turn it over after eating it the first round.

  6. That steamed fish sure looks delicious.

    Very! We get these lovely fish from the lakes at the hydro-electricity dams here, sometimes they are alive – they’re that fresh!!!

  7. Oops! I didn’t have fish this year (I guess yee sang doesn’t really count) – luckily I’m not superstitious regarding this. I did have prawns though, so hopefully that balances things out a bit 😉

    Not unless you have one whole salmon in your yee sang! Hehehehehe!!!!

    A blogger friend shared on Facebook, said must eat prawns as the Mandarin word is “Ha” so “Hahahahahahaha!!!!” Lots of joy and laughter in the coming year.

  8. Yup…good to have”hahaha” & “hoi sum”(sea cucumber). Hoi sum = happy.

    Gong Xi Fatt Chai to you and your family

    Oh? Sea cucumber too? Did not have any! Better make sure that I buy some for Chap Goh Meh! Qong Xi Fat Cai to you and yours too! Cheers!!! 😀

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