This year…

I am quite sure that I’ve mentioned before in my blog my landlady at her HDB flat along Beach Road in Singapore way back in 1973. I was renting a room there and I noticed that the old couple led such frugal lives, eating plain rice with maybe an omelette or a salted egg or a plate of fried French beans or long beans but come Chinese New Year, she would cook a whole lot of dishes to fill up the whole dining table, a big one, an eight-seater, at least. Of course, they could not eat it all by themselves so she would ask me to help finish the food except that there was simply too much and after a week or so, I was still eating those same dishes, reheated over and over again…but for a struggling student at the time with very little money, I had no complaint and was actually quite thankful for what I had.

I guess it was because of the Chinese traditional belief that they must cook a lot come Chinese New Year so they would be blessed with abundance in the days ahead. No, my missus does not subscribe to that but she would cook up a storm nonetheless and this year was no exception even though we were not celebrating and there would not be people dropping by to enjoy the food and help finish it all up.

We had our own reunion dinner on the evening of Chinese New Year’s Eve, just the four of us…


– the three of us and my sister.

I told my missus not to serve everything as we would not be able to finish and repeatedly reheated food would not be all that palatable. Needless to say, we had to have a fish


Nian Nian You Yu – 年年有餘 – which means something like, ‘may every year end with ample surplus’ or ‘plenty to spare year after year’ or ‘may you have more than you need, every year’ and we also had this very nice fish maw soup…


…done like sharks’ fins soup but minus the offensive stuff.

My missus did a great job with the kacang ma chicken…

Kacang ma

…which was extra nice – I guess it depends on the quality  of the white wine she uses and there must be a whole lot of ginger as well.

I did tell her there was chicken already so there would not be any need for another chicken dish but it all fell on deaf ears and we had this curry chicken…


…too and this is one of my missus’ specialties, the masak kunyit (cooked with turmeric) giant udang galah (freshwater prawns) with pineapples…


I specifically asked for this sweet and sour meatballs…


…done Hock Chu Leu-style, something that we loved so much during our growing-up years…and I guess the red colour is auspicious too.

Oopsss!!! I forgot to take a photograph of the salad but never mind – I think we would also have that again soon enough. We certainly had a lot of food to enjoy that evening and yes, there was quite a bit leftover, including the fish – tradition has it that you cannot finish eating it at one go and must save a bit for subsequent days.

Author: suituapui

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

9 thoughts on “This year…”

  1. Wow! Your spouse is such a good cook. My favourite dish would be her prawn dish – looks so delicious!

    She is! The difference between the two of us is she does not scrimp on the ingredients so everything will taste so good, second to none! I tend to cut corners and go without this and that, especially things we do not have in the house.

  2. Wow! All the dishes look appealing to me and ngam me. Curry chicken is a must during CNY reunion dinner for us and it is my mom’s specialty. We had meatballs too during 2017 reunion dinner but ours is dry type, not cooked in sweet sour sauce. This year we had the lotus roots soup, ngo hiong, black fungus vegetables, quail eggs with pork and curry chicken.

    Meatballs, dry coming right up in tomorrow’s post! Oh yeah! Forgot to buy quail eggs – my girl loves those. Could have added those in the soup or the salad…or in the vegetable dish – tomorrow’s post. Ngor hiang is supposed to be an auspicious dish to serve during CNY, I think…maybe because of the golden colour but this year, we told my missus not to make any as all year, she makes it so often that we are getting a tad too tired of it already. She does make very good ones.

    1. And canned abalone

      We do not buy that anymore, sold under lock and key at the supermarkets, so expensive, over RM100 once – maybe a lot more now and they’re not nice anymore, not like the ones we had in the 50’s and 60’s, same brand. We’d settle for the cheaper pacific clams – over RM20 a can, I think, the last time I checked, dunno now.

  3. Wow, what a scrumptous Reunion dinner. Yours missus is a good cook. I would choose kacang ma chicken anytime over curry chicken. I guess you are the one doing the wrapping of the spoons and chopsticks. You too did a great job.

    Yes, I enjoy doing that and I will do it all the time – everyone says so nice, like in a restaurant. LOL!!!

  4. she certainly cooked up a beautiful storm! my compliments to the chef 😀 and yes, may this meal be a symbol of all the good things that will come to you and your loved ones this year 🙂

    Fingers crossed, thanks, Sean!!! A Happy and Blessed Chinese New Year to you too!

  5. Your missus sure cooked up a storm even though there were only four of you at the table. Hats off to her as all the dishes are really good.

    I don’t why she did that when we were not going to have an open house. If I were the one cooking, I would measure the exact number of pieces of meat for 4, 4 bowls of soup and so on so that everything would be finished, no need to stuff in the fridge – another thing that she loves doing!

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