No one’s home…

Last Tuesday was Chap Goh Meh which marked the end of the Chinese Lunar New Year festivities.

My missus asked if I wanted a steamboat dinner that night and I said no. I did not see any point going through all that when there were just the two of us at home. In the end, we just had a simple dinner like on any other day.

I can imagine those old couples with lots of children but either they and their own families are living and working elsewhere in the country or abroad or the girls have got married and have their commitments (among the Chinese, they are considered as having “married out” already) or have moved away as well. No matter what they may say or do, at times like this, I am sure they would feel something when no one’s home.

My girl enjoys a steamboat dinner so I suggested having a belated celebration on Friday evening when we had gone to her school in the jungle to bring her home.

It was our no-meat Friday – yes, we can eat fish and other kinds of seafood and ever since my growing-up years, I have abstained from meat on Fridays. I guess that was some kind of sacrifice but these days, it is not so much the going without meat part but the pinch that one feels when paying for fish, prawns and all kinds of seafood. It is so expensive, a luxury many can ill afford. Incidentally, they have stretched this practice even further these days – you may choose another form of sacrifice like not watching television, not going online, giving up smoking or drinking for the whole day, for instance…but I still choose to follow what I have been doing from young.

That was why we did not have any meat in our steamboat…


…but we had fishballs (own-made bay kar/ikan tenggiri, no less), quail eggs (my girl loves those) and prawns…


– I still have quite a bit left from those that I bought for Chinese New Year and later, my missus threw in a bit of sotong (squid)…


…and these left-over Pacific clams…

Pacific clams

…which sure do not come cheap either nowadays.

The clear soup stock from boiling the prawns and the fishballs got sweeter and sweeter when we were enjoying everything with my missus’ very nice and spicy chili dip…


…and yes, we all enjoyed ourselves very much that evening.

A steamboat dinner with everyone in the family sure is very symbolic. It helps enhance togetherness and unite all the family members as they sit around the pot, talking and eating while at the same time, laughing and enjoying one another’s company, thus creating a natural atmosphere of closeness among all those present.

Author: suituapui

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

7 thoughts on “No one’s home…”

  1. Everything looks great in the steamboat.The broth must be extremely sweet because of the prawn. Nothing will go wrong with prawns. Is it tanghoon in the middle?

    Indeed! Can’t possibly go wrong with prawns! No, we did not have any tanghoon in the house – my girl loves that and I do think it is nicer in steamboat but I was too lazy to go out and buy. I just added some leftover bihun we had from one of those times we cooked Sarawak laksa at home.

  2. A very nice treasure pot there, Arthur! Yes, not so much on the food but a wonderful bonding in the family that is what that counts!

    Indeed! Nothing beats being able to have everyone in the family together!

  3. Seafood steamboat. I like that. Healthier.

    Somehow steamboat is part of our cny tradition. We had been doing it on 2nd day of CNY for few years now, this year no exception. The more the merrier. We invited cousins and uncle and family of hubby to join us with my in-law and bro-in-law and family to our steamboat.

    That is so very nice, everybody together, the more the merrier. In my younger days, we would have it in my extended maternal family on New Year’s Eve – 31st December, everyone would come from near and far to join. These days, we have it in my own family on Chap Goh Meh but this year, we had it a little later.

  4. Steamboat can be a lot fun. Now they have restaurants where you have your own individual pot.

    Yes, we have those here but no, we do not get very good superior quality ingredients, mostly frozen stuff from the supermarkets, the ones here, that is – nothing like having our own at home.

  5. Wow! The steamboat does look good, I am drooling at the prawns. However, my mom is not into steamboat, she prefers to cook a few dishes and serves with rice and soup.

    I love anything in clear soup, refreshing…and steamboat is symbolic, the togetherness in the cooking and eating together.

  6. Wow! The steamboat does look good, I am drooling at the prawns. However, my mom is not into steamboat, she prefers to cook a few dishes and serve with rice and a pot of soup.

    Oopsss!!! Duplicate comment!

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: