Happy “Niu” Year 2009

Lion Dance troupe by a Middle School in my hometown, Miri.

Halfway through the CNY celebrations now and celebrated the 7th day, or more commonly known as “Ren Ri” (人日), everyone’s birthday by eating luicha, as per our family’s custom. And that has prompted me to post about our family’s traditional reunion dinner dishes. My maternal grandmother handles most of the cooking, with me and an aunt being kitchen helpers. Sure learnt a lot in the preparation works.

We usually have a soup, with pig’s stomach and fish maw. And other ingredients such as kampung chicken, chinese cabbage, meat balls etc. Very tasty indeed.

Of course we must have a fish dish as per the “nian nian you yu” (年年有余) phrase. Afterall, the fish signifies abundance, and this year it was a steamed pomfret. Simply done with a bit of ginger, shallots and chilli, it was very fresh and yummy.

A stir fried vegetables dish is a must. Normally we add in sea cucumbers or canned abalone for that extra oomph. Hehe.

My personal favourite is however the hou si fatt choy (Braised dried oysters with black moss) which my grandmother only makes upon special request. Forgot to mention it to her though this year but am quite pleased with whatever we got.

My grandmother never fails to make this Hakka dish of Braised Pork with Yam (芋头扣肉) in which slices of pork is sandwiched between slices of yam. To ensure the tastiness of the dish, she even plants her own yam plants months in advance!

Deep fried Minced Meat Rolls (春卷) which is said to symbolise gold bars! Haha, whatever it is, it tastes real good with the mixture of minced pork, prawns, water chestnuts etc.

Instead of Roasted/Steamed Chicken, we move one notch up and serve Roasted Duck. I guess we opt for duck because we rarely eat it on other days and it feels somewhat celebratory in nature.

Last but not least, we have this noodle dish that only made its appearance this year. My aunt decided to combine 3 auspicious ingredients – Prawns (Ha in Cantonese) symbolising happiness, mussels (or Hao in Mandarin) symbolising “good” and noodles for longetivity. More of a fusion dish, but still quite well-received by the elders. In fact, my grandfather had second helpings!

Not part of the of the reunion dinner, but instead this mee sua (福州鸡酒面线) is usually taken for breakfast on the first day of CNY. My dad normally cooks this, as it’s his specialty. He has recently substituted the Chinese dried mushrooms with cloud ear fungus which is tasteless and doesn’t interfere with the original taste of the wine soup, yet gives better texture and health benefits!

Well, only about a week left till we feast again on Chap Goh Meh to end the festivities. Until then, hope you all are enjoying the festive season with your loved ones! I am! Esp. with the long break until I am back at work again… hehe.



  1. J2Kfm said

    wat?! even Chap Goh Meh got feast ah?
    envy lah … nowadays family choose to eat out instead.

    epicuriousgirl says: haha, we tried the eating out deal last year and food quality was not worth the price tag so my grandmother/aunt decided to make their own so ya… feasting on. hehe. 🙂

  2. Feast on!! I don’t think we ought to stop at Chap Goh Meh! The pork & yam dish is a staple in my family too. I ought to try get that fusion noodle dish instituted… wayyyy more interesting that fried beehoon!

    epicuriousgirl says: haha, any reason to feast is a good reason. 😉 ah, your family Hakka?

  3. it’s great to be CHINESE! 😀

    epicuriousgirl says: haha, you got that right! 😉

  4. headsteadi said

    all the foods look delicious. the way you describe them drools me. i’m hungryyyyy

    epicuriousgirl says: hopefully you’ll get to try similar dishes one day.. 🙂

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