Saturday, 19 February 2011

Chinese New Year Away From Home

Chinese New Year.

The Chinese new year falls on a different date every year as the Chinese follow the Lunar calender, which runs on a different cycle from the calender that we know and use.

As mentioned on previous post, Chinese New Year lasts for 15 days and part of the celebration is feasting!

It is also tradition that family members travel from different places to go home and have a meal the evening before the first day of Chinese New Year.

Although this year a few friends and I stayed back in the UK, we still kept the tradition and feasted!

30th January 2011: We had an early 'evening before Chinese New Year' meal as everyone had to work during the week. We went to a huge 'cash & carry' in Cardiff in the afternoon to buy ingredients for a steamboat in the evening.The ingredients were cooked in homemade 'white radish, pork ribs and chinese cabbage' soup. It was truly wonderful to share nice food with good friends!

Table full of food!
Squids and Prawns
Tofu and fishcakes
Beef slices
9th February (the 7th day)

We had the lovely seafood hotpot made by my housemate. Fresh seafood including langoustine, prawns and mussels were added into the pot, then tofu, crabsticks, mushrooms and vegetables were added. The whole pot was shimmered in water and seasoning. The end product - a very tasty and delicious pot of dish! The broth  was incredibly sweet and the seafood so fresh that the entire pot tastes like the sea!

Seafood Hotpot - by AT

12th February (10th day)

I decided to make my first attempt at cooking the 'cold sliced chicken' as shown in previous post. Very delicious juicy chicken served with tasty chicken rice and fragrant homemade sauce.

Chicken slices with chicken rice
Fragrant sauce on chicken slice

13th February (11th day)

Chinese never put food to waste (almost never). As me and my housemate (AT) could not finish the whole chicken. The left over was stir-fried with some chinese leeks, chopped garlic and seasoning. A very tasty dish with sweetness and saltiness from the soya sauce, fragrance from the chicken fat and some flavour from the chinese leek!

We also had the stir-fry chinese leek with eggs. My housemate said that it was good for the digestive system therefore the dish was really appropriate after we had many heavy meals the last few days!

And of course, these wonderful dishes has to be served with nice and fragrant chinese sausage rice. YUMMY!

Stirfry chicken slices - by AT
Chinese leek and egg - by AT
Chinese sausage rice - by AT

15th February (13th day)

My housemate's very first attempt at these dishes normally served during Chinese New Year.

The pancake-looking dish is made of many layers of soaked then fried 'dried beancurd sheets' and plum sauce. Each layer of bean curd sheets was very crispy and yet soft as the beancurd sheets were soaked before being fried. The sweet and sour taste to the plum sauce just made the dish absolutely mouth-watering!

The other dish was stirfry black+white fungus, marinated pork pieces and glass vermicelli. A very tasty dish as all the different ingredients have very different and distinct textures and they absorb flavours very well.

Dried beancurd with plum sauce - by AT
Black+white fungus, pork and glass vermicelli

We are almost coming to the end of our marathon feasting!

16th February (14th day)

Steamed seabream with chinese pickled vegetable, tomatoes and mushrooms.

The sweetness from the tomatoes and the sourness from the pickled vegetables just increases one's appetite! The seabream was very fresh and its meat has a very full-body texture.

A very healthy dish after the long long feasting marathon but still a very delicious dish!

Steamed seabream - by AT

Last but not least, a box of Ferrero Rocher we found while shopping. Are we preparing ahead for Easter or is this really a special edition box for the 'year of the rabbit'?

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