Before I jump into what I had for my Chinese New Year Eve's dinner, I want to share with all of you my Chinese horoscope for 2012 - it is actually really really shitty and goes something like this [with my thoughts inserted in pink]:
"You are prone to losing money, so avoid any gambles or guesses [I don't gamble...whew]. Since you are also prone to accidents and legal troubles, take it easy at work and do drive carefully [it seems like I am prone to many bad things]. Your regular income should remain stable ["should"?]. If you are a surgeon, butcher, soldier or police officer, you will do well [I'm neither of those so guess I won't be doing too well]. Work that involves finance or gambling are not good paths for you [again, I don't gamble]. Only hard work will bring you money. If you want to succeed, put in more effort [I promise I will not be a slacker]. Choose saving over gambling [alright enough with the gambling!]. Quarrels and arguments can be expected, so be patient and keep an open mind [this one may be tough lol]. If you are single, forget marriage this year [Haha CHECK!]. Beware of surgeries [WTF?!]. Your digestive system could bother you [NOOOOOOOOO!]."
Holy crap! Is there anything good for me this year? Should I just write-off 2012 right now? O_o Thank goodness I'm not superstitious or else I would be losing sleep every night over this. So yeah, I will ignore that...completely =P
Sorry I digress...back to food. It is pretty much standard that my Mom will cook a very elaborate meal for the family every Chinese New Year Eve (I blogged about last year's CNY dinner too). She usually starts prepping several days before to make sure everything goes smoothly the night of the dinner.
I got a couple of kitchen shots. Here we have oysters in the deep fryer. Cute fryer, huh? ;)
Roasted pork belly right out of the oven. Crispiest skin EVER! So much crispier than the ones in Chinese restaurants, I guarantee it! Honestly, the best roasted pork belly comes from my Mom's kitchen. Period!
With the five of us - my parents, my brother, my sister-in-law and I - there was plenty of food to go around. It was complete indulgence! ^_^ We had the following dishes:
Lemon Chicken with Shallots and Ginger - This dish is very tangy and appetizing, I especially enjoyed the shallots which soaked up all the sauce. Just so you know, eating a whole chicken during Chinese New Year symbolizes a proper beginning and end to the year (here are a list of dishes that are staple to a Chinese New Year's dinner)
Vegetable Plate - Like I mentioned in my post last year, I really like this veggie dish because it has so many textures and flavours; there are bamboo fungus and shoots, bean curd sticks, tofu, mushrooms, "fat choy" and dried lily flowers. Although it may not look it, I assure you that it is very appetizing =P
Deep Fried Oysters - Thinly battered, hot, crispy and the juicy oysters inside *drools*! Every time my Mom makes these I go crazy....cholesterol level through the roof!
Stewed Chinese Black Mushrooms with Fish Belly and Sea Cucumber - My Mom always uses the biggest and thickest Japanese mushrooms for this dish :) I love fish belly and sea cucumber as they are both very soft and tasty.
Shrimp with Ketchup and Mayonnaise - Taken from the cookbook of Hong Kong Chef Jacky Yu, this is the first time my Mom made this dish. Coated with mixed herbs and a nice sweet sauce, these shrimps were a winner.
Roasted Pork Belly - I saved the best dish for last, even for my blog post! The layer of super crunchy skin, followed by a thin layer of FAT underneath then finally a layer of juicy and moist pork meat...wow...really nobody can resist this!
Glutinous Rice Dumplings with Black Sesame Filling in Rice Wine Soup - My favourite Chinese dessert! Soft and sweet with black sesame filling oozing out of the dumplings....absolutely decadent. This is another "must-eat" item for Chinese New Year as the "stickiness" of the dumplings represents cohesiveness of the family.
Another fantastic meal in the books (or my blog) from my Mom! ^o^ She is incredible...don't you agree? =D