Happy Chinese New Year! This place has been deserted for a while because there are so many things to do yet there is so little time. Anyway, I hereby wish you all a happy and blessing rabbit year.
As for this year, I spent my first 3 days of CNY in my childhood kampung, another 3 days in Penang and 1 day in Melaka for a stopover. I took almost all the food photos in my kampung as my brother was also busy taking them, so it was less disruptive for the family dinner. But in Penang, I dare not ask the seniors to wait for me and start eating after my turn, so there were only a few photos for Penang. As for Melaka, we reached there after a few jams along the highway, it was tiring, I managed to take only the Melaka rice ball (which was disappointing as we tried the newly-renovated one, not the original one).
CNY eve: I cooked this for lunch, Hong Kong style steamed fish, stir-fried vegetables and my father contributed lotus root with roasted pork bone soup (which I forgot to take!). He bought the bone (leftover) from the uncle who sells roasted pork in my kampung so he got a lot of them for the soup, it really added flavours to the soup. I used to have this kind of soup but had slowly forgotten the taste since I moved to Singapore, until now. It was my childhood flavour.
For the Reunion dinner, it was Hakka style. I cooked vegetables with abalone, CY stir-fried vegetables, my father ordered Hakka deep-fried pork, Hakka braised pork with yam and dark sweet sauce and oyster and fish paste wrapped in thin sheet of pork fatback 猪网油.
This was a delicacy in my hometown. Using thin sheet of fatback, it wraps meat or fillings pretty well and then steam until done. When CY first tasted it years ago, he said that he had nothing tasted like that before. To me, it was mummy flavours because my mum used to cook this for reunion dinner.
I still don't know how to cook this, so sad. :( But this is also unique in my kampung too， Hakka braised pork with sliced yam in dark sweet sauce 扣肉, quite common, almost all family knows how to make their own 扣肉。Yam need to be cooked slowly until soft, with some pork fat rendered from the pork, it tastes sweet but savoury, fragrant, smooth, all Hakka 扣肉demands these consistency. I think there is one Hakka restaurant in Thomson that can make this but yet to have chance to visit there (too far for me).
We couldn't eat much so we had porridge. I cooked the mushroom, the rest of the vegetable were all stir-fried by CY.
We had steamed fish too. Cooked by the maid when we went out to do some visiting, but as you can see, it was a big fish cut into half, how could it be possible to steam evenly? So it was uncooked initially, then re-steam again, haizzzz.....This was such a good piece of fish, from my uncle's pond which didn't have smelly taste, but....
Surprise! I thought of steaming prawns for the family, but then, my father wanted to use the rice wine made by my mother before she had a stroke 3 years ago. So we had drunken prawn with mum-made rice wine. We still have a dozen of rice wine left under the bed. This rice wine, we called it 黄酒. The wine ages in the airtight bottle, colour darken while still remain yellowish and develops a sherry-like sweet flavour. They were my mum's gifts for the children.
Click here for how to make your own rice wine.