February 14, 2010

Chinese New Year in Miri 9 : New Year Eve Dinner

I must say every year my Chinese New Year is special.

This year eight of us sat down for a very relaxing dinner with good conversation and laughter. My pine wood table was overflowing indeed with food which I leisurely prepared and cooked throughout the day. No stress dinner. That's really nice. As I was preparing my various dishes I was thinking of what would other Chinese mothers were doing?

A 3 kg slice of belly pork (marinated with sea salt  for several hours) popped into the oven for three hours  from 4:00 p.m. and out came crispy and juicy pork at 7 p.m.. Easy peasy Jamie Oliver would say.

Broccoli and cucumber served with pacific clams and two kinds of fresh mushrooms. Excellent dish which takes only minutes to prepare. Use only garlic as aromatic. And use a bit of sesame oil. It took only half an hour.

This is the Iban golden terong or aubergine roasted to perfection over an open fire in its own skin.

Drunken chicken prepared and cooked in the morning and put into the freezer for about 6 hours until it is time to serve. The slow thawing on the table makes the chicken tender and very delicate in taste. (A Shanghainese recipe). The exquisite Xiao Xing wine also creates a special aroma. I always believe that this wine makes Chinese dining very merry. And of course a little extra of it can cover any flaws of the chef!! (Smile)

This is my special Foochow Rice Vermicelli cooked with thin slices of Chinese sausages and minced pork with a large portion of pounded dried prawns. The greens come from cangkok manis. Crispy pork fat (yew char)adds to the taste. It may sound sinfully high in cholesterol but it is fragrant and very delectable and is a true enhancer of taste and texture. Rice was also served to those who MUST have rice. I always have to make sure that I have white rice cooked especially in Sarawak.

Steamed ikan mengalan with plum sauce and lily bulb and drenched with generous xiao xing wine. This fish is very sweet and the bones come off easily. When the first guest arrives pop this into a steam which is already steaming hot . Twenty minutes will be enough to cook this wonderful river fish.

A salad of onions and ikan bilis with a very large amount of garden fresh lime juice. Add lots of chillie to this  dish and you have a winner....Preparation time - 10 minutes.

The beautiful pink Fatt Kow to symbolise Wealth for the New Year and promotion...They were for desserts together with slices of Sarawak layer cakes and Mandarin Oranges. I got them at the Central Market .

I bought one of this too. Specially steamed in a plastic container and easily carried.

Felix (my friend's son is back from Perth)is seen taking care of a large array of drinks for the evening. We had a bottle of Reisling fresh from Moselle Valley given by Valentina. Besides we had quite an international selection : Taylor's Port. San Miguel. Irish Stout. Black Guiness and Ballantine's. A few bottles of red wine were being passed around.(Tip: I must always remember that  it is good to have a nice person to be in charge of drinks while you savour the good conversation or get carried away by the jokes....)

My happy guests from Sg. Brit (we used to say Brit is short for Britain): Felix and his mother Teresa. Valentina is home from Saudi for a short break. I was trying to get them to say "Waikiki" to show their gigi for the camera....All of them have natural 8 pearls when they smile.

The warm and hearty evening meal ended well just before mid-night. In the neighbourhood fire crackers started to punctuate the otherwise quiet air.  We closed all windows and switched on more air conditioners to stop the strong sulphur laden air from filtering into the house.

Food is always better when shared with good friends.

Joy is having friends seated at your table and having a feast.....

Joy is sharing stories and good memories.....


wenn said...

wow, that's fun, enjoying food together! happy CNY!

Ann said...

Iban golden terong or aubergine roasted is new to me. My parents used to grow the what we called Iban egg plant. Is it the same.

ARRR!!!!!! CY, you make me cry. I am ashamed to admit that I bought my son pizza for CNY.

The husband is overseas, the number one daughter is in Singapore, the second daughter is away. so just the two of us, we become yellow bananas.

arani said...

that is an amazing looking dinner...you're getting better and better each time!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Thanks for visiting. I am sure you have been busy as mother and wife!!

Enjoy the special occasion.

good food shared is joy!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Ann
Yeah if only two of you...pizza is fine. And CNY is not really an Auckland thingy!!

Don't worry. Golden aubergine is Iban terong...just a newer and more PC name. Harrods (London) sold them too alongside durian several times I went there.

And in JB these golden aubergines are popular now.

They are great with asam fish. I like it in my "bones" soup with tomatoes.

Sarawakiana@2 said...


The drinks they brought enhanced the dinner and well with no one to help me I have to improvise ...easy cooking and intelligent methods.

Fresh food tastes good. And garnishing helps too.

Wish you can have a share of the food too.


Anonymous said...

Happy Chinese New Year Cikgu.....

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Kay
Back in kampong or in town?

Have a good rest.

Thanks for visiting.

Bengbeng said...

omg that is a stunning dinner. this yr there were only mrs, me and bh so we only had a very simple dinner.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Bengbeng

Great of you to visit here.

It is good to have just family for CNY. As I have said all of us have different kinds of CNY and each one would be different and special in its own ways to be remembered in the future.


Anonymous said...

Next time you in Sibu,we meet.I do not like classical music.Today so many people come to my house.Your house also?


Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Benghui
Nice of you to visit me. This is like cyber-visiting for me.

Yes I would like to meet you in Sibu but I don't have your telephone number and address....I like zigsaw puzzles and I do 1000 pieces in two or three days. This is very good for the eye and brains.

It is nice to have lots of people visiting you. That should cheer you up!

Anonymous said...

Auntie Sarawakiana,

Uncle Philip has.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ok Benghui....(always sign your name at the bottom...) I will ask Uncle Philip then...but he is often not in Sibu when I visit....I will email him if your dad says so....

Free Bird said...

I've been missing chinese new year more than I like.

looks like you had a blast at the dinner and i can smell your cooking from here.

Happy Chinese New Year.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Free Bird

It was a good and relaxing dinner. You certainly has missed one good dinner. It was very well planned and no sweating at all. Different styles of cooking and from different burners...so no rush.

The guests were fabulous and we sat down until 11;30!! After that we listened to the surrounding fire crackers at midnight.

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