Monday, February 22, 2010

Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner

Yes, yet another overdue post, but little delayed but better late than never.

Every lunar New Year eve, my parents wake up at 7 a.m. and start preparing dinner. You read it right, not breakfast, not lunch but dinner. This special occasion is commonly known in Cantonese as “chuin yuin fan”, which means reunion dinner and is the biggest event that happens in my parent’s home. Every year, there would be too much food for the 4 of them (or 5 of us, if I make it home) but according to mom, leftovers from the reunion dinner is very auspicious because we are bringing in the new year with plenty of good food and also means that we won't starve for the rest of the year. I don't know how true that is but cooking and eating mounts of food has always been great fun to me!

Here is the menu for this year’s reunion dinner.

1. Chow Tung Fun (dad’s specialty)
2. Dung Ku Pau Yu (braised mushroom and abalone)
3. Kai Lan Fa & Scallops (steamed broccoli and scallops)
4. Steam Pomfret
5. Hou See, Pai Kuat, Fatt Choy (braised pork ribs with oysters)
6. Gai Keok (braised chicken feet)
8. She-Chap Tiger Prawns
9. Sweet & Sour Dolly Fish
10. Pak Cham Gai (steam whole chicken)
11. Lap Cheong, Lap Ngap, Nga Ku (Chinese sausage and arrowroots)
12. Lotus Root Soup
13.Curry Chicken
14. Laichi and Longan (for dessert)

Sauces used for CNY cooking
The many sauces used.

Lou Hei
Lou hei dish

Lou Hei!
Lou hei!

 She-Chap Tiger Prawns
She-Chap Tiger Prawns

Steamed chicken
Steamed chicken

Dad's infamous dish: Tung Fun
Dad's infamous dish: Chow Tung Fun

Chinese sausages
Lap Cheong, Lap Ngap, Nga Ku (Chinese sausage and arrowroots)

PT Maids
Dad, mom and bro with his employees.

I’d like to share all of these recipes with you but unfortunately, I only had time to pick on dad’s brains for one recipe. This is a simple but delicious dish.

Dung Gu Pau Yu (braised mushroom and abalone) feed 4

1 can of abalone
8 med-size dried shitake mushrooms
A bunch of baby bak choy, slice in two
1 tbls oyster sauce
1 tsp chicken stock
1 tsp corn flour
2 tsp water (to mix into corn flour)

* Soak mushroom in water until soft, about 30 minutes.
* In a small pot, fill pot with water until half-full and bring to a boil.
* Drain water and squeeze the mushrooms to release excess water.
* Cut and discard mushroom stems.
* Add mushrooms into boiling water.
* In the same pot, add chicken stock, oyster sauce and let simmer until about quarter of the liquid is left.
* Add liquid (only liquid!) from canned abalone.
* Let simmer for a couple more minutes to allow mushrooms to soak up all the yummy juice.
* Remove mushroom from pot, and set pot aside because we need the liquid for the sauce.

* On a separate pot, boil water and add some salt and a bit of oil.
* Blanch bak choy until slightly cooked (should be lesser than 30 seconds, do not overcook!)
* Remove abalone from can and slice into thin slices.
* Arrange bak choy, mushroom and sliced abalone on a plate.

* Bring liquid from the first pot to a boil.
* Add salt or sugar to taste.
* In high heat, add corn flour and water mixture to thicken sauce.
* Pour sauce over cooked ingredients on plate.
* Serve immediately.

Abalone & Mushrooms
Abalone & Mushrooms

1 comment:

Jane Kaylor said...

Thanks for the recipe!!! Love it. Fresh or frozen local abalone is cheaper but will never give the same taste, flavor and texture as canned abalone. I love the flavor and taste of canned abalone and one day I want to eat abalone like 'abalone kings' do: braised in sauce and served whole, like a steak, washed down with a good white wine. Cut with a knife and fork of course. Meantime, it's still cheaper to slice abalone thinly and share with the family. I love this dish. It's such a special treat.