Posts tagged Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year Festive Spirit Is In The Air


Dear friends, 😀

Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, which falls on 07 February, 2008, is in the air! Everwhere we go, we see Chinese shops stocked full with red decorations for the house to usher in the new year such as lanterns, couplets (a pair of auspicious Chinese sayings on red paper to be pasted at the main door), clothings, shoes, handbags, etc. Red symbolises luck, prosperity, festivities, joy, vibrant energies and joy.


At this time of the year when China is waiting to greet spring, locally in Malaysia we see a lot of yummy foodstuff that are imported from China only such as Chinese sausages, waxed duck drumsticks, waxed meats, boxes and boxes of mandarin oranges, dried abalone, mushrooms, candies, cookies, etc.


Imported Chinese Sausages

Even plants sold now symbolise the festivities of Chinese New Year – plant nurseries and florists are full of auspicious lime trees (lime in Cantonese is “kat”, which also sounds and means “auspicious or luck”) for us to buy a pot or two to bring home and placed in front of our main door. Many cuttings of pussy willows still in buds are displayed for sale and there will be many buyers bringing them home with the hope that the buds will bloom into flowers or leaves will grow as this symbolises prosperity for the whole year.


Potted Lime Plants

Almost everything that we do from now to welcome the Chinese New Year will be very steeped in meaningful traditions that are meant to bring in auspiciousness and good fortune to the family.

Soon, I will choose a good date to do the springcleaning of my home with my family. Practically, every nook and corner, floor to ceiling, cupboards and drawers will be decluttered, wipe clean and rearranged – so that the stagnant chi or energy will be released, old chi will be replaced by new chi. The altar is the most important aspect of the springcleaning and after the cleaning is done, offerings of fruits and sweets are made to the deities and family ancestors with prayers thanksgiving for the past year and good wishes for the coming new year.

Then comes the shopping – for new clothes, new things for the house like Chinese New Year decorations, some furnishings, crockery (chipped one are thrown away as they represent bad chi, and replaced with new ones), and even a set of new chopsticks. Again, here new things symbolise new chi/energy. Groceries, toiletries and the fridges are all stocked up to make sure nothing is lacking, as this signifies abundance and auspiciousness.


Some examples of festive Chinese dishes

At this time of the year, there will be all sorts of cookies and the traditional Chinese New Year cookies are necessary such as love letters, kueh kapit, pineapple tarts, etc. Of course, there will also be many festive dishes with auspicious sounding names being prepared for the Reunion Dinner on Chinese New Year Eve. So, I need to plan for the special dinner menu which will usually comprise dishes, and therefore, I will need togo shopping at the wet market a few days earlier. I will usually spend the whole day in the kitchen, while the rest of of my family will chip in to give the house one last cleaning. Even our cars are sent to the car wash.

I will post some festive Chinese New Year recipes soon and of course, take a picture of my Reunion Dinner as well as provide you with those recipes.

Good night and sweet dreams from KL!

Gong Xi Fa Cai (Wishes For Prosperity And Luck in Mandarin language),

choesf 😀


Comments (5) »

Easy Chinese Sweet & Sour Pork (or Fish or Chicken)

Good Morning, dear friends 😀

This dish is a great favourite among many and in my family because of the sweet and sour taste that whets one’s appetite. We will have extra helpings of rice whenever we savour this delicious, yummy dish. 😉 There are sweet and sour pork (picture above) or chicken or fish, but the cooking method and the sauce are the same. Just change the meat. My friend’s Swedish boyfriend must have Sweet & Sour Pork almost on a daily basis whenever he is in KL! 😆

Sweet & Sour Fish (or Pork or Chicken)

Ingredients :

* 500g whole Garoupa fish or Sea Bass – season lightly with salt and pepper; dust lightly with tapioca flour or corn starch. Set aside.
( Note – if using pork of chicken, 500g of meat to be cubed and marinated with 1 small egg, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 pepper and 3 tbsps corn starch. Set aside for at least 1 hour, but it tastes better the longer you marinate it. Set aside)

Ingredients (A):

* 50g green capsicum, cut into cubes

* 1 red chilli, seeded and cut into cubes

* 1 tomato, cubed

* Some canned pineapple cubes

* 1 large onion – cut into cubes

* 1 cup cubed deseeded cucumber

Sauce ingredients:

* 2 cloves garlic, chopped

* 4 tbsp tomato sauce

* 2 tbsps white vinegar

* 2 tbsps soy sauce

* 1/2 cup pineapple syrup (from the can)

* 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper

* 1/2 cup water

* Cornstarch & water for thickening sauce


* Spring onion/Green onion

* Chilli strips

* Coriander leaves

Method :

1) Deep fry meat in hot oil. Dish out, drain well and set aside in a serving dish.

2) Heat wok with oil, saute chopped garlic and cubed big onions for 2 minutes.

3) Add in sauce ingredients (except cornstarch) and bring to a boil.

4) Add in the rest of the ingredients A and simmer for 2 minutes. Thicken gravy with cornstarch.

5) Pour sauce over meat and garnish before serving.

There you have it – your very own home-cooked delicious Sweet & Sour Fish or Pork or Chicken. Serve this with steaming hot rice, and your favourite vegetable dish….. maybe even a soup. Oh, you can add more or less vinegar or tomato sauce dependind on your taste preference. And if you prefer boneless fish,, you can used cubed fish fillet. 😉

Later I will post some nutritional soups recipes here. 😀

Hearty Appetites to all,

choesf 😀

Comments (19) »


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