CNY cooking

Chinese New Year falls on 14 February this year. For the Chinese, I suspect it’s just an excuse to eat yourself silly and stay up all night watching the fireworks. Since fireworks weren’t an option, we opted for eat-yourself-silly.

On the menu was four mains and one dessert. The mains were:

  • Cantonese-style steamed fish
  • Stir fried beef with vegetables in black bean sauce
  • Salt and pepper pork
  • White cut chicken with special dipping sauce.

I made the dessert earlier in the day – Portuguese tarts! No, not in the literal sense. These are the ones you usually see in yum cha restaurants – otherwise known as egg tarts. They were a winner with the boys.

I stupidly forgot to take pictures of the fish and the beef but here are the other two:

Salt and pepper pork is a Chinese restaurant staple, it was also the bane of my existence until I actually managed to make it properly this time. I could never get the coating right, but ended up using a combination of pre-packaged Indonesian coating for fried chicken and corn flour. The result was spectacular.

The white cut chicken was another proud moment. Mainly because I bought a 1.7kg chicken not realising that I didn’t have a large enough pot to cook it in. So I had to turn the chicken in the pot (with tongs AND chopsticks) once every 15 minutes or so until it was cooked on both sides. Painful. But it cooked beautifully in the end. The special dipping sauce was made of a variety of fail-safe ingredients – chicken stock, light soy sauce, minced garlic, ginger and shallots, plus sesame oil and a little bit of sugar. The chicken was cut up (another great feat, I have never in my life dissected a whole chicken) and chilled in the fridge for an hour before serving. It received lots of kudos from my guinea pigs.

Happy Chinese New Year!

Roberto Cavalli

Loving this Roberto Cavalli crystal bracelet

Quick someone get it so I don’t get tempted!

The first bite

I have never seen anyone eat that much pizza in one sitting.

Eight, or maybe nine slices – thick and thin bases, meat and vegetable toppings, tomato and BBQ sauces. Devoured in minutes. Gooey, cheesy, meaty goodness.

I glanced at Dad and satisfactorily wiped my mouth.

Was that a lot? I’ve eaten our $6.95 worth haven’t I?

They will probably get rid off the all-you-can-eat deal for people like you!

At 10, this was the first time I’ve ever had pizza.

Years later, Pizza Hut really stopped the fantastic deal, but not before they raised the price several folds. I never had a $6.95 pizza buffet ever again.

I never had such awesome pizzas ever again. Not Domino’s pizzas, frozen pizzas, restaurant pizzas or even homemade pizzas.

Not since that first bite!

On how some things just go back to the way they were

At 2, pretending the spoon was a plane and my mouth was a cave, I ate everything that was spoon-fed to me by my parents.

At 15, irritated and adamant to lose all that baby fat, I was picky about anything that my parents cooked.

At 20, becoming gradually weary of the family’s restaurant food, I almost always ate out.

At 26, not wanting to disappoint mum on the rare occasions that I visit them, I eat everything that is put in front of me.

Some things just go back to the way they always were.