Thursday, February 19, 2015

Happy Lunar New Year: reunion dinner'15 (recipes included)

Hello everyone! Happy Chinese New Year to everyone! :)

How was your reunion dinner? Whether you have dined out or cooked in like mine, I hope it was a great one for you! Personally, reunion dinner is never about the food on the table, it's the feeling of love. :) 

Anyway, I don't think my family has ever dined out on our reunion dinner. It has always been a homely affair. We never like to be out to squeeze with the crowd. :P 

Since last year, I've taken over the task of cooking our yearly reunion dinner. And this year, I've the brother to join me in the cooking! 

1. Pineapple fried rice 黄梨炒饭 

Fried rice is like my brother's signature dish and to prepare for this pineapple fried rice, he actually did 2 rounds of testing before coming up with this perfect one. 

Oh, take a look at the way he crafted the pineapple!! Zomg. 

Main ingredients. 

Freshly squeezed pineapple juice. 

He cooked the rice a day before and the rice was cooked with purely pineapple juice and sweetened with raisins! 

So, I've revealed his secret here. :P 

Do try this method of making pineapple rice for a super flavourful one! ^^

2. Pan fried dumplings 香煎水饺

The filling was made of pork belly (skin removed) instead of the usual minced meat. Definitely tasted much better! But also more tedious to do. 

His first time making dumpling. 

This was made during one of the dish-testing night. So professional right, my brother. Heh. 

Also from that night, with the leftover filling, he made this meat omelette inspired from orh jian! 

3. Money bag popiah 春卷

I made the popiah filling for him. 

While he did the folding and shaping.

These were made a week before the dinner and we freeze them after making.  :) 

Test batch. 

My bro is single and available. 

4. Pan fried pork patty 香煎肉饼

So this is how you make your own meat patty (or meat filing for dumpling). Followed by using a food mixer to chop up the meat. I told you it is a tedious process! Haha! 

Must add some water chestnuts for extra crunch! :)

Pan-fried to perfection. 

Remember to let the patty rest for 10 minutes before serving. This will allow the juices of the meat to be locked within. 

My bro crafted this swam from an apple. Wow. 

For plating. 

5. Pork ribs soup w lotus roots and peanuts 花生莲藕排骨汤

Also cooked by my brother and this made into the top 3 dishes of the night for me. So flavourful~ 

Ok. So this are the 5 dishes that my bro has contributed for the reunion dinner. Now, leave your contact number if you're interested in this 23, going 24 years old chap. :P 

6. Steam promfret 清蒸白鲳鱼

This was prepared by mummy so plating is zero. 


But it was jackpot with the flavour! I love promfret when steamed! 

7. Miso seafood 味噌海鲜

This has to be made by me because only I will cook anything with miso in the family. Haha! 

8. Yu Sheng 鱼生

A must-have on every CNY! In fact my 6th already. Haha! 


9. Pen Cai 盆菜

The highlight of the dinner. :) 

Although this is my third time making pen cai, this is the first time that I'm making it properly with layering. 

Will be sharing the recipe of my pen cai below. :) 

The main ingredients I've used. 

My pen cai has 3 layers basically. 

Bottom: vegetables
Middle: meat
Top: seafood (premium)

Of course we work our way up. :) 

Stir fry the vegetables first. 

My vege include:
-napa cabbage 
-lotus roots
-deep fried beancurd skin (ok, not vege)

Then lay them at the bottom of a claypot. 

In case you're wondering what sauce do I use for my stir frying. I use Lee Kum Kee's oyster sauce only. I grow up eating LKL's oyster sauce so the family kinda got use to this taste. I never believe in adding so many different types of condiment as well. You just need one good one. :) 

Middle layer: siew bak, braised pork ribs ans pork tendon. I just stir fried them with premium dark soy sauce! :) 

Then layer them on top of the vegetables! :)

The premium layer includes:
-sea cucumber
-tiger prawns
-sliced fish

I've also added mushroom, broccoli and carrot for colours. :)

I stir fried the prawns, sea cucumber, mushroom and fish with dark soy sauce. 

Abalone was being steamed before using. Oh ya! Don't throw away the juice in the can please. it will be perfect to add into the pen cai! 

Scallops, broccoli and carrots were being blanched in hot water. 

After getting all the ingredients ready, you'll just have to arrange them nicely in the claypot! :)

Honestly, the outcome was much better than what I've expected. *phew*

So you see, there is definitely no rocket science in making this pen cai! Just some time and patient. :) 


Also, special thanks to Phyllis from PAVO Hair Salon for helping me to do my hair in time for CNY! 

Quote my name "lirong" with her to get 15% off her service! :) 

Will I make this again next year?

Surely, I will! ^^

Once again, Happy Goat Year everyone! <3


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