Monday, February 11, 2008

Chinese New Year - Day Two

My Dad's dialect is Khek, which means I am also a Khek (in name).

Oddly enough, my brothers and I can speak and understand quite a number of dialects like Hokkien, Teochew and even Cantonese, but not Khek. We have been communicating Hokkien with our grandmother since young, thus can speak Hokkien quite fluently. In fact, we speak more fluent Hokkien than some of our Hokkien friends and colleagues. (*proudly grin) We can also understand teochew since it is somewhat similar with Hokkien. Cantonese was a newly acquired dialect because of TVB show. It helps also being a big Faye Wong fan! I remembered learning pronunciation of Chinese characters one by one in Cantonese as I was learning her songs.

Anyway, I was saying because we are Khek, my mum would make Gnocchi-like "pasta" called 算盘子or Soon Ban in Khek. 算盘子are made with yam. The yam are steamed first and then meshed to mix with glutinous rice flour. The dough would have to be shaped into a dented ball shape before they were steamed to cook. The dough on its own had a light yam taste. They are usually stir-fried with typical Khek ingredients like dried shrimps, black fungus, minced pork and cuttlefish etc.

I don't really know the significant of this dish but somehow we get to eat this at my aunts' house during Chinese New Year. Don't know why, even though we used the same ingredients, theirs always taste more authentic than my mum's...

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