Sunday, February 10, 2008

Chinese New Year – Day One

I decided last minute not to go 拜年. Not that I am that anti-social, but I find it rather embarrassing to still receive Ang Bao from others or to give others the impression that I am there to collect Ang Bao. I remembered very vividly last year at my aunt’s house, one of my married distant cousins asked my brother if I am married, then face sunk when heard that I am not and have to give me an Ang Bao sulky. 好像给红包很委屈他们一样,想能省就省。过年过得这样还有什么意义?Anyway, I was there on my mum’s order to try to do a bit of networking. My intention was obey my mum and not so much to collect Ang Bao.

Since the whole parade thingy has no significant to me, I volunteered to stay at home this year and prepared dinner. My mum had warned me earlier that we cannot clean up using broom, so should just do some simple dishes. In the end, I whipped up quite a number of complex dishes and purposely arranged them nicely to fit the New Year celebratory mood.

Abalone mushroom do not have a strong particular taste, but the texture – springy chewy is somewhat similar to the real abalone, thus the given name. I fried it with garlic oil (mushroom take in quite a bit of oil, be more generous with the oil), then drown them with white wine and braised with some dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and sesame seed oil.

Scallop cooked very fast, especially the small ones, so take care not to overcook them. The tip is to cook them in high heat and fast. To ensure that the sweet peas will cook the same rate as the small scallop, they can be boiled or fry briefly.

I learnt this dish from the Taiwanese cooking show. By right, I should have remove prawn’s shell and coat them with powder before frying them. However, to minimize the greasiness of the kitchen, I only briefly fry them (a mistake). The wasabi mayo sauce was mixed roughly with a third or a quarter part of wasabi (depending on how strong you want the wasabi taste), with one and half part mayo and one part condense milk.

I also use the other half of the prawn to fry them in Chili. I am afraid that the wasabi prawn did not go well with my mum, so have to cook something normal for her. The condiment used are oyster sauce, homemade chili paste, a bit of soy and some sugar.

Dishes looked nice, the aftermath was also quite significant. I had to clean all like mad and by hand!!! So much for New Year celebratory mood...

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