February 10, 2013

Chinese New Year 2013: My First Meal of the Lunar Year of the Black Snake!

Ushering the new Chinese Lunar Year with Vegetarian!

Time flies and its Chinese New Year again with this time the Black Snake reigns supreme. Every new Lunar year, my family feast on vegetarian the first day in honor of family tradition. This is no difference but this year, instead of visiting the eldest family clan, we get to stay home ourselves since the eldest has moved on.

This year, mother-in-law whipped up our vegetarian feast while I contributed my favorite vegetarian mutton rendang. Maybe its just in my blood or maybe I simply adored spicy food but I just adored pieces of mushroom disguised mutton soaked in thick creamy and rich curry with fried potatoes to death! The luscious spiced laden gravy is redolent of lemongrass and spices with the aromatic coconut milk and kaffir lime leaves. For recipe of the vegetarian mutton rendang, click here.

Our family usually combines breakfast and lunch together and here I present my humble vegetarian feast for your eyes.

Chap Chye

A must-have in my in law’s family, it’s a vegetarian treasure pot consisting of cabbage, mushrooms, lily bulb, carrot, rice vermicelli, black fungus, bean curd, dried bean curd stick, gluten puffs and a little fermented bean curd. Despite its crowd, the flavors are light and delicate, making it easier to devour in quantities.

Vegetarian Roast Goose

Not the real McCoy but nevertheless delicious! A classic vegetarian dish, its available at almost every vegetarian place. Thin sheets of bean curd are smeared with a fermented red bean curd mixture with five spice powder and more, its neatly folded into layers before being sun-dried and fried. Crispy and a little sweet, its highly addictive!

Vegetarian Char Siew

It’s another crowd pleaser. Gluten bits glazed with a sweet char siew sauce, are just perfect for those who enjoy chewing dense and floury bits. I love them with white rice.

Corn and Wolfberry Soup

Its fairly simple, sweet corn kernels, wolfberries, button mushroom and vegetarian spare ribs. Wholesome and hearty, the natural sweetness of the corn is clean and delicious. Polishing off a few bowls of this broth is easy.

Vegetarian Mutton Rendang

This year, I sort off did a double batch of this. My first batch failed because it turn sour due to the coconut milk. I had to run off to buy a new batch at the very last minute and restart all over again. Lady luck was on my side as the second batch turns out very well except for a slight overdose of lemongrass. Spicy, creamy and aromatic, the rendang is pungent and heavy with flavors. Nevertheless, I love it with loads of white rice.

Sautéed Kai Lan with Crispy Bits

The crispy bits were supposed to replicate cubes of cholesterol laden lardons but of course it did no justice to the real one. It does give a crunchy texture to the greens.

And that is the episode of the 1st feast of my CNY. We continue to honor vegetarian the whole day and the next day, we will kick off another feast where this round, we will go full speed on a carnivorous feast in every dish! So how was your first feast of this New Year? J

Gong Hei Fatt Choy!