Chinese New Year 2011

Another year in the Chinese calendar has gone by – again, where did the year go?

2011 is the year of the rabbit – a placid year after the ferocious year of the Tiger. I read that people born in the year of the rabbit are reasonably friendly individuals who enjoy the company of a group of good friends.They are kind, loving people and dislike any hostile act. I tend to pick and choose what I read about Chinese astrology, or any astrology for that matter.

Anyway, enough of the astrology, last year ‘The Mother’ and I were in Hong Kong, we had a reasonably quiet CNY eve. No dinners with the family, I think we went to the flower market and had dinner together. I managed to write the Do’s and Dont’s for CNY. This year, I cleaned the house, made some mango pudding and went to my parents place to celebrate what my Mum believes as one of the most important events of the year. It is a time when the family gets together in order to give thanks for the year that has past, and to reinvigorate ourselves for the coming year.

As per usual, Mum cooked up a storm – eight different types of dishes, eight being the number for good luck! Mum made all my favourite dishes, no guessing what they were, pork balls, pork belly and pork knuckles – my goodness! The recipe has been passed down from generation to generation (stopped at my mother as I have yet to learn how to make this traditional dish!)

Braised pork belly with mushrooms were absolutely divine! I am a tad bias here, but it is the BEST pork belly ever! Tender with a slither of fat, my goodness, unbelievable! Eaten with man tao (chinese steamed buns) – perfect!

Pork knuckle is also another favourite of mine – succulent, juicy and melt in your mouth – WOW! Bad for the cholesterol, but totally scrumptious!

Unfortunately, I didn’t take photos of each individual dish – which is very unusual for me. However, below is a photo of the marvelous feast that Mum and my sister-in-law, O, made.

Steamed fish which in chinese is ‘yu’ sounds like the words for wish and abundance. So having the fish symbolizes a wish for abundance in the coming year.

The shark fin soup – a favourite dish of mine. O made this, a little different to mum’s but it was absolutely superb! A sign of wealth and fortune, so more for me!

The noodles,which represent longevity and long life was magnificent.

O also made these wonderful prawns! We needed a bit of colour, a bit of red, and these prawns were it! Red being the colour for happiness so these delicious prawns symbolises joy.

Last but not least, bakso goreng – deep fried pork balls (yes – Mum certainly knows how much I love pork!) were unreal. I couldn’t help but eat five prior to dinner, I can’t remember how many I managed  to eat.

My contribution to the feast – mango pudding, recipe adapted from food safari.


  • 1 cup water
  • 6 tsp powdered gelatine
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 litre soft mango ice cream
  • 75ml evaporated milk
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 1 large mango, peeled seeded and diced


  • Remove ice cream an hour before starting to allow it to soften.
  • Boil some water and place in a bowl – mix sugar and gelatine together. Stir until all is dissolved and thick and syrupy.
  • Pour into a large bowl and add mango ice cream and stir until smooth.
  • Add evaporated milk, crushed ice and diced mango pieces and stir together.
  • Pour mixture into individual serving glasses or bowls.
  • Chill in the refrigerator until set, at least two hours.

Unfortunately, I was too full to eat any desserts. I could not move! ‘The Mother’ had to carry me back to the car. The other diners had some and thought it was wonderful. I did leave one at home, and will have it later for dessert.

It was a wonderful evening spent with family. I even got some ang pao (red packets) from Mum! I guess you are never too old to receive them!

To my dear friends and family, Xin Nian Kuai Le! All the best in 2011 – Wishing you all the happiness, good times, and good fortunes to cherish forever! Here’s to 2011!

  1. February 2, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    I thought when you got married you stopped receiving red envelopes and had to start giving them?

    • February 2, 2011 at 11:35 pm

      thats what i thought too but then mum gave us one! i stopped giving one to my brother though – cause he is married! hahahaha

  2. February 3, 2011 at 12:13 am

    This is EPIC, we didn’t have the pork hock dish this year sadly. Was replaced by abalone, chinese mushroom, sea cucumber and some kinda black moss thing!

    • February 3, 2011 at 3:04 am

      it was indeed EPIC! aim for next year – to learn how to make it and not just eat it!

  3. February 3, 2011 at 4:24 am

    WWOWWW bakso gorengggg. recipe pleaseeee
    Gung hei fat choyyy…may the rabbit bring you all the besttttt!

    • February 3, 2011 at 5:19 am

      gung hei fat choyy to you too dear friend! will post recipe soon! all the best in 2011!

  4. February 3, 2011 at 6:48 am

    Those deep-fried pork balls look scrumptious! I am jealous! My dad only made sweet and sour pork, although that was lovely too. 🙂 What a feast you had, like most Chinese households I guess! 😀

    • February 3, 2011 at 8:01 am

      Happy CNY to you joey! ya mum always goes all out at CNY… enough food for an army! 🙂

  5. February 3, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Wow, what a feast! You’re so lucky to have this great tradition that involves so much amazing food. Jealous!

  6. February 3, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    What a fantastic feast. Happy New Year and here’s to a lucky and prosperous year ahead for all. And lol, I think everyone selectively reads horoscopes 🙂

    • February 3, 2011 at 10:41 pm

      hope you have a happy new year and a prosperous year! of course to happy more eating 🙂

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