Tag Archives: Yee Sang

Where’s the Fish? Part 3

10 Feb

Just last week I thought there would be no more ‘Yee Sang’ to toss and eat as the Lunar New Year celebrations was ending, we had a final one on Chap Goh Meh night itself! And what a thrill we had with this finale.

It was the family Chap Goh Meh dinner and I had the honor to put the dish together with all the ingredients available. It was decided it should resemble a mouse, after all we are celebrating the Year of the Rat. And this time, we finally had fish topping – salmon that was cooked not raw but still counts in my opinion.

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Me busy putting the ingredients together

What fun I had crafting the dish, almost like a piece of art. The final toss was even more enjoyable with the family savoring our own creation in presentation and flavors. The dinner that followed, needless to say, was simply delicious, all home cooked. It was a good Chap Goh Meh dinner.

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Where’s the Fish? Part 2

7 Feb

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So on Tuesday when we were out with our friends for dinner, there was the ‘Yee Sang’ dish to toss right before the rest of the other dishes were served. But no raw salmon topping on it! Again, where’s the fish? We had slices of abalone instead…

With the Lunar New Year celebration coming to an end soon, I guess we won’t be tossing anymore ‘Yee Sang’ because there’s no more dinners to attend except the final one – the family Chap Goh Meh dinner on Saturday night.

Chap Goh Meh literally means the 15th night of Chinese New Year and it’s the last day of the festive period and celebration. For some (like my side of the family), the dinner on this night is equally important as the Reunion Dinner. So we will, as always, have a final family dinner at home to mark the occasion.

And most likely no ‘Yee Sang’ although there will be a steamed fish on the menu. Looks like we will have to wait until next year for a ‘Yee Sang’ topped with raw salmon.

Where’s the Fish?

4 Feb

We are midway into the Lunar New Year celebration. During this time, eating sumptuous Chinese meals and tossing the ‘Yee Sang’- a must, with friends and family is nothing out of sorts. After all, it’s a good reason to catch up.

However I’ve noticed this time, the few ‘Yee Sang’ that we have had are presented very differently despite the description stating ‘Yee’ meaning fish.

Typically, there would be raw salmon or even just jellyfish as the main topping but so far, the four times we’ve had this festive dish, we had four very different versions!

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Top (left): with abalone; Top (right): with Iberico ham and bottom version was all fruits!

It’s very interesting though these new flavours I must say. In the past, regardless of how many times we’d do the dish during this festive time, it was always only the salmon or jellyfish choices. But how times have changed! Four occasions, four different versions.

Both of us have never tasted these new combinations especially the last three – an abalone version, a crispy fish skin version (unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of this version on my phone), an all-fruit version and the most recent, an Iberico ham version!!! So where’s the fish?

Tonight as I will be attending a dinner with another group of friends at a Chinese restaurant, let’s hope there will be some good ol’ salmon ‘Yee’ in the ‘Yee Sang’ that we will have. Otherwise, another new combination to add to my list!

May Our Fortunes Rise and Expand

31 Jan

Yesterday our office reopened and we’re back to work. Year in, year out, we always reopen the office on the 6th day of Chinese New Year except there was one year, a friend told us the 5th day was even better to start work. That was the only time we did that.

Usually during the Lunar New Year period, work is very disrupted because the flow of things are not smooth. Our supporting vendors (for print jobs) would not be taking anymore orders when the date draws closer to the Reunion Dinner night. They would be clearing the existing ongoing projects before closing a day or two earlier for the all important dinner.

Sometimes we do this too, closing earlier, when we have to return to hubby’s hometown for the dinner with his family. An earlier departure would mean a shorter drive thus avoiding the exodus for the long drive ahead. Then during the 15 days of the celebration, we would close for the first five days while some vendors are taking longer breaks than most, things cannot progress further.

Thankfully, workload upon return is typically not too heavy because either everyone’s still on leave or clients who are back to work early do understand that during the Lunar New Year, not much can be done; so there’s no urgency to get things completed within a tight deadline.

Also during this time, there’s a lot more lunches and dinners to attend. So there goes the 16/8 diet. Typically these sumptuous meals will include the ‘Yee Sang’ dish to toss, a must have during the festivities for good luck and prosperity. Either with clients, friends or family, the ‘Yee Sang’ tossing ritual is a very noisy affair.

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Getting the chopsticks ready over the abalone Yee Sang before we tossed ’em high!

We had our first ‘Yee Sang’ during the Reunion Dinner with the family and today, with our design team later. So toss ‘em high we shall to symbolise our wishes for our fortunes to rise and expand for the Year of the Rat. Huat ah! Ong ah! Heng ah!

I Gotta Do Something

18 Feb

This constant eating or should I say, over eating, is getting to me and I decided not to wait until after Chap Goh Meh to do something about it.

On Monday (night), being the 8th day of Chinese New Year, we were visiting a friend and the food spread beckoned. Oh dear, I was actually still feeling stuffed from lunch! I was cautious and conscious to eat in moderation. I even minimised my beer intake because my Liz Claiborne pants never felt so tight. Groan…

The next day, there was another Yee Sang dinner scheduled with our Tuesday Food Club friends but I opted out because I had to send M2 to her tuition class; hubby went for the dinner alone.

On Wednesday morning, I decided to walk and play 9-holes of golf in anticipation of yet another Yee Sang meal ahead, lunch with my office staff. I think it’s the least I can do for now. I managed to burn 282kcal in my 5.8km walk, recorded by my Mi Band.

There’s still the finale Chap Goh Meh big feast ahead and who knows, some impromptu in between meals may crop up. So I gotta do something to reduce my guilt and my waistline…Today, I will walk 9-holes again. I need to.

Back to Normal?

15 Feb

The long stretch of the Chinese New Year holiday is over as we go back to work today. Are things back to normal? Yes and no.

The weekday routine remains the same; M2 is back in school with her extra curricular hours as before the break and work in the office continues where we had left off. It is only up to here that things seem normal. 

Beyond this, my pants feel tighter as I am pretty sure my waistline have expanded, what with all that eating or should I say excessive eating, and there are several more Yee Sang tossing lunch/dinner sessions lined up, so how can this be back to normal?

I guess I just have to face it until Chap Goh Meh, then it’s really back to normal.

Happy Monkey Year!

8 Feb

Today is the beginning of the Fire Monkey year and it is our first Chinese New Year without M1. Feels funny. Last night, we had the Reunion Dinner with my Mom and my sibling and his family at his home. And as always, the home-cooked food spread is the highlight (save for the purchased roast duck and Siew Yoke) and the family bonding time precious. Tossing the Yee Sang was fun.

Later today, we will head on up North to hubby’s hometown. I hope traffic will be kind because I have read about people taking nine hours on the road for a typical three and a half hour journey!

Then again, the exodus began last Friday and Saturday for the Reunion Dinner on Sunday night; it is Monday today and we shouldn’t be facing heavy traffic. Technically shouldn’t… We shall see.

Nonetheless, being on the road, we will drive safe and be there when we get there. Here’s wishing everyone a safe, peaceful and more positive year ahead. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

   
 

Let’s Eat!

26 Feb

Although I have been mindful of my weight, I would not give last night’s dinner occasion a miss. It was a gathering with my old school friends. And when I say old, our friendship goes back to the dinosaur era when we were 7 years old. Told you we are dinosaurs.

Since it’s still Chinese New Year, all the more reason to meet up, chatter to catch up, enjoy a good meal and exchange Angpows (red packets) for the children! We took the opportunity to have the ‘Yee Sang’ for prosperity with all the good wishes recited poetically by the waitress and also had the ‘Poon Choy’ dish, which roughly translates to a bowl of everything. Very filling despite it being just one bowl.

Dinner gatherings with old school friends are unlike dinners with golf friends but both are always enjoyable. I only wish the school friends would do it as often as the golf friends. Friendship prevails when we make the effort.

Maybe after the festivity is over, we will prioritize meeting up more often, like hubby and his (and also my) friends with our Tuesday Food Club. After all, we have to eat. And why not eat with good old friends?





All We Do is Eat

7 Feb

These past few days and the next few, it seems that all we do and think about is eating and eating well. Perhaps it is still the festive Lunar New Year/Chinese New Year that is in the air that we are making the extra effort to meet up with friends (and family) for the must-have Yee Sang for good luck along with hearty sumptuous Chinese meals.

We’ve been calling Chinese restaurants all over town to book tables only to be turned away as they have been fully booked. It looks like we are not the only ones with this eating mission in mind during this festive period. After all, Chinese New Year is celebrated for 15 days and there’s still a week to go.

Despite the set back from the more renowned restaurants, we managed. Today, I am booked for lunch with a girlfriend and later, dinner with friends and their children. Then the gastronomic adventure continues, with hubby and the girls, with dinners on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights with different groups of friends, culminating with a family dinner on Chap Goh Meh, the 15th and final day of the Lunar New Year on Friday!

For Prosperity and Luck

27 Jan

The Year of the Horse has galloped in so fast that I feel I am totally unprepared for it. We have been having festivities one after another within such a short period, there’s hardly time to recover from the merry-making and planning. From Christmas to New Year and several birthday celebrations thrown in and now, Chinese New Year, a mere four days away!

And for the first time for as long as I can remember, I have left things until this late to prepare the necessary for the coming lunar new year. Although I am not a traditionalist, there are some traditions I still follow through as taught by my mother.

Also, for the first time, we are having the Pre-Chinese New Year Yee Sang rather late. I recall previous years, we would have had a couple or more of this dish prior to the new lunar year. This must-do dish is an experience by itself. Asians love to toss the condiments of the dish as high as possible for its significant connotations. The higher, the messier, the noisier, the better it is for prosperity and luck.

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Last Friday, hubby and I had the Yee Sang and I almost comatosed from the six people 8-course lunch because firstly, it’s such a heavy lunch and secondly, ever since my detox diet recently, my tummy shrank and well, there is only so much I can consume.

Well the Horse has trotted in, whether I am prepared or not, and it looks like the next two weeks is basically about eating and merry-making. So I had better prepare myself to face this and have many more Yee Sang occasions for prosperity and luck!