Chinese New Year 2011 was celebrated by my family with a Reunion dinner before Chinese New Year. There definitely has to be somewhat of a reunion dinner even though both my grandparents are not around and this year, we have BBQ (Barbeque) for dinner in our home.
Some will find it strange to have BBQ for a reunion dinner as most will either cook home cooked dishes Chinese style. Well, it pays to be different. There were like 20 people over and with a Teresa Teng background music to accompany (obviously Dad’s chosen song).
Now onwards to the following day, it was time of the year again to go to Malacca to visit relatives and friends to collect angpow to wish them a happy fatt choy new year. Considering the Year of the Rabbit, it has its significant of being the luckiest animal around. Well, onward with the post, being able to go back to Malacca during Chinese New Year is one of a kind. Where else can you get authentic Chinese New Year Nyonya/Peranakan dishes?
Yes, it’s home cooked. Authentic. Some of the notable ones are listed below.
Itik Tim, the ingredients inclusive of home farm duck, “Kiam Chai” (Salty Vege), Brandy (if there is). Art of boiling this superb tasty soup is to boil it for long hours in order for the taste of the duck and the vege to mix together to add to the flavor of this soup. This food can be found in nyonya restaurants but loses its authenticity when it’s boiled with gas and not with charcoal.By the way some of these Itik Tim would also include the inner parts of the duck. One fine example is the blood of the duck.
Boiled Duck’s blood in some of the Itik Tim dishes. Not everyone cooks the same, so I got to try a variety of Itik Tim in a few houses.
It takes about one day to boil this soup and the longer the soup stays in the pot boiled, the better the taste.
Second dish would be Acah. Preserved Cucumber and Chili in sweet and sour sauce. Mind the photo quality as it was taken with my HTC Hero smartphone. One of a kind, usually only served during Chinese New Year.
Another Nyonya delicacy would be the Ponteh, a mix of home rared chicken, mushroom, ginger and secret sauce known only to the family. Some will also include bamboo shoots for the flavor.
Finally a dessert which is actually different from what we usually eat, the Taibak. This dessert is something like the Cendol, made of flour and sugar water.
The TAIBAK is usually served as a prerequisite of a Baba Nyonya wedding. One of the reason though it’s because it cools down both the groom and the bride (well from what I was told) before hmmm… hmmm…
So now you have it, the food from the Baba Nyonya era. These are the kinds of food I look forward every Chinese New Year other than the usual kueh.