2012 Chinese New Year of the Dragon feasts

"Would you like some salmon yee sang?"

"Would you like some salmon yee sang?"

Chinese new year is always a festive time where Chinese people all over the world usher in the new year with family and friends. 2012 is the year of the Dragon, the only mystical animal among twelve on the chinese calendar.

This year is no exception when it comes to feasting and we find ourselves  having two invitations to open houses on Chinese new year’s eve.

Steven and Wai Yong’s Chinese new year lunch

Steven's koi pond

Steven's koi pond

Our friend Steven is an enthusiastic home chef among his other passions for photography and travelling.

We are at his home for lunch on this beautiful Sunday afternoon. We could already smell the aromas of his cooking as we walk through his front garden with a koi pond where large koi leisurely glide through the water under a waterfall.

Salmon yee sang

Salmon yee sang

As with every Chinese new year banquet, the yee sang or raw fish salad is a must, signifying birth, prosperity and good living.

Steven preparing yee sang at home

Steven preparing yee sang at home

Steven tells us that he has prepared the entire banquet of not less than ten different dish with the help of his wife Wai Yong and children. Friends and relatives have also brought dishes to add to this sumptuous feast.

Steven's culinary spread for chinese new year

Steven's culinary spread for chinese new year

He seems to be completely at ease in his kitchen and as we settled for drinks while waiting for all the guests to arrive, our eyes are feasting on all the dishes laid out on the table.

Indonesian style stir fried prawns with garlic, ginger and sweet black sauce

Indonesian style stir fried prawns with garlic, ginger and sweet black sauce

Some of these dishes include Indonesian style stir fried prawns with a sweet black garlic and ginger sauce.

I gently remind Mysaucepan to pace ourselves because this is only the first of two big Chinese new year meals on the same day.

Stir fried noodles with soy sauce

Stir fried noodles with soy sauce

Every dish is delicious and I am having a difficult time in making room to taste each dish.

Vegetarian glass noodles with tofu skin and black fungus mushroom

Vegetarian glass noodles with tofu skin and black fungus mushroom

Stir fried vermicelli with beansprouts, coriander and shallots

Stir fried vermicelli with beansprouts, coriander and shallots

One of my favourite is the simple stir fried vermicelli with the crunch of fresh bean sprouts. I ladle some tasty chicken curry sauce onto the noodles and this is comfort food at its best.

Malaysian curry chicken

Malaysian curry chicken

Fried wontons and chicken wings

Fried wontons and chicken wings

Malaysian beef rendang

Malaysian beef rendang

Tossing salmon yee sang at Steven's chinese new year lunch

Tossing salmon yee sang at Steven's chinese new year lunch

Tossing the yee sang at the beginning of the banquet is always a highlight of the meal. Everyone gathers around the table with their chopsticks and give the delectable salad a big toss. It is a belief the higher the toss, the greater the fortune and well-being that would bestow in the coming year.

Tossing salmon yee sang at Steven's chinese new year lunch

Tossing salmon yee sang at Steven's chinese new year lunch

This must be one of the most vibrant and delicious salads that one can have. Thinly shredded carrots, radish, cucumber, beetroot, pickled vegetables are mixed with a tangy sweet sour plum sauce with some crunchy texture coming from roasted peanuts, prawn crackers and crispy vermicelli.

Children having fun during chinese new year

Children having fun during chinese new year

Not to be outdone by the adults, it is also a great time for children as they gather with their friends for a good time and good food.

Children having fun during chinese new year

Children having fun during chinese new year

Long-time friends Agnes and Aidan

Long-time friends Agnes and Aidan

It is a great time to catch up with friends as most of us are busy at other times during the year.

Pandan cake

Pandan cake

There are no less than five different desserts to end our meal and one of my favourite is the savoury glutinous black rice pudding.

Black glutinous rice pudding

Black glutinous rice pudding

Layer cake

Layer cake

Blueberry cake

Blueberry cake

Silken soy bean curd or "tau foo fah"

Silken soy bean curd or "tau foo fah"

The silken soy bean curd so soft and delicate with a sweet gula melaka syrup with hints of ginger flavouring.

Thanks to our friends Steven and Wai Yong. It was certainly a scrumptious feast as we waddle our way out of his place and hopefully catch an hour in the gym before Chinese new year dinner.

KC & Molly’s Chinese new year dinner

Tossing salmon yee sang at KC & Molly's chinese new year dinner

Tossing salmon yee sang at KC & Molly's chinese new year dinner

No sooner have we finished lunch at Steven’s place, we find ourselves at KC & Molly’s home for yet another Chinese new year meal. Each year, we know that great food is always a trademark from Molly’s kitchen and tonight is no exception.

We just can’t seem to get sick of yee sang no matter how many times we eat this salad as every recipe seems to be a little different but nevertheless tasty and delicious. 

Molly's salmon yee sang

Molly's salmon yee sang

Two gigantic plates of yee sang and a big toss up later, everyone is tucking into yet another big feast.

Stir fried prawns with glass noodles

Stir fried prawns with glass noodles

Stir fried prawns with glass noodles is a classic Chinese dish where the noodles soak up the tasty juices of the prawns.

Chinese roast pork

Chinese roast pork

Chinese roast pork is always a hit with its crispy pork crackling and succulent and tender meat. Dipped into chilli sauce with a squeeze of lemon juice, I can just devour this pork with a chilled glass of rose.

Lena's Indian eggplant and fish curry

Lena's Indian eggplant and fish curry

Beef rendang

Beef rendang

Brandy chicken with chinese mushroom

Brandy chicken with chinese mushroom

Cuttle fish with hoisin sauce and chilli oil

Cuttle fish with hoisin sauce and chilli oil

Another dish that I love is blanched cuttle fish with a hoisin dipping sauce and a drizzle of chilli oil for some added kick.

Langmeil rose

Langmeil rose

A Langmeil rose is such a versatile wine to complement the food tonight. It is drinking beautifully with the slightly spicy beef rendang as well as the Indian eggplant and fish curry.

2008 Collector Shiraz

2008 Collector Shiraz

A 2008 Collector Shiraz is bold with a slightly minty flavour and a lingering finish.

2001 Petaluma riesling

2001 Petaluma riesling

An aged bottle of 2001 Petaluma riesling is drinking smoothly with toasty and citrusy flavours.

Lachlan and Mia enjoying a game of chess

Lachlan and Mia enjoying a game of chess

The kids are amusing themselves with all kinds of games and toys.

Dessert spread

Dessert spread

Again, desserts are another highlight and despite having so much food on the table, most of us can always find some space for the sweet stuff including some favourite Malaysian cakes.

Kuih talam

Kuih talam

Kuih bengkang

Kuih bengkang

Masterchef Poh's gula melaka and condense milk agar agar

Masterchef Poh's gula melaka and condense milk agar agar

Chinese love letters

Chinese love letters

We had a couple of amazing meals over less than ten hours and it is time to do some serious work in the gym.

"Don't you think I have such an adorable smile?"

"Don't you think I have such an adorable smile?"

I manage to snap a photo of little Mia with her beautiful smile.

Thanks to all our friends for such wonderful meals. Kung Hei Fatt Choy to all our family and friends and wishing all of you a happy and prosperous Year of the Dragon!

So dear readers, have you tried yee sang and how did you celebrate Chinese new year?

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38 Responses to 2012 Chinese New Year of the Dragon feasts

  1. Hurrah for lots and lots of good food to celebrate with friends and family.
    Happy Chinese New Year!

  2. oh wow what a feast! dying in jealous at absolutely everything from the yee sang to the pandan cake and omg kuih! happy new year guys and may the year of the dragon bring you and your family prosperity and good health!

  3. Happiness and prosperity to you and yours! What a feast. I trust you were wearing kaftans!

  4. Sissi says:

    Thank you for this virtual double feast! It is fascinating for a European who has never attended such parties. All the dishes look delicious, but rendang beef is definitely the one I wouldn’t mind even three times a day ;-) Happy New Year!

  5. Celia says:

    Kung Hei Fatt Choy! Didn’t we all eat so much food!! :)

  6. Hotly Spiced says:

    That is incredible. I have never seen so much food. I don’t know how you made it home after all of that feasting. I can’t believe there were 10 different dishes at the lunch with five different desserts. The preparation for CNY must have taken your hosts days. I haven’t had that salmon dish before and I haven’t actually celebrated CNY before but it looks like an incredible and very joyful celebration.

  7. What a labour of love Yee Sang is but so delicious too! :D

  8. Kung Hei Fatt Choy! What a fabulous amount of really delicious looking food. That layer cake looks amazing, do you have a recipe for it? What a great way to celebrate the beginning of a new year. GG

  9. Charles says:

    Wooooow, this is a real bumper food post Chopinand – it all looks so good… so wonderfully tasty. Such colours and fresh flavours!

    I hope you, your family and friends have a wonderful New Year’s!

  10. Whoa! What an amazing fest x 2! I can’t think of a dish there that I wouldn’t devour in a hearbeat. I really liked the way the pandan cake was cut in the first feast…

  11. Carolyn Jung says:

    Happy Lunar New Year! I enjoyed a festive feast last night, too. No better time to gather with friends and family than Chinese New Year. That salmon salad looks like the perfect way to start the celebrating, too.

  12. Happy New Year C & MSP! What a feast! Twice in one day!!!! I can totally understand everyone (who’s celebrating) talking about “keep eating” on that day. Looks so delicious!!! It’s nice to be celebrate CNY, since you have Christmas, New Year, and Chinese New Year… lots of deliciousness in a month! ;-)

  13. tigerfish says:

    We had two makan-cum-get-together sessions on the eve of CNY and our spread was certainly less extensive than this :)

    Happy Lunar New Year of the Dragon to you and your family!

  14. msihua says:

    Woah! That is so much food! Well done guys! That looks amazing :) Happy CNY to you too :)

  15. So many delicacies, I somewhat wish I had some close Chinese friends – I’m starting to crave some good Chinese food! The salmon salad looks fantastic!

  16. Ann says:

    Wow – everything looks absolutely stunning! What a day of feasts you had! So delicious and lovely to celebrate with friends! I am positively drooling over the dishes, but I don’t think I could pick a favorite – they all look scrumptious! Thank you for sharing your celebrations with us!

  17. woahhh…with all that food, there sure is cause for celebration! Happy CNY!!!

    Lovin that Black glutinous rice pudding…I want!!

  18. Hannah says:

    One day I’ll get to try yee sang! But oh, oh it’s so unfair that I don’t get to have that pandan cake when you don’t even have a sweet tooth! *pout* Can’t I have your share? :P

  19. Row says:

    Amazing-looking lunch and dinner… so many yummy dishes! I’d love to try yee sang one of these years… love the colours. Happy Chinese New Year! :)

  20. Fiona Novak says:

    Gosh!! Every dish looked spectacular!! There are so many dishes there I recognised from my childhood :) + I have not had Pandan chiffon cake in the longest time :)
    Enjoy the festivities… wonderful friends, delicious food, joy and love…Happy Chinese New Year to both of you!

  21. Oh my goodness, not one amazing feast but two! Happy CNY.

  22. Joanne says:

    Oh man, I really WISH I had been invited to a Chinese New Year feast! Both of these left me drooling.

  23. Wow, what a great feast and lots of dessert! Wishing you a happy lunar new year and gong xi fa cai!

  24. whoa…..that’s a feast indeed! And the pandan chiffon!! Perfectly perfect!
    Happy Lunar Chinese New Year!
    Angie

  25. Happy Lunar New Year!! I wish I was invited to your family feast :D

  26. Raymund says:

    Kung Hei fat Choi! May the Water Dragon bless you with prosperity, happiness and good health

  27. Oh! I love this post, so much love and happiness and family and FOOD! Happy CNY :) We didn’t celebrate this year as things are v busy, BUT last year we were in HK and in the future I really do hope to celebrate. & yes, I think I tried yee sang last year!!
    Heidi xo

  28. Juliana says:

    Wow, wow and wow, so many yummie dishes…so much fun to celebrate Chinese New Year with family and friends.
    Happy Chinese New Year to you and your love ones :)

  29. Kimby says:

    Yes, I would love some salmon yee sang … and a taste of every other dish you featured! An incredible feast amongst friends and family sounds like a great way to begin Chinese New Year. Thank you for a happy, delicious-looking post!

  30. sophia says:

    I DIE. This is the BEST way to die!!! Or start a new year. Anyway, my point is I would DIE to eat this feast! OMG. I’m dying. And I’m not even exaggerating. Aaaah everything looks so good I miss Malaysian and Singaporean food!

  31. JasmyneTea says:

    Happy Chinese New Year! Man, that pandan cake looks so moist and delicious, and the noodles with soy!

  32. Happy Year of the Dragon to you! I always love to learn more about your Chinese traditions. :)

  33. Happy Chinese New Year! Haha looks like you’ve been feasting quite a bit, but then again so have I ^^” Even though I’m not Malaysian, we started having yee sang two yrs ago as our new tradition and I looooove it!

  34. Love the black fungus dish and my favourite sticky black rice

  35. Baby Sumo says:

    Wow so much food in one day! And best of all, you didn’t have to cook.

    Btw isn’t the green kuih called seri muka?

  36. This is a really lovely post, thank you for sharing this snapshot of such a wonderful day full of food and loved ones. I’m drooling over everything, especially the black rice pudding!

  37. babe_kl says:

    It’s so much fun to have such lavish meals with friends and family ;-)

    I hope it’s not too late to wish both of you gong xi fa cai!

  38. awww Mia is so pretty :)

    Happy new year!! what a feast, love it! I’m feeling like I need pandan cake now… yum!

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