GONG XI FA CAI!
Chinese New Year is the most important day in the Chinese calendar. There are many little traditions to follow, many of which are, sadly, not followable in Australia. But the general point is that you start the first day as you intend the rest of the year to be.
The most important tradition, especially in our family, is the Chinese New Year's Eve reunion dinner, where the whole family comes together and partakes in delicious Chinese food. (The food we eat is Malaysian Chinese, as are we).
My mum is always in charge of this dinner, and it is always fabulous. You know, I was really disappointed that Nigella didn't have a Chinese New Year section in Feast - she had at least 4 other types of new year feasts in there. Le sigh.
Curry Chicken Kapitan: Chicken pieces in a coconut-onion sauce. Mum also includes kaffir lime leaves in this for extra deliciousness.
Loh Bak: Now, this is the best thing ever. Minced pork (we used to use chicken but not anymore) mixed with spices and wrapped in beancurd skin and deep fried. It's served with chilli sauce (actually, half chilli, half ketchup) and cucumber. Eating this is one of the best parts of being Malaysian.
Kiam Chye Th'ng (duck soup with mushrooms, tomatoes and salted vegetables). Traditionally this has pork in it, but we stopped putting it in when I stopped eating pork, and even though I'm eating pork again, mum seemed not to have included it this year.
And the most important part of the meal... RICE! Delicious rice! After being on the How to Eat diet for about 9 months now, I sorely, sorely miss eating rice.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!