Happy Year of the Snake!
I wish all my readers and fellow bloggers a wonderful year of the Snake!
I know some of you are really interested in Chinese (Cantonese) cuisine, particularly for those of you are living in an area where not too much Chinese food is offered. Well, I am lucky to be living in San Francisco Bay Area. We do have quite a few good restaurants that provide good Chinese food.
Tonight we celebrated Chinese New Year in a restaurant which is one of the best in town. The menu includes delicious dishes that I like, and also represents auspicious meaning of those dishes. I will try to translate them into English so that non-Chinese readers will also understand.
To whet your appetite, I have posted a slide show of five dishes here. The dinner actually included 9 dishes and three desserts. I am only featuring 5 because these are more significant. Many of the others were already posted in some of my previous posts.
This is the Chinese New Year Menu that we had tonight::
- Barbecued Combination Platter (Good news coming to your door)
- Pan Fried Minced Dried Oyster w/ Lettuce (Good business and with good income)
- Walnut Prawns (Laughing and being happy all the time)
- Dried Scallop Soup w/ Shredded Fish Maw (Gold and silver falling from heaven)
- Braised Sea-Cucumber & Black Mushroom w/ Green (Gold and money and jade are all here)
- House Special Chicken (Happy chicken welcoming spring)
- Garlic Baked Lobster w/ Ginger & Green Onion (Good health is with you)
- Steamed live sea bass (Fortune and Luck are following you)
- E-Fu Noodle w/ Straw Mushrooms (Prosperity and Longevity are also yours)
- Dessert: Red Bean Soup w/ Sweet Dumplings Dessert: Red Bean Soup w/ Sweet Dumplings (Happy family reunion).
The following picture shows the “Pan Fried Minced Dried Oyster w/ Lettuce (Good business and with good income)”. The picture below is only one serving. The server put the minced dried oyster mixture onto each piece of lettuce and offered to each patron on an individual small plate.. There is sauce (Hoi Sin sauce) on the side if you like to put some on the mixture. I like this dish very much. I won’t make it because it is labor-intensive, with lots of work chopping up the ingredients.
The next dish is “Braised Sea-Cucumber & Black Mushroom w/ Green (Gold and money and jade are all here)”.. Sea-Cucumber is one of those very nutritious food items which are not something that you will eat every day. You can understand from the picture the auspicious meaning of this dish. Green is the vegetable which represents jade.
The next dish is “Garlic Baked Lobster w/ Ginger & Green Onion (Good health is with you)”. The pronunciation of lobster in Cantonese rhymes with a phrase which means good health..
Now it comes to the star of the menu: “Steamed live fish (Fortune and Luck are following you)”. This is also the most expensive dish. As I mentioned in some of my previous posts, steamed fish is only good if the fish is live (swimming) before you cook it. Tonight we have steamed live sea-bass. Yum, yum!
After we had eaten all the main dishes, the menu usually includes either fried rice or noodles. Tonight we chose to have ” E-Fu Noodle w/ Straw Mushrooms (Prosperity and Longevity are also yours)”. Noodles are usually eaten on birthdays. As one family member’s birthday is near, noodles instead of rice, are a better choice.
Finally, desserts! We had altogether three desserts (plus one cake brought by a guest). I only took the picture of this one which shows the “Chinese New Year cake” cut into small strips. It is very tasty! Yum!
I hope you would enjoy this post, although you are only looking at the beautiful dishes instead of eating them! I wish you good luck, prosperity and good health, including all the sayings that these dishes represent!