Preparing for the Chinese New Year reunion dinner is a must for the family on the eve of the festival. Kick-start your gastronomic journey with these dishes.

FISH IN ABUNDANCE

250g garoupa fish fillet
2 stalks spring onion, cut into 4-5cm sections
3 slices ginger

(A)
20g shimeji mushrooms
20g enoki mushrooms
20g belly pork, julienned

Sauce ingredients (B)
1 tsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp abalone sauce
1 tsp Chinese rice wine (Shao Hsing Hua Tiau wine)
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp sugar or to taste
3 tbsp water

Garnishing
Adequate spring onion curls and chilli curls
Some coriander leaves

Blanch julienned belly pork in boiling water for 10 minutes till cooked. Drain and put aside.

In the same boiling water, add the mushrooms and blanch briefly for 10-20 seconds. Drain well.

Combine all sauce ingredients (B) in a small bowl.

Put spring onion and ginger slices on the bottom of a steaming plate. Place fish fillet over and steam for 8-9 minutes.

Remove and drain off the steamed liquid.

Arrange belly pork and mushrooms over the fish and drizzle over with the combined sauce ingredients liberally over the fish.Spoon the rest of the sauce around the fish. Steam over rapid boiling water for just 1 minute more. Remove and serve with garnishing.


reunion dinner trotter dish

FORTUNE IN HAND

(Braised Pig Trotter)
1 whole pig trotter, about 1.5 kg, chopped into big sections
20g black sea moss (fat choy) soaked to soften and drained
8 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked to soften
70g carrot, cut into desired pattern, blanched
60g Chinese Tientsin cabbage, blanched
1 tsp sesame oil

Seasoning (A)
1 tbsp oyster sauce
½ tsp chicken stock powder

Braising sauce
5 star anise
5 black cardamoms (cao guo)
5g cinnamon stick
5 pieces liquorice sticks
1 piece fractos momordicae (luo han guo)
10 cloves
25g ginger, smashed
15g angelica root (tong kwai)
4 stalks spring onion
250ml light soy sauce
250ml Shao Hsing Hua Tiau wine
2 litres water

Seasoning (B)
200g rock sugar
1 tbsp chicken stock powder

Combine all braising ingredients in a saucepot. Cook to a boil then simmer over gentle low heat for 2 hours till aromatic.

Lightly marinate the trotter with seasoning (A) for at least 2 hours. Heat oil in a wok till hot and deep-fry the trotter briefly. Dish out and scald in boiling water.

Place trotter in the braising stock. Add mushrooms into the stock and braise for 1½ hours till meat is done.

Scoop l ladle of stock into a small saucepan. Add fatt choy and simmer for 5-6 minutes. Drain the fatt choy and add sesame oil.

Dish out pig trotter and place on a serving platter. Dish out fatt choy and the rest of the ingredients and arrange around the trotter.

Thicken the gravy with thickener (cornflour slurry) and pour sauce over the trotter. Add carrot and Tientsin cabbage.


reunion dinner chicken dish

PROSPERITY SPICY CHICKEN

350g chicken breast meat, skin removed
½ cup potato starch
20g dried red chilies, cut into small sections
15g dried Szechuan peppercorns
1 tbsp minced garlic
20g red capsicum
20g green capsicum
2 stalks spring onion, chopped
3 stalks curry leaves, sliced

Marinade (A)
½ tsp salt
1 tsp chicken stock powder
1 tsp sugar
1 egg white, lightly beaten

Seasoning (B)
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
2-3 tbsp sugar or to taste
½ tsp ground black pepper

Cut chicken into chunks and season with marinade (A) for at least 30 minutes.

Coat marinated chicken pieces in potato starch then deep-fry in hot oil till crispy and golden. Dish out and drain from oil.

Put curry leaves into the remaining hot oil. Sauté till fragrant. Add dried chillies and Szechuan peppercorns. Deep-fry till crispy then drain and put aside.

Scoop half ladle of the same hot oil into a saucepan. Sauté minced garlic and spring onion till fragrant.

Add both capsicums and seasoning (B) followed by the pre-fried chicken chunks. Add the curry leaves and a little of the Szechuan peppercorns. Toss and fry briskly till well combined. Dish out and serve at once.