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Monday, February 19, 2018

Steamboat Reunion

For as long as I could remember, my family always had steamboat reunion dinners. My mum would painstakingly make the soup base from scratch, cut and slice up all the raw ingredients and gather all of us around the dining table for a feast. I fondly remember the kick I got out of cooking my own food. The highlight of the whole meal was the delicious soup which had absorbed all the "unami" flavours of the ingredients at the end. That taste is etched into my long-term memory.

However, ever since my parents turned vegetarian 8 years ago, we stopped having steamboat for reunion lunch at my mum's place. Instead, we'd all go to a vegetarian buffet restaurant for our reunion meal. I missed the steamboat so much that I decided to continue the family tradition myself this year with the kids finally getting old enough to appreciate the culture. Last year, I actually bought the stainless steel old-school kind of rice cooker just so that it could double up as a steamboat pot!

My MIL got some unprocessed sea cucumber and fish maw from a relative which were incredibly tedious to prepare and cook. The process, in fact, took days! I decided that I would very much rather buy the processed versions for future reunion meals.

Here's the menu for our CNY Reunion Lunch

Cooked food: 
Braised mushroom and sea cucumber with carrots, fish maw, roast meat, char siew, pepper duck, white rice, glass noodles and steam boat soup stock.
Steamboat raw ingredients:
Sliced fish, shabu shabu pork collar, chicken thigh cubes, marinated prawns, abalone, pacific clams, scallop, cuttlefish balls, prawn balls, egg tofu, fresh eggs, tang oh and xiao bai cai.
Paisley, chives, red cut chili, chicken rice chili, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, char siew sauce

There was not enough space at the main table with 5 adults and 4 children. Thus, I placed the older two kids at the balcony to have their very own mini steamboat. 

There was so much leftover ingredients from the reunion lunch that I had enough to cook dinner and the next day's meals too!!! Because the kids refused to eat the same thing twice, I had to find creative ways to cook them differently. LOL I totally felt like a master chef this CNY. I must remind my husband and MIL not to over-cater next year. I pray that we can enjoy this precious family tradition for many more years to come. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018