Of Chap Goh Meh Dinner and Winners

Hands up who’s on a detox diet now after all that Chinese New Year Celebration? *Raise hand* Well, I did have a Toffee Date Pudding at Ben’s today so that was a little naughty of me. But before I embark on an all fruits and vegetables diet (let’s see how long that will last), let’s talk about what we had for the Chap Goh Meh dinner.

Chap Goh Meh literally means 15th Night in Hokkien, is generally celebrated with family. It’s also called Yuan Xiao festival (元宵节) in China/Hong Kong. It marks the last day of Chinese New Year celebration and as usual, there are many interesting activities associated with this day including the famed Mandarin Orange chucking ritual for the single ladies. Mostly it’s just another reason to gather and eat. Just like our reunion dinner, I kept to the mostly vegetable theme and cooked a few dishes for my family.

Chap Goh Meh Dinner Spread
Chap Goh Meh Dinner Spread

We had a mini Yee Sang to start, followed by a traditional Mixed Vegetables Dish called Chap Chye, Pan-Fried Vegetarian Dumplings and Boiled Pork Dumplings.

Like the way I arranged the Yee Sang?
Like the way I arranged the Yee Sang?

I’ve kept to the traditional recipe this time but used a little extra creativity to arrange it. Can you see the Snake?

The vibrant colours, always pleasant to look at.
The vibrant colours, always pleasant to look at.

I had some leftover seaweed chips so that was thrown in too for the added crunch. This eliminated the need to deep fry anything and gave a nice umami flavour to the salad actually. I shall keep that in mind for my next Yee Sang.

Hardly an visually pleasing dish. But good for you.
Hardly an visually pleasing dish. But good for you.

This is a dish commonly enjoyed on the first day of Chinese New Year for those who practise Vegetarianism regularly. It’s basically a vegetables stew with Cabbage (Wombok), Shitake Mushrooms, Wood Ear Fungus, Carrot, Lily buds (Golden Needle), Fatt Choi (Hair Moss, freaky looking stuff for the uninitiated), Sweet Potato Noodles cooked with Taucu (Soy Bean Paste).

Pan Fried Vegetarian Dumplings.
Pan Fried Vegetarian Dumplings.

Yes another vegetarian dish. The filling consists of Tofu, Kimchi, Mushrooms, Carrot, Spring Onions, Garlic and Ginger. You can get there recipe here. The Golden hue is definitely apt for Chinese New Year. So delicious you won’t even miss the meat. Yeah one of them did burst open because I crowded the first batch in the pan. Not a good idea.

Pork Dumplings
Pork Dumplings

To cater for the meat eater/growing boy (my brother), we also made some pork dumplings. I just added mince pork to the existing vegetable fillings. Boiled because I didn’t want to fry extra batches. Great with vinegar and ginger dip.

Tang Yuan in the making.
Tang Yuan in the making.

Did you know that Tang Yuan (Glutinous Rice Ball) is also called Yuan Xiao in Northern China? That’s why this is usually also consumed on the 15th day of Chinese New Year to signifies togetherness. Although this is not very commonly practised in Malaysia/Singapore I think. Did anyone else have Tang Yuan this time? (There was a flat one in the pot, contributed by my brother lol. )

Tang Yuan of various sizes. Hah!
Balls of various sizes. Hah!

What did you have for your Chap Goh Meh dinner? Did you throw any Mandarin Orange in to the river? Hehe.

And the Sarawak Laksa Paste goes to…….

Alright I know I’m a day late, do blame my post-cooking-lethargy for this. Thank you all for your responses for the giveaway and your interest in Sarawak food. I didn’t need to do a draw this time as there were 3 of you who clearly expressed you wanted the Laksa Paste so I decided to give all three out!

So Baby Sumo, Tania Wee and Melinya, let’s arrange for your prize collection over coffee/tea?

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34 thoughts on “Of Chap Goh Meh Dinner and Winners

  1. Congrats to the wiinners. Enjoy!!!!! I’m undergoing cold turkey now -so many things I cannot eat for a month!!! Sobssss!!!! Will blog about that…probably over the weekend.

  2. *Raises hand* All that Chicken and Pork belly over CNY = weight gain lol. And the Chap Chye looks great!!! I toss in baby peas into the chap chye (parents make me as it’s probably the only way to get my brothers to eat it >_<)

  3. Ohhh thanks for picking me as one of the winner! 🙂 I will drop you a FB msg soon.

    I have also been trying my hardest to diet after CNY… too much cookies and pineapple tarts is definitely bad for the waistline.

  4. your chap goh mei cooking looks great, every bit as cool as your reunion dinner a few weeks back. i feel a little sad that i only had yee sang two times this year, but hopefully will make up for it next year. and i haven’t had tang yuen at all, heh 😀 anyways, both the veggie and pork dumplings look insanely appetizing. i might be able to finish the entire plate of each of them on my own! 😀

    1. I’m surprised you hadn’t have more yee sang: I’ve seen people with yee sang count of 14! I had 4 this year hehe. The dumplings were definitely addictive, especially the vege ones with all the textural contrast.

  5. Same here. Feel like I’ve been eating wayyyy too much rich food over CNY. In fact, I think I can safely say I’d steer clear of Chinese food for awhile. Btw, about the golden needles… do they really come from the lily flower? We usually cook this with glass noodle for our first day of CNY, and my mother’s maid from Indonesia calls it papaya flower while my brother’s maid from Cambodia claims it’s banana flower… leaving us all a little confused. Mom just said, “it doesn’t matter, we have to eat it on the first day”. LOL!

    1. Apparently even though it’s called lily flower/bud it doesn’t come from lily. Very confusing really. I doubt it’s banana/papaya flower: won’t they be really big?

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