DS and I ushered in the Year of the Snake in Hokkaido, Japan. This was the third time we spent Chinese New Year (CNY) outside Singapore. Being in a foreign land, we did not expect to feel the spirit of CNY.
However, in keeping with the tradition of having a special CNY-eve dinner, we had pre-arranged a special in-room dinner in this ryokan that we stayed for four nights. So, that was an interesting experience for us, and something memorable for this CNY. In-house guests were also treated to taiko performance nightly, on 9-11 Feb. That’s was something special too.
CNY-eve dinner in Japanese style
In fact, I am beginning to like the idea of getting out of the country during CNY, and not having to worry about stocking up my fridge for the festive season as food outlets are normally closed. Prices of vegetables, poultry and fish also tend to rise during this period.
CNY almost came to an end by the time DS and I got back from our holiday. I decided to cook a new dish on Yuan Xiao (the 15th or last day of CNY) to mark our celebration for this CNY.
My first dish in the Year of the Snake – Pen Cai (aka as Poon Choi in Cantonese), a traditional Cantonese cuisine originated from Hong Kong.
I learned about cooking Pen Cai from the cooking demo in Good Morning Singapore (早安你好）TV programme on Channel 8 by MediaCorp. I think it is actually not difficult to cook Pen Cai. A further search online says that there are actually no fixed ingredients for this dish, although generally meats and seafood constitute a large portion of the ingredients. Mine was a relatively simple and small pot, since there were only three of us (including my younger sister) to eat it.
Then, a bowl of sweet red bean soup with Tang Yuan (glutinous rice balls) to end the meal and celebration.
We hope we can be away again next CNY! 🙂