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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Chinese New Year Feast

suckling pig

Is this not the scariest pig ever?

Luckily, or rather, unluckily for him, this roast suckling pig tasted very good indeed.

We don't make such a big deal about Chinese New Year at our place, but luckily dear friend Veruca Salt's does. Oh my dear food-loving friends. What would I do without them?

Veruca obtained the above pig from Emperor's Garden in Chinatown on Chinese New Year's Eve. There may have been a frustrating delay in the shop's declared pig roast time, and actual pig roast time (did you know they roast the pigs on-site in a basement somewhere underneath the chop shop?) but we were more disturbed by the glace red cherries in place of eyes not to mention the gaudy plastic flower which the shopkeeper forcefully jammed into its head before handing over to its new owners.

golden pig

Veruca's newly acquired golden pig was much more aesthetically pleasing, although the glitter did leave a funny aftertaste on the tongue :)


But onto the feasting. We made sticky spring rolls using rice paper sheets, softened in sweetened water for maximum caramelisation.

spring rolls
Sticky spring rolls - cha gio

Yee sang salad made its traditional appearance. Inspired by a Terry Durack recipe, we abandoned the daikon (Chinese white radish) to include shreds of crunchy green mango and green papaya, adding a little tartness for summer refreshment. This was dressed with a mixture of tamarind, lime juice, sesame oil and five spice. To herald the beginning of our feast, it was all chopsticks in to help toss the salad together, good wishes being yelled aloud for unanimous luck.

yee sang
Yee sang salad

roast pork
Roast suckling pig

And then the pig. Meaty and tender with layers of juicy fat and brittle sheets of crackling. Not so scary afterall once the cherries are gone.

Yee Sang Salad
Based on a recipe by Terry Durack

Assemble on a plate thin slices of raw salmon and long julienned shreds of green papaya, green mango and carrot. Drape over thin slices of Japanese pink pickled ginger, a handful of sesame seeds and a few sprigs of coriander.

Prepare a dressing made with one tablespoon each of tamarind puree, lime juice, canola oil, caster sugar and water. Add two teaspoons of sesame oil and one teaspoon of five spice powder. Season with sea salt and white pepper.

Pour half the dressing over the dish and allow to sit until ready to serve.

Have all your guests toss the salad together using their chopsticks, clamouring Happy New Year wishes to each other.

Pour over the remainder of the dressing on the main plate or reserve for individual's servings.

Related GrabYourFork posts:
2007 Chinese New Year Festival Launch, Belmore Park
2007 Chinese New Year Festivities, Cabramatta
2007 Chinese New Year Parade
2007 Chinese New Year Markets, Chinatown

2006 Chinese New Year Parade
2006 Chinese New Year Markets
2006 Chinese New Year Eve: the build-up
2006 Chinese New Year Eve: the feast

2005 Chinese New Year Parade: Part I
2005 Chinese New Year Parade: Part II
2005 Chinese New Year Dragon Boat Races
2005 Chinese New Year Children's Fair
2005 Chinese New Year Chinatown History Tour
2005 Chinese New Year Chinatown Markets
2005 Chinese New Year Sze Yup Temple Tour
5 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 2/20/2007 09:58:00 pm


  • At 2/21/2007 8:26 am, Blogger Melting Wok said…

    awww..how could we say no to the suckling looking golden pig hehe..ooh, I'm going for the "skin" yummys ! :) Thanks for sharing, cheers ! :)

  • At 2/22/2007 1:59 pm, Blogger thanh7580 said…

    The pig looks so scary. The red cherry eyes really look bad. But apart from that, mmmmm, looks yummy.

    You should scrape off glitter before consuming golden pigs in future. :-)

  • At 2/23/2007 1:41 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi, I just stumbled to your site while looking for other chinese new year entries.

    The food looks delicious there.

    Here's my entry on the Chinese New Year Celebration in the Philippines.


  • At 2/25/2007 8:56 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    eeeeeuuwwww, i can feel the hairs on the back of my neck rising because of that pig!

    we don't yell good luck wishes during the tossing of the yee sang so that's really interesting to me.

    happy new year!

  • At 2/27/2007 10:58 pm, Blogger Deborah Dowd said…

    The scariest part about the Maraschino cherry pig is that its "face" looks more like the back end! YOur spead looks incredible, though. I do a Chinese feast every year on New Year's eve, but I look like an amateur next to you! I'm no worthy, I'm not worthy....


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