It is a tradition in our family that we have a whole-fish dish during new year. Why fish ? The Chinese have this saying “Nian Nian You Yu (年年有余)”. Nian nian means year by year, you means have, yu means abundance/prosperity. The word fish 魚 in Chinese has the same “sound” with the word 余, and that’s why the Chinese uses fish to represent this abundance during the new year’s celebration.
We had an awesome Szechuan hot pot on the eve of Chinese new year. Today, we had this braised fish with preserved vegetables.
The Chinese also have this tradition not to “flip” the fish over when you are done eating with one side, as this is a sign of “bad luck”, especially for business people. So, what people normally do is, once they are done with one side, they will pull the bones straight out and continue eating the other side without having to flip the fish to get to the other side.
I wish everyone a happy and prosperous dragon year 😉 I miss home, but thank goodness that food brings me back at home 🙂
For baking/ kueh making: I highly encourage to weigh ingredients with a digital kitchen scale instead of using measuring cups as they are not very accurate especially when it comes to recipe that requires precision.GRAMS TO CUPS CONVERSION (UNSIFTED)
- 1 fish - about 500 g - I used red snapper 2 oz (50 g) dehydrated cole ( Buey Chay in Hokkian) 2 stalks spring onion, cut into 2-inch sections A little potato starch mixture
- Soak preserved vegetables and rinse away any sand. Squeeze dry and cut into 1 cm sections. Place in a bowl and add seasonings to steam for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are soft
- Clean fish and cut slits on both sides
- Heat 2 Tbsp of oil and pan-fry fish until golden brown on both sides. Add spring onion and fry until fragrant. Add preserved vegetables together with the steaming liquid. Add water if necessary and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes until the gravy reduces to about 2/3 cup. Taste the gravy and season with more soy sauce if needed. Lastly thicken with potato starch mixture