Chinese New Year falls on February 3 this year. Chinese New Year (CNY) is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is known also as Spring Festival, the literal translation of the Chinese name 春节 (Chun Jie). Chinese New Year is celebrated in countries and territories with significant Chinese populations, such as Mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and also in Chinatowns elsewhere. Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the new year celebrations of its geographic neighbors, as well as cultures with whom the Chinese have had extensive interaction.
People will pour out their money to buy presents, decoration, material, food, and clothing. It is also the tradition that every family thoroughly cleans the house to sweep away any ill-fortune in hopes to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red colour paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of “happiness”, “wealth”, and “longevity”. On the Eve of Chinese New Year (this year is February 2, 2011), supper is a feast with families. Food will include such items as pigs, ducks, chicken and sweet delicacies. The family will end the night with firecrackers. Early the next morning, children will greet their parents by wishing them a healthy and happy new year, and receive money in red paper envelopes. The Chinese New Year tradition is a great way to reconcile; forgetting all grudges, and sincerely wish peace and happiness for everyone.
I used to go home every year when I lived in Singapore to celebrate CNY with families. It is that one time of the year that everyone gathers in our family. Of course I haven’t been celebrating CNY with my family in Indonesia since 2010 and I miss them ever so dearly. My mom will prepare extensive amount of dishes on the Eve of CNY and boy am I missing those.
Motherhood has kept me quite busy, however, I would like to share this simple and yummy dish using sea cucumber, an ingredient in my mom’s cooking I would normally see when I was home for CNY celebration.
For other recipe using sea cucumber, click here
I wish everyone out there who celebrates Chinese New Year a great and prosperous Rabbit year. We often say in Chinese GONG XI FAT CHAI 🙂
PORK WITH SEA CUCUMBER AND MUSHROOM STIR-FRY(2 servings)
1 sea cucumber (soaked and cleaned)- cut into bite size
1 lb pork loin (cut into thin strips)
1 C shitake mushroom or any mushroom of your choice
2 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp of dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp Shaoxing wine
1 Tbsp of rock sugar
1 tsp white pepper
1 stalk spring onion (finely chopped)
2 C of hot water
2 Tbsp of canola oil
1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
1. Preheat a wok/large pan with canola oil on high heat. Add in garlic and saute until fragrant for about 10 seconds
2. Add in the meat and continue to saute until the meat turns opaque. Add in mushrooms, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, shaoxing wine and continue to saute for another minute
3. Add in sea cucumber pieces and rock sugar and saute for about 1 minute. Add in the hot water and turn down heat and let it simmer so the sea cucumber can absorb the seasoning and flavor from other ingredients (about 2-3 minutes). Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Turn off the heat and garnish with spring onion