Hotpot – Recipe and Cooking Tips

“Blissful hotpot meal for the family and friends!”

Hey hey!  Long time no see! Still within the 15 days of Lunar New Year. I wish all a very Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Guess we all are having elaborated meals so often during the season. Me, too, have been enjoying great sumptiuous food almost every other day for the past 2 weeks.. Well, I always repeat this statement: “Ok.. will keep fit and go on diet after the 15th of Lunar New Year..” Wahaha..

Anyway, I made hotpot/ steamboat meal at home, of course. Hotpot meal is almost a MUST in this Chinese festive, for several reasons. In winter countries, eating hotpot keeps the family warm, physically and heartedly. In my year-long-summer Singapore, we have hotpot during festive to symbolise togetherness of the family. Also, Chinese believed that hotpot meal, where a metal pot of soup stock base (choices of spicy or non-spicy soup stock) is simmering at the center of the dining table, symbolises raising of wealth as liquid/ soup refers to money (风山水起), and the constant boiling motion of soup/ stock in the hotpot symbolises rolling of the ball of wealth (财源滚滚).. I loved hotpot where the family sits together surround the dining table to slowly enjoy such healthy hotpot meal, simply spoilt by the extensive choices of ingredients, pick and place whatever ingredients you like into the hotpot.

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Sweet Chilli Crayfish (龙马精神)

“A savoury scrumptious crayfish dish to symbolise a life filled with strength and vitality!”

While it’s true that sometimes nothing beats the convenience and festive atmosphere to dine-in at a restaurant during occasions, it can also set you back $100 – 200 or more for a festive meal which you may prepare by your own. Same festive mood, home cooked festive meal also warms the heart of your loved ones, too! Try re-creating the experience with this luxury savoury at home for less than half that amount.

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Stir-Fried Asparagus & Prawns with XO Sauce (锦上添花)

“Make the perfection to even more perfect.”

You don’t want meals with just meat, meat and meat throughout the CNY. Vegetables are essential to our diets, too, even during the festive, of course! And there are many greens can still be symbolical, for instances, the asparagus I’ve cooked here.

I named this dish as 锦上添花 (Pronounced as ‘Jin Shang Tian Hua’). Do you also find the appearance of this dish looks pretty much like the beautiful flowers (the prawns) blooming on the strong branches (the asparagus)? That’s the direct translation of these Chinese characters, which to be deciphered as makes the perfection even more perfect.

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Honey Sesame Chicken (甜蜜金凤 – 密糖芝麻鸡)

“Meal for Chinese Lunar New Year vs Western Valentine’s Day. “

So happen that this year’s Chinese Lunar New Year coincides with the Western Valentine’s Day. So, you might want to cook some sweet-hearted and auspicious with good symbolization dishes. Which condiment that first comes to your mind? The very first condiment I could think of to be used is… honey! No doubt, it has to be honey.

The sweet savoury flavor from the use of honey gives us a feeling of happiness, when we taste it. Honey, symbolizes sweet and loving life. Just for this reason, cooking this honey sesame chicken would be one of my priority dishes during the season (smile).

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Golden Shrimps (with Salted Egg Yolk) – 黄金笑虾虾

“One of the important Chinese festive seafood dishes. It helps to spread laughter around!”

Chinese Lunar New Year, we (Chinese) emphasize on cooking symbolic dishes with auspicious dish name. Prawn, or called it shrimp, is one of the compulsory items to be used to cook CNY dishes as shrimp, in Cantonese, is pronounced as HA (虾). Its pronunciation resembling the sound of laughter, ha ha! It represents happy life with lots of laughter ahead. Do you also notice? Even the curvy shape of each shrimp resembles smiley lips. So, eating shrimps are symbolical during Chinese festive, especially to the Cantonese dialect group.

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Chicken Wing in Honeyed Char Siew Sauce (密糖叉烧汁鸡翼)

Simply easy, simple savoury

One of my readers was asking for a recipe of 密汁鸡 (Pronounciation in Mandarin as “Mi Zhi Ji”) in my FB Fanclub. Without her further elaboration on the dish title, I assumed she wanted the honeyed chicken. However, I had an urge of making the honey char siew flavour version instead, last weekend. So, I cooked this for this time, and I promised to cook the other honey chicken next time, ok (smile)?

Well, it’s still worth cooking this recipe even if it’s not the desired recipe as it was so delicious! For the sake of the appetite of your kids, cook this, anyway. They will certainly love the sweet savoury taste!

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It’s about every food I’ve cooked with heart and loves