Happy Chinese New Year everyone. It seems like Chinese New Year is getting bigger and bigger each year in Melbourne, which usually means more and more chaos. So my day started off with a visit to the dentist, who's a really great dentist, but because he's so great, could only squeeze me in on that day. Anyway, it was a routine check-up and teeth clean. That went well as I had been a good boy and brushed my teeth a lot. The previous times he told me off for not brushing enough and it was painful when the plaque was being removed.
Anyway, as usual, I digress. So after the dentist visit, it was a quick trip to Glen Waverley to pick up some roast ducks. I go to my current favourite place for roast duck, Ocean King. Upon arriving, what do I find, a massive queue, for roast duck. I sighed heavily and then go into the queue. I wish I had listened to mum and pre-ordered the duck, as the pre-order queue was considerably shorter. So I waited, and 45 minutes later it was finally my turn. I got three roast ducks, uncut, and took them home. I did pass Bread Top so grabbed myself a few egg tarts as well. It's New Years, you're allowed to eat what you want.
So since it's New Years and you can eat what you want, you gotta go all out and make it count. It's amazing how similar the food turns out to be each year though. In fact, it's freaky how great minds (or gluttonous minds) think alike, as Sarah's New Year meal and mine were similar in quite a few items.
After waiting so long for my prized ducks, I'm glad to say it was well worth it. Normally it's good already, but that days was especially good, the skin being ultra crispy.
So mum cut up the ducks and we put it into the oven just to crisp it up even more and get it back hot again.
Then you just chop up a few veggies and you're ready to make your own DIY Peking Duck. It's the best way to eat roast duck I reckon. Somehow the blend of flavours from the cucumber, spring onion, pickled carrot and hoi sin sauce and flour pancake makes the duck taste 9.97564 times better.
Instead of buying the roast pork, we made them this year, with our newly learnt skill from watching Masterchef. In the past, the roast pork we made used to have really terrible crackling, as it would be cooked fast and then slow. Instead, Masterchef taught me that you need to cook it slow (about 180C for an hour or so to render the fat and cook the meat) and then crank it fast (230C or as fast as your oven will go) and cook for another 30 minutes to crisp the skin. Marinate the pork in some salt and five spices for flavour. Then you have the best tasting roast pork with such crisp crackling.
In between foods, you find a cute baby and pose for a few snapshots. Doesn't baby Edmond look so adorable.
New Years means excess, and what could be more excessive than abalone. Mmmm, slow cooked with mushrooms and white bok choy, it was so delicious.
Steamed fish for good measure, nin nin yau yu, which translates to "every year you have excess". A good omen.
Home made loh bak, with minced prawns and water chestnuts wrapped in bean curd skin. I like to eat this with sweet chilli sauce.
You can't go wrong with some fat choi soup, the moss sounding like "make fortune". Who doesn't want fortune. I do.
Finally, which Asian doesn't like their pandan chiffon cake. This recipe is seriously easier and gives the best pandan cake I've personally tasted. It's moist, yet light, and the flavours are so good. It tastes better, in my opinion, after being left for a day in the fridge as the flavours meld together.
Look at that insane colour, so cool yeah? I refer to it as Wicked Green in honour of Sarah and Sandra who are obsessed with Wicked the musical.
And that, my friends, is a Chinese New Years dinner. May this year bring you prosperity, health, friends and joy. Eat up!