today is an important day!
brother arranged to meet at 光明山 at 7am，to 扫墓祭祖 for 清明.
i actually not keen on the date, as i thought it being good friday & PH (public holiday) it would be jammed pack. every year we came during this period & it was always jammed pack. our cars had to be illegally parked very far away (the police smart enough not to book your car on such occasions). so i had come with my sis during the actual anniversary dates, at around 3pm+ (they open 7am to 4pm during non-peak normal days).
i plan to do that next year onwards ie come like 2-3weeks before actual day.
i didn’t check this year, but actual day for 清明 was 4apr2017, but you can come within 2 weeks of that date.
sis & bil were earliest. they came by mrt & bus, left their home before 6am.
wife & i reached there just before 7am….surprise surprise, no jam, no traffic at all! brother, sil & their son arrived shortly…
there was no hassle to lay out the fruits, light up the candles & joss sticks, then proceed to level 5 where the rows of urns are kept & to worship/pay our respects.
we arranged to have breakfast at my place after 清明.
so i got up at 5.30am. i needed 1 hr to prepare the 7 dishes, leaving the spinach to fry when we are back for breakfast. i left the house at 6.35am.
first thing i did was to steam the mullet & yellow croaker. these i cleaned with salt & washed the evening before & kept in the fridge.
one thing unique about chilled mullet is it has to be steamed with the scales, so that can be removed together with the skin later easily. and also we need to keep the innards, so i do not ask the fishmongers (at sheng shiong) to clean, but clean the mullet myself.
steaming took 13minutes. after that left to cool before putting in fridge to chill.
both the fish were excellent, just like eating outside.
while fish steaming, i did the other dishes.
first the wonderful fried cabbage, as this took longest.
so fried ikan bilis (washed & dried in fridge evening before), cut chilli padi. then added cabbage & chopped garlic, oyster sauce, high fire. then added taupok (i cut 6 pieces, 4 strips per piece). added 1/2 cup water, covered to cook. about 10mins, added water as required, but small amount. added tanhoon (soaked & cut) last when about ready. set aside.
while cooking the cabbage, i added 1 tbsp corn flour & 1 tbsp light soy sauce & cut scallions to about 350g minced pork, and arranged it in a metal tray for steaming. i added 1 more tbsp light sauce & 2 tbsp olive oil, then steamed for 12 mins. that easy.
the egg i added when reheating when we were back for breakfast – egg yolk in the cleft & egg whites with the sauce.
this dish everyone liked, very “pang” & the texture very tender, moist & malleable. though minced pork was a bit fat for my brother (but i chose the fatty ones st sheng shiong which i prefer)
fried 1 cut red onions, cut chilli padi. added leeks (3 stalks) and 2 sausages, oyster sauce. covered for short period. no water.
nothing much to do here. just fried cut chilli & chopped garlic, added egg plants & oyster sauce. very little water, covered for short period.
my last dish to cook was the bittergourd egg.
i tried to emulate the famous zai shun dish, so added the salted egg.
i boiled the salted egg evening before. & chopped 1/2 egg – all of egg white & yolk.
i fried cut chilli padi, chopped garlic, bittergourd (which i poached in boiling water & cleaned with salt & soaked in water overnight), & the 1/2 salted egg, then added 2 eggs & fried.
this dish was ok, ordinary & nothing like the excellent dish at zai shun. my 1/2 salted egg not enough , will add whole salted egg next time. my preparation of the bittergourd has to change too…very thin slices…
& of course i cooked the teochew porridge the evening before, just 1 cup for 7pax. i added one chicken leg (no skin) & some salt.
they all like the porridge.
so when we were back before 8am, my sis & brother prepare the taujeon & removed the scales & skin of the chilled mullet, while i just heat up the dishes. & fried the last dish, spinach with ikan bilis on the spot. no water.
a simple & most wonderful breakfast. everyone enjoyed!
sis & bil stayed back to watch chinese tv drama = 亲爱的翻译官..i really enjoyed this tv drama, and the lead actress 杨幂!
i cooked a simple lunch for them – nonya steamed sea bass & olive veg fried rice…^^