On Friday we celebrated our dad’s 79th birthday and as always my ambitious mum cooked a massive feast for the family.
She’s a wonder woman in the kitchen – making dishes upon dishes and never a sigh of exhaustion or sweat on her. We would offer our help but my mum always said ‘no, you’ll give me more bother than help’.
So, one small Chinese lady cooked for 9 adults and 3 children with 11 dishes and one big pot of soup. In the end 12 very satisfied tummies.
Here’s a run down of what my mum made –
‘Bao Yu + Dong Gu’ (aka Abalone and Shitake Mushrooms in oyster sauce)
These abalone were purchased from our recent trip in Hong Kong (special request by my mum as it’s really expensive to buy here in the UK – however even in China it still cost us about £25 a can for 2 pieces!). Not sure why but the Chinese love these and are eaten on special occasions. The ones we got were caught from Australia and New Zealand.
‘Sui Ju’ (aka Roast pork belly)
These are one of my favourite dishes. Taste so good with rice and the crackling on top is just amaaaazing.
‘Bah chi gai’ (poached chicken)
Shown in the centre of the 3 dishes below. It’s usually eaten with a ginger and spring onion oil dip (seen on the left of pic in the white bowl). The chicken is usually served cold and again it’s great with rice.
‘Sap hah’ (boiled prawns)
These were cooked in a pan of hot water. My mum served it with a chilli and soy sauce dip – very simple but very tasty. The shells were kept on so they were definitely finger food!
A mixture of ingredients from the Soup (including pork and lotus root)
My mum will always make a big pot of Chinese soup for a birthday and it will most likely include ingredients such as pork, carrots, lotus root, and various other ingredients which I do not know the name of. These can be taken from the soup and served on a plate as shown below to eat with the main meal. We tend to have the soup at the end of a meal to finish off.
Other dishes –
‘Jing yu’ (aka steamed fish seen at the top of photo)
My mum likes to steam the fish with strips of ginger and spring onions then pour some soy sauce on top before pouring v. hot oil over the fish.
Pak Choi (green veg at the right of photo)
‘Guy lan’ (Chinese green veg at top left of photo)
Sweet and sour pork and chicken (I’m sure you can spot these in the photo!)
‘Sui Ap’ (aka Roast duck seen at bottom of photo)
‘Chow meen’ (aka stir fried noodles)
This was in addition to the rice we had. My little nieces love their granny’s noodles so these were served too.
And for the finale – Dad’s birthday cake made by moi
Layers of Genoise and Victoria sponges served with fresh fruit and cream. Look out for my next blog for this recipe!