On the second day of Chinese New Year (1.5 months ago(!!!)), I decided to cook for 9 people, including myself, to celebrate the occasion. I have never cooked for more than one person in my life (i.e. me!!), except maybe twice but those were just fried noodles which didn't turn out too well in my opinion. Thus, the idea of cooking for NINE people is truly nerve-wrecking. However, I know for a fact that I do not cook well under pressure and my best cooking can only be experienced when I am enjoying myself. Also, the fact that my guests are all foreigners (a.k.a not Malaysians/Singaporeans/Any Chinese) is indeed consoling as my cooking will still be passable even if I did screw up :P. So, I've decided to just enjoy the experience and cook up a majestic 8-course dinner!
[Warning: This article contains lots and lots of pictures of food, including non-halal food. Read at your own risk! I am not responsible for whatever happens to you after reading this!! ^^;]
This is what a rice cooker looks like when it's overflowing with rice... There were rave reviews for the rice for some reason... must be because I used Thai Jasmine rice?
My oyster-sauce based paper wrapped chicken, chicken wings to be exact. A simple marinade-overnight-and-wrap-them-up-and-throw-into-the-oven dish.
Chinese steamed minced pork, an easy-to-make put-everything-together-and-steam dish. I couldn't make the typical big trayful as my steamer is too small. So I had to improvise. The result was what one of my guests called "the burger thingy" ^^;
My sweet sour pork, hot from the wok, which experienced a clean sweep even before we even started eating. I spent months perfecting this baby ever since I came here, and am still doing so!
A close-up for you to drool at ^,^
My ginger-scallion chicken, another dish which was also emptied within a short time.
Vegetable dishes are not my speciality, so I decided to just throw a bunch of rabbit food together and made a tray of Loh Han Chai (mixed vegetables?). Look at all the steam!!
Lotus root & peanut soup, of which I completely forgot to take a picture for some reason. So you only get to see the experimental version made some time last year :( This was the first dish I served everybody, and it is most probably the most mysterious dish out of all my cooking that night.
Siew Yuk (Roasted Pork Belly), which I DIDN'T cook but went all the way to town to buy instead :P.
Siew Mai, which I bought frozen from the Chinese supermarket and steamed. Hey... steaming takes effort as well... I don't have that much time to wrap up siew mai's, ok?
My plate. I didn't take too much because I was worried that there won't be enough food to go around.
My food was (almost) all cleared, except for 2 extra paper-wrapped chickens and some Loh Han Chai left over. This could either mean that my food was too tasty, or that there wasn't enough food :( I could actually feel the vibe of people wanting more sweet and sour pork that night. :(
My guests made some dessert to make sure that everybody's stomach is filled. I took the easy way out and bought a big watermelon and had one of my guests chop it up while I was busy cooking :P
All in all, it was quite successful dinner. There were no reports of food poisoning, so that was already a success in itself. ^^
14 March 09
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