Swing into the year of the Monkey with a full (and happy!) stomach! If you are planning a homecooked dinner for the annual reunion dinner, here are five fun, easy and tasty ideas you can add to the table. There are great not only for reunion dinners; they would also work just as fine for CNY lunch and dinner gatherings. Enjoy!
1. Cheese Fondue Pot
We all love the myriad of ingredients at the steamboat table. From prawns to fish balls and dumplings and vegetables, there’s always something for everyone. Try having a mini fondue pot at the side where everyone can dip a little something in cheese! Or, if you’re up for it, it can even replace the steamboat. There’s no such thing as too much cheese, right? If you’re worried about not having enough dipping forks, you can also use bamboo skewers.
Want a more local taste instead? Try using Satay or Chili Crab sauce – the possibilities are endless! This would work great for any leftover ingredients as well. Ingredients can be as b asic of as fancy as you desire!
Recommended product: Boska Tapas Cheese Fondue Set (400g)
2. Make Homemade Meatballs and prepare your own Shabu Shabu Steamboat!
Steamboats are a quintessential Chinese reunion dinner where everyone gathers around the dinner table, sharing food cookied in a communal pot and having a table overflowing with different ingredients. Having a steamboat dinner is great; having two soup bases is even better, but a Shabu Shabu Steamboat with two soup bases takes it to a whole new delicious level!
Skip the store-bought meatballs for your very own homemade ones! Do you know water chestnuts add a nice crunch and texture to the meatballs? They are a cinch to prepare and also make for perfect dippers for a cheesy fondue pot! Learn to prepare these scrumptious meatballs and your own shabu shabu hot pot and you’ll be in business!
Recommended products: Portable Steamboat Bundle, Cuisinart Mini-Prep® Plus Processor
3. Get veggie-happy with a DIY Yu Sheng!
A must-have during CNY, Yu Sheng/Yee Sang is a Chinese-style raw fish salad that typically consists of strips of raw fish, mixed with shredded vegetables and a variety of sauces and condiments. The auspicious tossing of Yu Sheng, commonly referred to as ‘Lo Hei’, is a common tradition during CNY, symbolising abundance and prosperity.
Try a sweet and tangy version this year with this Chinese-Thai Style Fruit Yu Sheng! It can even serve as a colourful dessert after your reunion dinner.
Making your own traditional Yu Sheng means that you will be able to control what exaactly goes into it – cut the calories by using lesser plum sauce and crispy crackers! Check this recipe out for a healthier homemade version by the Health Promotion Board!
Recommended products: Zyliss Smart Touch™ Salad Spinner, Benriner Vegetable Turning Slicer
4. Wrap away with a Popiah Station!
Just like coffee, everyone likes their popiah made differently. Set up a popiah station as an appetiser before the reunion dinner and enjoy rolling them as a family! It can even be served the next day as the ingredients refrigerate well. Add as much or as little toppings as you like and make your very own signature popiah! Here is a great recipe to get you started:
Recommended products: Benriner Plastic Vegetable Slicer, Jamie Oliver All-Purpose 3-in-1 Peeler with Blade Storage Kit
5. Bake CNY goodies as a family!
Chinese New Year is all about bonding with friends and family, and not forgetting enjoying all the delicious food and snacks available only during this festive period! Learn to bake pineapple tarts, a festive favourite and bake them as a family after the reunion dinner. Some like more pineapple filling and less pastry, some prefer open-faced tarts – make the pineapple filling and dough beforehand and keep it in the refrigerator. That way they’ll be ready to go after dinner.
Feel like learning more CNY Cookies from a chef? Join our CNY Cookies Galore class with Chef Mimi Wahadi, or join Chef Darryl Lim and make your very own Kueh Lapis in the ever-popular Famous Layers: Kueh Lapis class!