Jen and her friend Kai Ee came to visit us on Saturday to bless our house for the Chinese New Year. Not sure what to expect we decided to make and old favourite snack called Begrafnis Broodjies (Funeral Mini Sandwiches loosely translated) served with some South African Biltong and Droewors on the side. We kept the snacks in the fridge only to be taken out if needed.
Jen brought the traditional Yusheng along and together they proceeded to introduce us to the ritual and the food off course. Yusheng is bought in the form of a tray with all the ingredients neatly separated and ready for the process called the prosperity toss.
Jen and Kai Ee (The Leaders at the table) opened the individual containers and gradually added together all the ingredients, the fish, crackers and sauces and while saying auspicious wishes as each ingredient is added. We covered the table with newspaper and put the Yusheng on top. we all then stood up and on cue, proceeded to toss the shredded ingredients into the air with chopsticks while saying various "auspicious wishes" out loud. It is believed that the height of the toss reflects the height of the diner's growth in fortunes, thus we did our best to get some "Fortune"
The table ended up being quite messy and to be honest the dish did not look appetising to me after all the tossing. We all sat down and dished up servings in our individual side plates. And then that first bite and a culinary explosion in my mouth. I have never experienced anything like it. Each mouth full is packed with flavour and while chewing you get surprise upon surprise. We both love it and finished the whole thing in no time. Honestly, I gladly would have had it again the next day but sadly will have to wait until the next Chinese New Year. Thank you Jen and Kai Ee for a truly memorable experience.
We had a lovely afternoon chatting and we introduced them to the Biltong and droe wors. Discussed our long outstanding Braaivleis which is now planned for two weekends from now. I look forward to return the favour and let Jen and Kai Ee experience a bit of South African hesritage and foodie culture. The begrafnis broodjies ended up being our supper as there was no hungry people after the Yusheng.
After months of emailing and one Skype session, Trevor arrived from South Africa on Sunday and yesterday we got together for coffee and finally met face to face. We had a nice chat about the Expat experience, Singapore in general and I look forward to having a friend on this side.
Happy Chinese New Year Gong Xi Fa Cai