Today is 1st day of the 12th month in Chinese lunar calendar, which means Chinese New Year is exactly a month away. Have you start preparing for the celebration? For myself, there's nothing much to prepare...
Spring cleaning - not needed cos I keep the pigeon hole clean whole year round but its time to change the curtains though.
Bake cookies - don't think I'll bake any since (1) my oven's heating element has gone haywire, replacement only coming in 2 weeks time; and (2) visitors these days hardly touch any cookies.
New clothings - errr since we buy clothes whole year round unlike our childhood days, don't think we need any more new clothes except for my boiboi. Else his grandparents will come twist my ear for not getting new clothes for their bao bei (precious in Mandarin)! That already been handled cos I usually buy some larger sizes clothings when I see nice shirts or trousers.
Gifts for parents & in-laws - my mother had already warned us last week not to buy her anything to prevent wastage. I guess this year some yuk korn/bak gua (dried meats) and some mandarin oranges will do.
I supposed we just need to buy some drinks, change some new notes and hassle for some angpow packets haha from friends working in the banks. Looks like another simple new year for us.
Since many of us observing vegetarian today, I'm gonna post up my Tzai Choy Version 3.0. I realised I did not mention much on Version 1.0 and 2.0. I'm getting very forgetful these days. I find it so hard trying to recall what I can use for variety sake, so what better than documenting them here. This round I'm gonna put down all the ingredients that I've used.
Ingredients used this time were dau foo pok (deep fried tofu), cabbage, canned button mushrooms, dao bao (beancurd skins a type of vegetarian beancurd made from layers of beancurd sheet, usually found frozen in vegetarian supply shops or supermarkets), deep fried beancurd sheets (I used to deep fried them myself until I saw them ready fried, wahhh so happy cos not so messy deep frying the beancurd sheets), soaked fun si (mung bean noodles), dried lily buds that I've soaked and tied into a knot for a chewy bite, carrot, soaked and sliced dried black mushrooms and soaked cloud ear mushrooms.
Pan fry the cut dao bao in a bit of oil till browned in a non-stick pan. Set aside. You can opt not to cut them up and use the whole piece instead.
For flavouring, only a few pieces (not too much as it can be too salty) of lam yue (fermented red beancurd) and vegetarian oyster flavour sauce to taste.
First, heat up oil in wok, add in fermented red beancurd. Smash them up while frying till fragrant. Place in cabbage and stir. Add in the rest of the vegetables and mushrooms. Mix well before adding enough water to cover them up. Season with the oyster flavour sauce. Next add in the dao bao and mung bean noodles. Place the deep fried beancurd sheet on top, cover and simmer on low heat. Uncover and stir, the water should have reduced by now. Once the ingredients are cooked, dish up and serve. Wonderful with rice or even on its own!
Tip: I've watched an episode of Good Idea, a Taiwan show on one of the Chinese channels on Astro. With my smattering knowledge of Mandarin I managed to catch this tip shown on screen. To hasten the process of soaking dried black mushroom, place the mushrooms in a bowl of water and add in some sugar. Then place a piece of cling wrap directly on top of the mushrooms so that the mushrooms are under the water. Microwave on errr I supposed high power for 3 minutes. The mushrooms surprisingly came out soft right till the core! So far I haven't tried yet cos I cooked this dish before watching this. Let me know if this had work for you. Fantabulous show they've got there.
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