On the eve of Chinese New Year, families set aside time to gather with their love ones for reunion dinner. In Singapore we usually have steamboat which is like a hot pot dish made of chicken broth. There will be plenty of fish, meat, vegetables, mushrooms etc. As we will be joining fellow Singaporeans for steamboat on Chinese New Year Eve, we had our little cosy reunion dinner today.
I decided to make nasi lemak and chicken soup because the former is one of Daniel’s favourite Singapore dishes and the latter is perfect on a cold, wintry night. We usually don’t serve these two dishes together so I guess it’s my so called “fusion” reunion dinner.
I am so glad to be surrounded by pretty good Asian supermarkets in Frankfurt. I managed to get the paste for both the sambal chilli and the coconut rice. The sambal is definitely a lot more authentic and tastier than the one we get from Rewe (one of Germany’s local supermarkets). I even attempted to fry the anchovies and hard boiled egg together which is something my aunt makes a lot and I absolutely love it!
It took me 2-2.5 hours to prepare the chicken soup. I didn’t want to use any chicken stock hence I boiled 2 huge chicken thighs for approximately 2.5 hours to make my own stock. To sweeten the soup, I added carrots, potatoes, button mushrooms, onions, celery and anchovies. It’s definitely worth spending the time to make your own broth once you’ve tasted the soup.
Although it was only a couple of simple homecooked dishes, we are really happy to spend our reunion dinner together. It is such a special occasion and I’m so fortunate to be able to spend it with my best friend – my lovely husband. The year of the rat was filled with life changing decisions (relocating, changing jobs, new apartment etc). Since I am not fortune teller, I am unsure of what the new year would bring for us. However, this uncertainty isn’t that frightful. I look forward to the year of the snake because come what may, I know that I am surrounded by people who love and care for me. Most importantly, my pillar of strength and motivator will also be there to face the snake (well, some people say the snake will bully the rat and I so happen to be born in the year of the rat).