Hoi Nin Fan (First Meal of the Lunar Year) 開年飯

Today is the second day of the Lunar Calendar and is also the day where Cantonese will have our “Hoi Nin”. In our tradition, “Hoi Nin” means start of a year and “Hoi Nin Fan” that is the meal for “Hoi Nin” also signifies the start of a new year … 

今天是農曆年初二,亦是廣東人開年的日子。傳統上在今天吃過開年飯後,新的一年便正式開始 …

Today is the second day of the Lunar Calendar and is also the day where Cantonese will have our “Hoi Nin”. In our tradition, “Hoi Nin” means start of a year and “Hoi Nin Fan” that is the meal for “Hoi Nin” also signifies the start of a new year.

For those doing business, they will usually have various dishes with auspicious names, for example: Steamed dried oyster with black moss, steamed shiitake mushrooms in oyster sauce etc. For normal people like us, our “Hoi Nin Fan” is much simpler. We usually have some more dishes as compared to our daily life and we will treat this as a gathering where we can share and dine with our dearest family.

For the past few years, “Hoi Nin Fan” were prepared by my elder brother who is a very good home cook. With my recent attempt to make Lo Bak Gou for the Chinese New Year celebration, I proposed to take up and cook the “Hoi Nin Fan” this year.

 

今天是農曆年初二,亦是廣東人開年的日子。傳統上在今天吃過開年飯後,新的一年便正式開始。

做生意的,開年飯會選擇一些好意頭的菜式:例如 “髮菜蠔豉”、”冬菇生菜”等。而一般人的開年飯則較簡單,只比平常豐富一點,目的是讓一家人團聚,共享天倫。

近幾年的開年飯都是由大哥準備,他亦煮得一手好菜。繼早前我首次製作的蘿蔔糕後,我自薦由我負責今年的開年飯。

Subjected to my limited cooking skills, I will only prepare the following dishes for the “Hoi Nin Fan”:

基於我有限的烹飪技巧,今年的開年飯只有以下簡單的幾個:

  • Braised Shiitake Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce 蠔油炆冬菇
  • Braised Ox-tail with Red Wine  紅酒燴牛尾
  • Steamed Pomfret with Black Bean Sauce  豉汁蒸黃𩶘䱽
  • Fried Broccoli with Fatty Beef  西蘭花炒肥牛肉
  • Green Radish, Carrot, Corn & Pork Soup  青紅蘿蔔粟米豬𦟌湯
  • Poached Chicken  白切雞 (外賣)

Chinese New Year is the most important holiday for us.  Most of the shops & restaurant are closed during the holiday and will only return to service on the fourth or fifth day of the Lunar calendar. This arrangement also applies to stalls in fresh market and usually only one or two stalls selling fresh pork and vegetables will be opened  to provide us with fresh fishes and vegetable for the “Hoi Nin Fan”.

I have already bought all my required ingredients on the Chinese New Year eve and just leave the Pomfret and pork to today.

農曆新年是一個大日子,很多店舖都會休息,通常初四或初五才開工營業。一般街市的菜檔、肉檔也有一樣安排,只有小部分的㰙檔會在初二啟市,為大家的開年飯提供鮮魚,豬肉及蔬菜。而我則在年三十晚已預先準備好所需的材料,只把䱽魚和豬𦟌留待今天早上才購買。

Since braised ox-tail with red wine requires more preparation, I cooked it yesterday to save time.

紅酒燴牛尾需要較長時間處理,我就早在初一晚已煮好。

Braised ox-tail with red wine 紅酒燴牛尾

Braised ox-tail with red wine 紅酒燴牛尾

For braised Shiitake Mushrooms and soup that both requires slow-cook, my wife and I started to cook them early this morning.

而蠔油炇冬菇和青紅蘿蔔湯等需要慢火烹調的,我和太太也在今天早上提早製作。

Braised Shiitake Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce 蠔油炆冬菇

Braised Shiitake Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce 蠔油炆冬菇

Green Radish, Carrot, Corn & Pork Soup 青紅蘿蔔粟米豬𦟌湯

Green Radish, Carrot, Corn & Pork Soup 青紅蘿蔔粟米豬𦟌湯

Ingredients and other prior preparation works for the rest of the dishes are also readied in the afternoon.

其他的餸菜材料我亦在午後一一預備好。

 

In the evening while I’m wondering how to handle and ensure the Pomfret is properly cooked, my savior (my elder brother) arrived. With some simple tricks, the Pomfret is cleaned and steamed to exactly what it should be.

傍晚時分,正當我躊躇著如何處理及確保䱽魚蒸熟的時候,我的救星(我的大哥)剛好到來。簡單的幾下功夫就替我把䱽魚清理妥當,再蒸得恰到好處。

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My elder sister also arrived with her family. Bringing with them a traditional chinese vegetarian dish.

不一會,姐姐也帶來她煮的素菜。

A cheerful Hoi Nin Fan 一頓愉快的開年飯

A cheerful Hoi Nin Fan 一頓愉快的開年飯

Together we eat, chat and have a wonderful “Hoi Nin Fan”.

一家人一邊閒話家常,一邊共享我們的開年飯,就這樣便渡過一個簡單而愉快的晚上。

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