The Year of the Rabbit

Today is the 4th day of the Rabbit year and for fifteen days, life is an endless buffet of buttery peanut biscuits, honeyed pork jerky, pineapple tarts … … … endless. If you’re Chinese, you’d know better never to make those ‘I will lose weight/I will eat healthy’ resolutions on 31st December because come lunar new year,  you will let yourself down.

During this period, we would visit friends and relatives and be offered lots of food. The children receives red packets containing money and have unlimited access to candies and soft drinks. Yesterday (like every other year), we hosted friends and relatives (about 50) with a steamboat party.

My 88 years old grandmother frying sweet glutinous rice cakes in the morning

Sweet rice cakes fried in batter. A traditional Chinese new year snack.

That’s me peeling the wintermelon for the steamboat broth and surrounded with goodies.

My famous wintermelon broth. Recipe is here.

Enough to feed an army.

The ready to eat section with satays, fried noodles, sushi and dumplings.

The highlight of the day was the very Singaporean tradition of lo hei, which is the messy tossing of a communal raw fish salad (called yu sheng) for good luck and prosperity. As this is the year of the rabbit, I made a golden bunny yu sheng.

The salad contains white radish, carrot, cucumber, ground peanuts, mandarin peel, various pickles and is seasoned with plum sauce and lime juice. Invented in Singapore, this salad is slowly gaining popularity in other Chinese communities. I will post the recipe another time but below is a short video of how the tossing ceremony works.

Here’s wishing everyone a wonderful year of the rabbit. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

13 Responses to “The Year of the Rabbit”
  1. Food Frenzy says:

    That’s awesome. The tables of food look delicious. When I was growing up, I was told not to play with my food, but the video proves that as a group you can have a lot of fun with food.

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  2. Tiffany says:

    This was the coolest post ever! I love the pictures! And the bunny on the salad! Crazy, I came home two nights ago, and THERE WAS A RABBIT IN FRONT OF MY DOOR! I kid you not. And it didn’t even move! I took a picture with my phone before it hopped away… and knew in my heart that this would be a good year. Thanks for sharing!

    • foodandscent says:

      Thanks Tiffany! Aww that must be the lucky bunny bringing good luck to your household! I’ve never had any cute furry animals appear at my door step but once I was travelling outback Australia and found a kangaroo outside my door. That freaked me out haha! I will post the bunny salad recipe and you have to try it. Minus the fish, it’s makes an amazing vegan salad.

  3. Its so nice to learn about your family’s traditions – hope it was a fun party!

  4. Wow, what a feast!! your grandmother is so cute… my mom fried up some sweet rice cakes too but I think I would like your family’s version better – more batter! =) i’ve never seen that noodle tossing tradition – looks like a lot of fun! lol! and that bunny you created is so clever!

    • foodandscent says:

      My heart skipped a beat when they started tossing the bunny hahaha. My cousin said I’m in trouble next year because it’s the Dragon year and he challenged me to make a dragon salad. That will be tough!

  5. That noodle bunny is awesome and so is your grandmother!! She is sooooo adorable! I totally fell off the wagon this weekend. OK, now time to start exercising!

  6. Cakewalker says:

    Superb post… and the photography is delightful! Your descriptives and photographic storytelling made me feel as though I was a guest in your home! Thank you for sharing your treasured family traditions. Bravo!

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