[Longyan City, Fujian, China] Chinese New Year dishes of the ๐˜“๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜•๐˜จ๐˜ข๐˜ฉ People

The Leng Ngah people are a Fujianese sub-dialect group whose homeland is where the present-day city of Longyan (Chinese: ้พๅท–) stands. The prefecture-level city is located in southwestern Fujian province, bordering Guangdong to the south and Jiangxi to the west.

Last evening, I was fortunate enough to be invited for a traditional Leng Ngah dinner by a friend whose sprightly 80-year-old mother, Madam Chung Nee Hong, is a fabulous cook, and who also happens to be very passionate about her familyโ€™s Leng Ngah cuisine.

The dishes she cooked that evening are usually prepared for the Leng Ngah peopleโ€™s Lunar New Year reunion dinner, and also for other auspicious occasions:
:small_orange_diamond: ๐—ฆ๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ธ๐˜‚๐—ฎ - re-hydrated dried bamboo shoots, mushrooms, dried scallops, โ€œpee huโ€ (dried leatherjacket fish), โ€œjiu huโ€ (dried cuttlefish), twice-cooked pork belly, seasoned with 5-spice & light soy-sauce.

This is a very time-consuming dish to prepare: it requires the dried bamboo shoots to be rehydrated - soaking and cleaning it over a few days, before braising it with stock made from boiling pork bones and dried leatherjacket fish. Then, thereโ€™s that huge piece of pork belly which needed to be par-boiled with condiments, then deep-fried to brown its exterior whilst retaining the moistness and juices inside. The whole piece of pork belly is then cooked with the rehydrated bamboo shoots, and more condiments added.
Mdm Chung cutting up the large piece of pork for the ๐˜€๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ธ๐˜‚๐—ฎ tableside.

:small_orange_diamond: ๐—ฌ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜†๐—ถ - an important festive dish for the Leng Ngah people. The dish consisted of braised white cabbage, carrots, โ€œfatt choyโ€ (black moss), pork bones, โ€œpee huโ€ (leatherjacket fish), shitake mushrooms, โ€œjiu huโ€ (dried cuttlefish), pan-fried minced fish/pork/dried shrimp/egg cakes, and radish.

Pan-fried minced fish/pork/dried shrimp/egg cakes - very tasty morsel, reminiscent of French quenelles, found in the ๐—ฌ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜†๐—ถ dish.

:small_orange_diamond: ๐—ง๐—ผ๐—ผ ๐—ธ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ - stewed pork trotters, radish, carrots, shitake mushrooms & chestnuts.

:small_orange_diamond: ๐—ฃ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ ๐—ต๐˜‚ ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฟ - stir-fried โ€œpee huโ€ (dried leatherjacket fish), โ€œbangkwangโ€ (jicama), shitake mushrooms, onions and carrots.

:small_orange_diamond: ๐—๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—ผ ๐˜‡๐—ถ dumplings - mashed yam dumplings filled with minced pork, sweet crushed peanuts, dried shrimps, sesame seeds; served in a pork & seaweed soup.

:small_orange_diamond: ๐—”๐—ฟ๐—ธ ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ต - crisp-fried yam cake, containing duck-meat.

A veritable feast - Madam Chung took a whole week to do the preparations, and cook the meal, as some of the ingredients, like the dried bamboo shoots which needed 5 days of soaking and cleaning to rehydrate them, were very time-consuming to prepare.

The Chinese Lunar New Year falls on Feb 1, 2022 (next Tuesday), and itโ€™ll be the Year of the Tiger then.

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Wow, fabulous!

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Amazing, Peter.

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If you come back this way, Iโ€™ll arrange for one of these meals for you.

Reason enough! Think I just need to do 7 day quarantine in Langkawi now?

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Home quarantine for most states in Malaysia - Langkawi sounds as good a place as any!