Saturday, March 03, 2007

Festivals - Sarikei CNY 2007 - Part 2

Sarikei CNY - Mee Suah breakfast date.

n the first day of New Year, my mum gave to me - mee suah noodle in piping hot chicken broth boiled with red dates. This is a tradition in a lot of families and this might be the only salty meal of the of the day before dinner as you head out visiting friends and relatives for the whole day.

Sarikei CNY - Sweet tooth of mine
Cakes, pastries, green tea kua chi (seeds), pistachio nuts, cashew nuts, etc.

On the first 2 days of visiting, always leave room in your stomach for those delicious kueh (cakes in Malay) because that's when they were freshest and moist (not dried up by refrigeration). Some people kept their cakes in an air tight container in the fridge for freshness. Health conscious folks would cut down on sugary drinks by requesting for plain water. You would not offend the host by declining their fizzy drinks or alcohol. When it's time for the host to have their lunch or dinner, politely excuse yourself from the house. If the next batch of visitors came, it's also time to leave and stop cracking the same old jokes to the same old friends.

Sarikei, we have a problem. The achar has landed.

One of the favourite CNY goodies has to be achar (pickled cucumber sprinkled with grounded peanuts) served on a seafood keropok (cracker in Malay). To make achar, timun (cucumber in Malay) had to cut in thin slices after removing the seeds. Then the slices had to be sun dried (for crunchiness) before it is pickled.

CNY - Pastry galore and nian gao
(source: Sorry, can't recall!)

If you can't have enough of the CNY goodies, buy these pastries that can last past Chap Goh Meh (15th night of CNY in Hokkien). Nian kao (CNY cake) is made from glutinuous rice powder and steamed. It's not easy to make but it can last very long. You can deep fry slices of nian kao with egg.

Sarikei CNY - The lion kings saw red (ang pow)

Another tradition is the lion dance for prosperity. There were several associations making the rounds during CNY including the Min Lik School troupe in the picture. You would get the lion dance for your house or shop in return for a cash donation (even number bills) in an ang pow (red packet in Hokkien). If you gave 2 ang pows, you would get 2 lions dances at the same time. You could have some fun by tying the ang pow every high for the lion to "eat" (a hand would come out of the mouth to grab the ang pow). There was one guy who paid for a lion dance around his Proton car!

Sarikei CNY - "Leap" Year at Ah Kow's restaurant, Berjaya Road

Excuse me, would you like to dance and get high?


Anonymous said...

Hi, i have try the achar at my bf cousin house at sibu. KL here don't have this dish eat with the achar.

From yvonne

fred said...


Having a good time in Sarikei.

Still having problem to open your blog in Firefox

Daniel Yiek said...


Pls hold on while I figure out to to fix the FireFox issue. I'm still catching up with my work after 2wks away.

Enjoy Sarikei!

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