“Weekend Foodtrail” in Penang Day 1

20 February 2010 – “Cheh Chit” Seventh day of Chinese New Year. The day when every one gets to celebrate their birthday with “Eu Sang” – fresh raw fish mixed with other colourful julienne vegetables; like spring onions, ginger, flour flakes, crushed peanuts and dressed with sweet plum sauce. The tradition is that we share this sweet colourful dish with family and friends. Use the chopsticks and “Loh” the “Eu Sang” sky high for prosperity, future, fortune and career advancement. In other word, aim high for everything!

Penang is still celebrating Chinese New Year. The air is filled with festive mood. Symbolic Chinese red lanterns and red banners are hanging outside the front door of most Chinese houses. Streets are decorated with strings of red lanterns and small colourful lights in most popular Penang streets and heritage enclaves.

I treated my family to a Chinese New Year dinner on my first day of arrival in Penang. A must have is the “Eu Sang” – always served as the first course. We tossed and mixed the ingredients as high as possible, without spilling onto the table.

The next course was shark fin soup with lots of chunky crab meat.

Then, the crispy skin suckling baby pig and Man Tou (dumplings).

And, steamed fresh fish. I think it was a Grouper. That was quite a tongue in the mouth. Has anyone try a fish tongue?

A Chinese traditional sticky rice with different glazed barbeque meats like “lap cheong”. I was told this dish is served only once a year at a restaurant. Not in standard ala carte menu.

Steamed broccoli with braised abalone and sea cucumbers.

And, finally sweets – chilled sago honeydew with crushed ice and “tee kuih” or deep fried sticky sweet cake. Tee Kuih is typically offered to the Kitchen God deity during Chinese New Year to sweeten his mouth and glued to his lips so he cannot whisper any bad things about the kitchen household to Heaven God. But, when served to people – it represent blessing of sweet success.

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