Guest Post: Mom’s Chap Goh Meh (15th Night) Celebration

Happy Friday, readers! I’d like to introduce y’all to my lovely mother, Huang. Once she saw the blog, she sent over some photos of a celebration my family recently hosted that featured lots of more traditional New Year’s foods that we don’t eat very often. It really was a feast — I’m more than a little jealous! šŸ™‚


Chap Goh Meh (15th night in Hokkien) marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebration, which lasts two weeks.

Say Kee & I hosted a meal on the eve of Chap Goh Meh with several family friends, including a few Malaysian ChineseĀ couples, a PhD student from East Malaysia, and our good family friend Clyde (Armenian heritage, we made him an honorary Malaysian Chinese seeing he eats practically anything) in attendance.

Chinese New Year dishes are eaten for their symbolic significance (which I barely practice since Godā€™s a faithful provider; plus, unlike Lin, I am not into food as much!)Ā  Nevertheless, Lee Lean prepared yee sang, comprising of carrot, daikon, cucumber, pomelo (pink grapefruit as substitute), jelly fish, julienned lemon rind, shredded chicken (in place of the raw fish), slivered lime leaves, roasted peanuts, and sesame seeds, with a sprinkling of 5 spice powder & white pepper mixed with plum sauce. Yee sang, or é±¼ē”Ÿ, is a homophone for 余升, which means an increase in abundance — hence the appropriateness of eating it for New Year’s.

Here you can see three different dishes (although two are on the edges!). Eddy made a smooth and light lo bak ko [steamed radish cake], chap chai [braised or stewed mixed vegetables, also a New Year’s dish] Ā & Micky made kuay teow [a type of thick, flat rice noodle] with slivered lime leaves & seafood

Some more of the dishes served:Ā blanched bok choy,Ā Sok Leng’s amat pedas sambal [very spicy chili sauce],Ā sambal ikan bilis [dried anchovy chili sauce] with kacang goreng [fried peanuts], spicy shrimp with tofu, and moreĀ chap chai.

Unfortunately we were too full and lazy to photograph the desserts: pineapple tarts,Ā glutinous rice balls withĀ ground nutsĀ fillingĀ in pandan syrup, sesame and red bean glutinous cake, Sok Lengā€™s lin ko, pulut inti [glutinous rice packets with dried coconut], steamed kacang (actually it went ā€˜missingā€™ & didnā€™t get served), chrysanthemum tea, chin chau/grass jelly drink, and clementines.

A very Happy Year of the Golden Tiger to all the readers of the Don the Apron! blog!


2 thoughts on “Guest Post: Mom’s Chap Goh Meh (15th Night) Celebration

  1. So glad you posted! I was telling Lin I wish I could have appreciated your cooking more when I was a kid, but I do remember it being a big deal to make egg drop soup at your apartment. I just thought it came in plastic containers!

    Hope you’re well! This all looks amazing.

  2. Hi Elyse,
    You barely ate when a 5th & 6th grader! I was amazed what sustained you. You were game anyway to try different foods. Plus my cooking has improved since 92-93.
    Hugs for the Orecchio family.

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