We used to host an annual Chinese New Year’s Party.  It started as a procrastinator’s Holiday Office Party with colleagues and clients. Eventually non-Chinese friends and relatives were included.  The core menu has never changed, but the supporting dishes were always meant to be unusual, something not ordinarily eaten or found in restaurants unless you knew Chinese or lived in Honolulu.  We’ve served tripe and beef stew, chicken feet, pickled pig’s feet (on sale around Super Bowl time), and thousand-year-old duck eggs.  They were quite popular with the non-Chinese.

The recipes are from my mother, who didn’t learn to cook until after she was married.  Her Chinese cooking education came from my paternal grandmother who lived downstairs from us at the time.  Mom was a quick learner and became a great cook, eventually teaching “Cosmopolitan Cooking,” at Night School and formalizing these recipes for her class.  As far as I know, I may be the only one who use these particular recipes.  (My cousins use variants from their in-laws, that is, if they married Chinese at all.)  Thanks to my cousin Paula for the pictures.  (Spelling and ingredients are from the original recipes.  Apologies for any errors or confusion.)

 Jai (Monk’s Food)

Kau Yuk (left) and Roast Duck with Steamed Buns (right)

For the Roast Duck, it’s easiest just to buy a duck, bone it, then reassemble.  Save the carcass to make lentil soup–it’s amazing.

Bak Giam Guy with Ginger Scallion Sauce (left)

Steamed Salmon (Microwave version)


The following recipes do not have finished photos yet:

No Mai Fan (Sticky Rice)

Chinese Mochi Pudding (Nien Gao)  (Oven version)