Chinese in Malaysia to celebrate reunion dinner at hotels, restaurants

Published on : Friday, February 5, 2016

dinner at hotelsAs an auspicious start before ushering in the Lunar New Year on Monday, the Chinese community in Malaysia will be gathering for reunion dinners on Sunday evening.

While in the past, the dinner is traditionally prepared by the family in the house of parents or eldest member of the family, many are choosing to celebrate the occasion at hotels or restaurants.

Time and convenience were among the factors dinners were no longer held in the house as it was important for all family members to assemble to enjoy traditional delicacies together, NAM News Network quoted an executive Chinese cuisine chef at a hotel in Kuantan, Steven Tan Sun Huat, 45, as saying.

Steven who has 25 years cooking experience, said eating out is easier, especially for dishes which are tedious to prepare such the herbal chicken soup which needs hours of slow cooking to bring out the taste.

Commenting on the popular dinner dishes, Steven said fish is a must as the Chinese word for it symbolises ‘more’ in terms of fortune, health and happiness for the year.

“Nowadays, the dinner usually starts with tossing yee sang, a dish made up of raw fish, fine strips of vegetables such carrot, turnip, cucumber, ginger, preserved papaya with plum sauce, oil, groundnuts and sesame.

“All family members are to make their wishes when tossing the food, the higher the better,” he said and added that salmon is usually used for this dish,” he told Bernama today.

The tradition of tossing yee sang is believed to have started 1,500 years ago in southern China and each item of the dish has an auspicious meaning for prosperity and longevity.


Even though the dish originated from China, Steven said the delicacy had been improvised to suit Malaysians with a sourish and spicy taste.

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