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Fuss-free ideas for hosting your own Reunion dinner


The Reunion dinner is one of the most important meals in the year for those celebrating the Lunar New Year.  It gets its name from the long established practice where all members of a family return home to have dinner together on the eve of the festival. 

This signifies unity in the family, and many foods which are considered symbols of good fortune  are eaten during the dinner to usher in luck and prosperity for the coming year.

Photo by andylfu
Waxed meats like Chinese sausages can be easily prepared by steaming or used in stir-fried dishes

Given the number of people attending, hosting a Reunion dinner does require some planning. It doesn’t however require overly elaborate dishes or cooking methods.  Here are tips on preparing a fuss-free traditional dinner at home.

Go fresh
Start the meal off with the ever-popular raw fish salad or ‘Yu Sheng‘.  While many restaurants use up to 27 ingredients, you can make it at home with just eight main ingredients – shredded carrots, white raddish, cucumbers, red pickled ginger, pomelo, crackers, red and green yam strips.  Then simply top the ingredients off with chopped peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, Chinese five spice powder, cinnamon powder, white ground pepper, extra virgin olive oil and of course, raw fish.

To finish, add Chinese plum sauce mixed with a little sesame oil and hot water.  If the ingredients have been bought in advance, refrigerators like the Electrolux EBM4307SC-RT come with multiple storage bins to store and organise your food.  Its multi-airflow system ensures consistent temperatures throughout, keeping your raw ingredients fresh for the big dinner, and in a separate compartment to reduce the risk of contamination.

Get steaming

Waxed meats like cured pork, liver and chicken sausages or cured duck can be steamed with a whole fish dish in ovens like the Electrolux EOB98000X steam combination oven.

A steam combination oven is ideal for preparing big Reunion dinners, with the ability to steam several dishes at once.

A simple but popular Chinese steamed fish dish consists of pouring soy sauce and a little sesame oil over a whole fish, then topping it with thinly sliced ginger and scallions before steaming it. Using a steam combination oven to prepare these dishes saves time and energy, as the steam is circulated evenly throughout the oven to ensure each dish is thoroughly cooked.

Get creative

Or if you’re not up for hours of cooking, a popular and easy fallback option is simply buying the ingredients for a hot pot or steamboat. A simple steamboat can be made with water or chicken broth, with additional flavour added by the rest of the family when they cook their own food in it. 

The Electrolux EIH500 portable induction cooker makes holding a steamboat dinner even easier with its precise temperature control and five heating levels. For a different steamboat experience this year, simply add some extra spice with a regional variant.

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