What is it after Chinese New Year?

Cap-Go-Meh-Bogor-PosKota

What is it after Chinese New Year?

Did the fun of Chinese New year celebration stop after that?

Well, guess what…….

Precisely 15 days after the Chinese New Year celebration, there is Cap Go Meh.

What is Cap Go Meh?

Cap Goh Meh is a festival celebrated in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunar calendar.

In Hokkien dialect Cap Go Meh means the fifteenth evening (cap= ten, go =five, meh=evening). It is also known as the Lantern Festival (Yuanxiao Festival or Shangyuan Festival) in China; Yuen Siu Festival in Hong Kong, Tết Thượng Nguyên or Tết Nguyên Tiêu in Vietnam; and Koshōgatsu in Japan. It officially ends the Chinese New Year celebrations.

This year, as Chinese New Year fell on 19th February 2015, the Cap Go Meh Celebration took place on 5th March 2015.

It is interesting to see how the celebration has evolved through the years and how it is celebrated throughout Indonesia today. It has become a major festival attracting many local tourists to the various cities.

Several Cap Go Meh fairs and parades (including dragon & lion dances) took place throughout the archipelago, sometimes with an interesting local touch.

In Singkawang, Kalimantan, people are attracted by Tatung performers – people believed to be possessed by the spirits of ancestors – the performance has similarities with Dayak rituals and is also performed by local Dayaks.

This year the celebration of Cap Go Meh festival in my country become very special as our President Jokowi attended this celebration in his favorite satellite city Bogor. This visit to Bogor Street Festival Cap Go Meh 2015 was to encourage other cities to do the same to attract more tourist and also for supporting pluralism.

 

Jokowi di Bogor Street Festival Cap Go Meh

In my country, Cap Go Meh is also associated with a very well-known dish for this festival named “Lontong Cap Go Meh”

What is Lontong Cap Go Meh?

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Celebrate the Year of Goat with Homely Chinese Food

barongsai

The Lunar New Year is fast approaching and countries throughout Asia are gearing up to celebrate.

In my country, Chinese New Year is declared as a national holiday. This year it falls on 19 February and is called as the year of goat.  The goat is the lucky eighth sign of the zodiac. It’s meant 
to be a year of harmony, home comfort and abundance!

While New Year’s customs vary throughout Chinese Indonesian communities in the Indonesian archipelago, the spirit underlying the celebration of Chinese Lunar New Year  is the same; a sincere wish for peace, happiness and prosperity for family members and friends.

As Indonesia counts a large population of those with Chinese descent, most of whom have lived here for generations, Chinese New Year, also is known as Imlek is celebrated with lots of fanfare in many townships across the archipelago.

On New Year’s eve, Chinese families whose members may be living far apart, make it point to gather at New Year’s eve family dinner. The next morning they will all go to the temple to pray.

Imlek 2015 Kompas-comPicture from Kompas.com dated 18 – 2 – 2015

Although our family don’t celebrate Chinese New year but since it’s going to be a holiday, I am planning to mark the occasion by cooking one of our favorite homely Chinese Foods called Mun Tofu or also known in my country as Mun Tahu.

Why Mun Tofu? 

It’s just the right dish for a humble welcome to the Year of the Goat, with easy-to-find ingredients and a dish that is effortlessly achievable.

Here’s the recipe of my version of Mun Tofu

Ingredients:

  • 300 gr silk tofu, diced
  • 200 gr minced beef
  • 100 gr button mushroom, sliced
  • 2 stalk of green onion, finely sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • Cooking oil
  • 100 ml water

Spices:

  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 100ml water
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil (optional when desired)

Directions:

  • Heat the wok until smoke out. Add cooking oil.
  • Add minced garlic, sauté until fragrant and golden brown.
  • Add minced beef. Stir fry until the color changed.
  • Add the button mushroom
  • Season with all the spices except cornstarch and sesame oil.
  • Cook until 3/4 cooked.
  • Add tofu and green onion.
  • Stir carefully until the spices well blended.
  • Pour into water, cook over moderate heat for about 5 minutes.
  • Add cornstarch mixture, mix well until boiling and thickened.
  • Add sesame oil, mix to blend.
  • Remove from the heat.

Serve warm with rice.

Mun Tahu sapi gilingGONG XI FA CAI

2014 in review

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Unique Traditional Foods to Celebrate Christmas

edible-Christmas-Tree from wonderfuldiy-com

Every where in the world, food is an important part of any celebration regardless of culture or religion. It can unite and strengthen community bonds and helps to maintain a common identity among a group of people.

To celebrate Christmas, different countries use food in different ways.  Most of the foods typically associated with Christmas, such as mince pies and fruit cake, arose from British tradition. In Australia, it is becoming increasingly popular to enjoy seafood on Christmas Day, rather than roast meats and ham, due to their warmer weather.

In my country with so many different ethnic groups and dialects, we also have different traditional Christmas foods in different regions, depending on local availability and cultural significance. Here’s a few examples I would like to share in this post:

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Unique Christmas Traditions

Christmas in Indonesia from tempo-co

I’m not really sure how suddenly it’s already December………I feel like I just posted about Thanksgiving a few weeks ago. But now it’s December…………. and I’m sitting here in the glow of the lights from the Christmas tree.

This means it’s time for me to post something about Christmas :-)

While I was thinking about what to post, I found a very interesting article by Rina Atmasari published in Tempo.co about some unique traditions and methods in celebrating this special day in my country.

So for this post, I decided to share some unique ways to celebrate Christmas in different regions of Indonesia:

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Unique Thanksgiving Traditions

Tumpeng-Jawa

This is the month of November and we usually link November with Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is essentially a harvest related festival. It celebrates communal harmony. Though it is said to have been originated in America, many other countries including my country celebrate similar type of harvest related festivals.

My country is culturally rich and we have more than 300 ethnic groups hence we have many different unique thanksgiving ceremonies and rituals that linked to harvest. We also have a special ‘thanksgiving traditional food’ named ‘Tumpeng’ as you can see in the picture above.

Tumpeng is a cone-shaped rice dish like mountain with its side dishes (vegetables and meat). Traditionally featured in the ‘slamatan’ ceremony, the cone shape of rice is made by using cone-shaped woven bamboo container.

The rice itself could be plain steamed rice, uduk rice (cooked with coconut milk , or  yellow rice  (uduk rice colored with kunyit /turmeric). The cone-shaped rice meant to mimics the holy mountain. The feast served as some kind of thanks giving for the abundance of harvest or any other blessings.

In this post, I would like to share some of the unique thanksgiving traditions from different parts of Indonesia:

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5th Anniversary of My Blog

happy-5th-anniversary

Dear friends and readers, today I celebrate the 5th anniversary of My Cooking Without Borders.

I can’t believe that I have been blogging for 5 years now !

Five years ago, I posted my first blog post. I had no idea what this cooking & blogging journey would bring me.

Five years later, I learned and tried so many cooking recipes, read so many other cooking blogs,  and met new people.

In 5 years, I wrote 140 posts that brought me so much joy and more than 250,000 viewers from around the world!

I sincerely thank you for the fine comments and emails, for being there, following My Cooking Without Borders from behind your screen.

It is because of you that My Cooking Without Borders means something in this big blogger world.

I do hope you will continue read and support my blog.

I wished I could write more posts, but combining blogging and a full time job is not always that evident.

Sincerely thank you to all of you !

pumpkins-5