On the ninth day of New Year my mama said to me
9. lobster, scallop and abalone
I love homecooked meals and especially when it is done by the best cook in the family! No, it’s not me. For dinner, we had high-value items which are usually eaten this time of the year. The first dish was broccoli and scallops. The scallops were actually brought back from overseas as someone we knew was travelling. So the price was less and the taste was more! To my North American readers, the seafood from your part of the world were simply yummilicious! Broccoli flowers were used because they were green and plentiful (flower wise), hence symbolic of ‘ever abounding’. The scallops symbolised wealth. So the combination was symbolic of riches in abundance. The ingredients may be mixed with other ingredients or each other. It doesn’t really matter. Both are good in their own right.
The lobster is also symbolic of a few things. Firstly, the red symbolises good fortune, especially during CNY. Next, it is huge like a dragon prawn or shrimp. The lobster from North America was about a metre in length, including the whiskers! Talk about huge! For these reasons, lobsters are considered auspicious for CNY.It was boiled and cooked in tomato sauce with tomato and cucumber and placed on lettuce.
The third dish consisted of abalone, sea cucumber, Chinese dried mushrooms and dried beancurd. This dish was not eaten on the same day as the top two, nor was it cooked entirely the Cantonese way though the ingredients in the food were auspicious across dialect groups. I am featuring it here as this post is about auspicious seafood during CNY. Incidentally, these seafood are also eaten at other times of the year and not just during CNY. They may or may not be eaten together on the same day.