1. Grandma-Style Braised Pork
Chunky pieces of braised pork belly (above) come in a delicious sauce made with ingredients such as red yeast rice, Hua Tiao wine, star anise, bay leaves and beer. The sauce is on the salty side, so if necessary, you can dilute it. It goes well simply drizzled over rice. After defrosting, either steam for 10 to 15 minutes or microwave on high heat for two to four minutes.
At $14.50 (350 g, good for three), from Tunglok Group. Visit www.homefiesta.tunglok.com to order.
2. Half Herbal Chicken
Once poured out of the bag, the fragrance of the herbs hits you immediately. The light and flavourful herbal broth includes wolfberries, red dates, dang gui (angelica sinensis) and chuan xiong (rhizoma ligustici). The chicken (above) is tender and has plenty of juicy meat. After defrosting, either steam for 15 to 20 minutes or microwave on high heat for five to eight minutes.
At $10.70 (650 g, good for two), from Tunglok Group. Visit www.homefiesta.tunglok.com to order.
3. Fish Maw Soup
This version of fish maw soup (above) is a premium version of the canned ones at supermarkets – while remaining hassle-free. It includes pieces of fish maw, sliced mushroom and bamboo shoots in a thick soup. After defrosting, either steam for 15 to 20 minutes or microwave on high heat for four to six minutes. Serve hot and garnish with coriander. To add more flavour to the soup, stir in black vinegar and pepper to taste.
At $16 (500 g, good for three), from Tunglok Group. Visit www.homefiesta.tunglok.com to order.
4. Eight Treasures Vegetable
For a vegetable-based dish, opt for Eight Treasures Vegetable (above), which has ingredients such as Chinese cabbage, chestnuts, carrots, mushrooms (shiitake, straw and button mushrooms), wolfberries and mock abalone. It is topped with a clump of black moss (fatt choy) – an auspicious ingredient. The sauce has a light flavour of chicken stock and is not overly salty.
At $18.80 (900 g, good for four), from Taste Asia by Select Group available at selected FairPrice, FairPrice Finest and Giant supermarkets, or visit www.tasteasia.com.sg to order.
5. Cabbage Roll With Black Moss
Good as a side dish, the package comes with 12 neatly rolled cabbage rolls with prawn filling (above). The rolls are topped with wolfberries and specks of black moss – all sitting in a gravy. Similar to the Eight Treasures Vegetable, the light gravy is flavoured with chicken stock.
At $18.80 (800 g, good for four), from Taste Asia by Select Group available at selected FairPrice, FairPrice Finest and Giant supermarkets, or visit www.tasteasia.com.sg to order.
6. Braised Sea Cucumber
No need to fuss over preparing a sea cucumber dish. Here (above), you get fairly thick pieces of braised sea cucumber in oyster sauce, along with sweet peas, shiitake and button mushrooms, as well as tender carrots and cabbage. If you prefer a meat option, there is a Yam Duck Leg dish ($19.80, 900 g, good for four) available, with a similar selection of vegetables and sauce.
At $22.80 (800 g, good for four), from Taste Asia by Select Group available at selected FairPrice, FairPrice Finest and Giant supermarkets, or visit www.tasteasia.com.sg to order.
7. Lotus Leaf Rice
The rice comes neatly wrapped in a lotus leaf (above), so one can just microwave the rice in the lotus leaf parcel. Then, simply slice a cross-section in the leaf to unveil the rice. The rice is cooked well – not mushy – and the addition of dried shrimp makes the rice more tasty.
Other ingredients include chunky chicken pieces and sliced shiitake mushrooms. Add a dollop of sambal belacan or drizzle gravy from other dishes on the rice to add more flavour. The amount of rice can easily feed six people, although the packaging says that it feeds four.
At $22.80 (1 kg, good for four), from Taste Asia by Select Group available at selected FairPrice, FairPrice Finest and Giant supermarkets, or visit www.tasteasia.com.sg to order.
This ready-to-eat pencai packs plenty of ingredients in what seems to be a small package. You get abalone, fresh prawns, fish maw, dried scallops, dried oysters, smoked duck, shiitake mushrooms and black moss. The ingredients sit on a bed of soft Chinese cabbage and there is also sliced lotus root. It is a good alternative for lone diners or small parties as most pencai are sold in large claypots for big groups.
Other Chinese New Year items include Emperor Chicken ($6.80), a whole chicken leg cooked in Chinese herbs; and Lotus Leaf Rice ($8), with sliced Chinese sausages and mushrooms on a layer of lotus leaf.
At $18 (good for two), from Chef-in-Box. Available until March 2 at all Chef-in-Box Vendcafe outlets (except JCube), including 320C Anchorvale Drive, #01-K1; 766 Pasir Ris Street 71, #01-K1; Lakeside and Ang Mo Kio MRT stations; or visit www.chefinbox.sg to order online.
9. Salted Egg Crab
If seafood is a must-have for Chinese New Year, get the ready-to-eat crab (above) from House Of Seafood. The seafood restaurant offers three flavours – chilli, black pepper and salted egg – and you get one whole crab, with the shell cracked for convenient eating. Just defrost the crab, open the plastic seal and heat up for eight minutes in the microwave. The crab is fresh and has plenty of meat, while the salted egg yolk gravy is thick and creamy.
At $79.90, from House Of Seafood outlets at The Punggol Settlement and Upper Serangoon Road, and its vending machines; or visit houseofseafood.sg to order online.