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Meet reunion dinner on Spring Festival Eve in Yunnan

Updated:2019-02-03 15:11:30   Daguan Weekly

【Editor’s note】Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year, is the most important occasion for family reunion.

As for the reunion dinner on the Spring Festival Eve, all family members lay stress on it. It takes several days or even months to prepare a reunion dinner.

In southwest China’s Yunnan province, on the table of that dinner, Baoshan people love to have a bowl of fire-roasted pork; Kunming locals like to have a dish of stewed vegetables; Lijiang citizens will certainly go for a Naxi style hotpot; while people in Dali will have specially-made raw hogskin and cold fish jelly to celebrate the family reunion night... the mouth-watering flavor of the food bears more meanings than the delicious meal itself.

Now,follow us to meet reunion dinners on the Spring Festival Eve in Yunnan!

Fire-roasted pork: Favorite dish of Baoshan people

Zhao Huaying, from Xinzhai Village in west Yunnan’s Baoshan City, prepares the dishes for the reunion dinner on Spring Festival Eve several days in advance. And the fire-roasted pork is a must-have dish on the dinning table.

Making the fire-roasted pork needs many ingredients. The locals believe that pork roasted with straw has a more special flavor.

Zhao made a fire at the backyard and put a handful of straw by the side of the fire. As the straw caught fire, it sent out a crackling sound. Zhao burned the boar’s hair gradually and shaved the burnt skin quickly with a knife. She put the pork onto the grill and roasted it slowly after making sure that all the hair was gone. During the four-hour roasting, Zhao never left the fire and turned the pork over from time to time to make sure it was evenly heated.

In the warm yellow flame, the skin of the pork gradually turned from white to golden yellow, and drops of oil fell to the fire at times. Zhao took the pork off the grill since she knew it was the right time. Then she sprayed some cold water and covered the pork with ashes of the straw.

This procedure came to the end when the skin dehydrated and became crispy after receiving the remaining heat from ashes. As the main ingredient of this dish, oilseed rape was cut up and put into a jar for three or four days.

The oilseed rape would preserve the color and the sweet, crispy and sour flavor. Zhao cut the fire-roasted pork into thin slices and put a small amount of pickles, and then added seasonings including chili paste with oil, mashed garlic, pepper, coriander and soy sauce. It would intrigue a good appetite as the golden skin of the pork was covered with peppers.

The fire-roasted pork is half-raw and half-cooked with a special flavor: the golden skin of the pork tasted crispy and chewy; the white and tender lean pork was sweet and delicious. The adding of the pickles is the key to this dish, making it less greasy while boosting the appetite.

By Duan Jianxin Photographs by Li Ting and Zhao Huaying

Keywords:   reunion dinner Spring Festival