Celebrating Chinese New Year AND Enjoying Some Harvests FROM My Small Backyard Garden.

That Thursday, the day before the eve of the Chinese New Year, Me, Third Bro, Fourth Sis and Fourth Sis's daughter, Jia Ying traveled back to Ipoh in Fourth Sis's car.

We exited to Gopeng from the North-South Expressway and stopped by at a friend's house there to take five of this homemade ' Nian Gao " ( Sticky Rice Cake ) which we had earlier ordered from her through the phone, before we headed north back to my home in Ipoh.

' Nian Gao ' in Banana leaf wrap. Photo credit : Big Sis ( Wen Sim )

For those who do not know, ' Nian Gao' ( translated as ' Year Cake ' ) or Sticky Rice Cake is a type of traditional Chinese cake made from glutinous rice flour and lots of sugar, mostly eaten during the Chinese New Year.

Now, does anyone of you remember these sweet potatoes which I had harvested back in early January? Which I had specially kept aside inside the refrigerator ( at our old family home in Batu Gajah where Big Bro and Second Bro stay ) for our Chinese New Year sweet soup-making use?

Well, let me tell you, they did not eventually make it to the pot of sweet soup that we had. Instead, they went into the frying pan. Because Third Bro suddenly came up with the idea to have them and all the " Nian Gao ' sliced, dipped in plain flour batter and deep-fried to make fried sweet potato- ' Nian Gao ' ' sandwiches '. It was quite a brilliant idea. The ' sandwiches ' turned up, oh, just so heavenly delicious! It is a shame their look in the picture do not do them justice.

We have had lots and lots of wonderful times together everyday with our other siblings that came back to and long time no see relatives that visited us at our old family home. 

We might have had the simplest of foods on all days compared to most celebrating Chinese families in the whole world during this festive season but we were all most contented and happy.

One of our set of simple, home-cooked vegetarian dishes. Photo credit: Jia Ying

How time always flies when we are happy! Very soon, it was time for everyone to go back to their own homes. 

Second Sis went back to Kuala Lumpur alone in her own car.

Third Bro, Fourth Sis and Jia Ying went back in the same car as we came back.

While I decided to stay back in Ipoh.

Fourth Sis loved to eat some of the vegetables that I grew at my small backyard garden. So, I had some harvested for her to bring back to her home in Kuala Lumpur on the morning she was to leave.

They were the ...

Ginger ( Zingiber officinale ),

Daun Kaduk ( Piper sarmentosum ), Red Stem Malabar Ceylon Spinach ( Basella alba ), Spearmint ( Mentha spicata )

and the Thai Basil ( Ocimum basilicum ).

She disliked ....

Ginseng Jawa ( Talinum paniculatum ),

Mugwort ( Artemisia vulgaris ),

Mulberry ( Morus alba ) leaves

and many other that I had aplenty in the garden.

So, I had some of them harvested and cooked for myself to enjoy after she ( they ) had left! ( Sometimes I do like to pamper myself a bit. Ha ha! )


Ginseng Jawa leaves were lightly stir-fried with garlic,

and the Mugwort leaves were mixed with egg to make omelette for a fine noodle soup treat,

while the Mulberry leaves were used to brew a mug of cooling and nourishing, sweetened tea.

All of them tasted oh just so good! Beyond words! Yum yum! 

Finally, I hope it is not too late to wish all Chinese readers here, a very, very Happy Chinese New Year! And to everyone else, Stay Happy, Healthy and Safe always!

All for now! Thank you for reading this! Bye!


  1. Food always is so much better when it is fresh from the garden.

  2. A most enjoyable post and good pictures. Glad to see that you enjoyed yourselves and the food was tasty.
    Thanks, and you too. xx

    1. You are welcome and thank you so much Flighty, for your ever kind comments!
      Chinese New Year is a time for reunion wiith family members, friends and relatives and having good meals together. My happiest time of year. 😄

  3. Happy New Year to you and yours! Oh I did enjoy this post, especially seeing all those yummy dishes. You did have a good harvest, great to see what you did with the sweet potatoes! I loved the noodle soup too. Good to hear how you enjoyed celebrating with all your family.xxx

    1. Thank you so much Snowbird, for your very kind wish! Glad to know you enjoyed this post and loved to see what I did with my harvests. 😄

  4. That is 'kueh bakul'. I am familiar with it since small. In those days during every Chinese New Year our family friend would make it and gave us one or two.
    The sticky cake sandwiched between yam and fried also taste very very nice.

    1. Lucky you, meintheswim, to have such a good family friend!
      Oh, yam? Maybe we can try that next year! Thanks for sharing!