Different dialects have different dishes for reunion dinner. While the Cantonese would go for sweet and sour pork, steamed chicken dip in pounded ginger and a pot of nutritious herbal soup; some Hakkas would prefer “Pun Choy.”
In the past, the Hakkas were a people always on the move. They used to migrate from Northern China to the south. Along the way, many faced hardship and could not afford a grand feast of various dishes for their reunion dinner.
To overcome this problem, each household contribute a dish. You bring this, I bring that, we put them together into a large basin made of wood, metal or clay and eat together. You get to eat my fish and I get to eat your chicken, get the idea?
“Pun” means basin while “Choy” means dishes. “Pun Choy” is actually various dishes in a basin to be shared by everyone. It is a communal dish, almost like “pot luck.”
It is our family tradition to have “Pun Choy” for reunion dinner because my husband and our children are Hakkas. You can put any food you fancy into the basin. We normally have roasted pork, waxed duck and sausages, steamed chicken, fried fish, prawns, mushrooms, abalone and broccoli for our large metal basin. Everyone in the family loves and enjoy this.
What do you have for your reunion dinner?