Auspicious Treasures in A Pot - What is Pen Cai?

The Capitol Kempinski Hotel - CNY Takeaways 2023 - The Capitol Kempinski Pen Cai


A pot of luxurious, mouth-watering Pen Cai is a must-have at a Chinese New Year reunion dinner. Believed to have originated way back in the Song Dynasty and later popularised in Hong Kong, Pen Cai is an iconic dish that comes in a pot brimming with sumptuous ingredients that symbolise abundance and prosperity. 

'Pen Cai' (盆菜) literally translates to 'vegetables in a basin'. Layers of rich ingredients are stacked upon one another and braised in a savoury gravy. The assortment of delicacies found in a Pen Cai can include anything imaginable, with the common favourites being abalone, mushrooms, dried scallops, roasted duck and prawns. An indulgent affair at the dining table, this Chinese New Year favourite is eaten from the top layer to the bottom. The more expensive and exquisite ingredients are often featured in the first layer, followed by vegetables in the layers underneath, where they are especially flavourful, having soaked the most in the gravy. 

The opulent Pen Cai from The capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore is perfect for 5 to 6 persons and generously loaded with premium ingredients and a smorgasbord of traditional delights. This savoury pot comes packed with abalone, dried oysters, fish maw, dried scallops, sea cucumber, roasted duck, tiger prawns, braised pork, chicken wing, Chinese sausage, duck sausage, dace fish ball, fish maw, Chinese mushroom, black moss, black fungus, cabbage, fried beancurd, lotus root and yam.