Yee sang, a colourful salad used during Chinese New Year. Served in a big plate or tray, yee sang consist of freshly shredded vegetables, fruits, fried crackers and fresh fish. This recipe uses ingredients which are typically served during Chinese New Year in Malaysia and Singapore. There are always many different types of combinations of ingredients you can use. Tossing yee sang is great way to celebrate the festive season with family, friends and colleagues. The dish itself symbolizes abundance and prosperity.
This prosperity toss salad comes from the Chinese community in Malaysia and Singapore as yee sang is not known in China or other Chinese dominant countries until the recent years. The idea of yee sang however does reflect the Cantonese traditions that enjoy the flavours of fresh fishes.
Besides the ingredients listed in the recipe, there are many other ingredients you can use for yee sang. Here is a list of ingredients you can pick from to assemble your own yee sang.
|Fish||Fresh salmon, smoked salmon, raw wolf herring, jelly fish (sold fresh or prepacked in Asian grocers), abalone|
|Vegetables||Carrot, capsicum, turnips, pickled ginger, white radish, red radish, green radish, kaffir lime leaves, red cabbage, jicama, coriander, pickled leeks, onions, pickled cucumber, spring onions|
|Nuts||Roasted peanuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds|
|Fruits||Pomelo, mango, mandarin oranges, young mango, papaya|
|Crackers||Wheat crackers, fried coloured taro, fried wantan wrapper strips|
|Dressing||Sesame oil, oil, pepper, plum sauce, kumquat sauce, rice vinegar, white pepper, five spice powder|
Modern yee sang now uses all sorts of meat such as grilled eel or even char siu. Fruits such as strawberries or grapes are also added. Some restaurants try to add truffles in their yee sang, making it very exquisite and different from traditional yee sang. Just try to keep yee sang colourful and ensure that you'll be able to hold the ingredients with the chopsticks to toss them high up.
It is best to prepare yee sang in two or three separate days because of the many ingredients which require its own preparation. Here is a suggestion on time management to prepare yee sang.
Day 1: Fry crackers. These fried crackers can be kept in an air tight container up to 2 weeks. Day 2: Prepare shredded vegetables and fruits. Pound peanuts if preferred. Day 3: Assemble all ingredients and serve with dressing.
The general rule to eating this dish is to toss the ingredients using chopsticks as high as possible while expressing well wishes for the new year. The act of tossing the salad is refered to as ‘lou hei’ which translates to moving upwards in Cantonese. It is believed that the higher you toss, the better your luck will be in the upcoming year. That is why, a messy table after tossing Yee Sang is not a surprise! I definitely would not mind especially if good fortune is coming my way. When Yee Sang is eaten, the ritual is to toss the mixed ingredients high in the air with a shout of "Loh Hey" which literally means to ‘move upwards’. It is symbolic of the wish for our fortunes to rise and expand during the forthcoming year.
Yu Sheng (Prosperity Raw Fish Salad) is also known as: YushengLou SangProsperity Toss with Salmon鱼生
Prepare the sauce by adding sesame oil and water into the plum sauce.
Shred cucumber (without seeds), carrots and radish. Remove skin of pomelo to obtain the flesh. Set aside.
Julienne taro into thin strips and divide them into two portions. Mix red and green food colouring into each of the portions respectively. Ensure the taro slices are evenly coated. Fry the taro slices.
To prepare wheat crackers, add flour, salt and cold butter in a bowl. Rub flour into butter until the mixture is even and forms a dough. Then, add water to the dough. If the dough is wet, sprinkle some more flour until it is no longer sticky. Flatten dough and cut them into small rectangles. Heat up oil in a pot over medium heat to fry cut dough until golden brown. Leave aside.
Assemble all ingredients on a plate with the salmon pieces in the centre. Add olive oil, plum sauce, pepper, five spice powder, sesame seeds and crushed peanuts onto the ingredients before tossing.
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