Gong hei fat choy!
Happy Chinese New Year everyone! It’s been a while since my last post but I’m back at work now and so things have been hectic juggling a full teaching load and an energetic 14-month-old. As well as that, Chinese New Year began this week and this has always been an important occasion for my family. My parents will typically host a Chinese New Year Eve family dinner at their house and then on the first day, we go out for a meal (feast/banquet!) together.
One of the traditions we have followed for as long as I can remember is yee sang (or yusheng/lo hei) which is a typical Malaysian Chinese dish at Chinese New Year. It’s known as a prosperity toss as it is a salad which everybody mixes together using their (clean) chopsticks – each ingredient symbolises something and the higher you toss, the more prosperity you will have in the year to come. Also, I think you’re meant to say certain things as you put the ingredients together and as you toss, but my family don’t do this part.
We always have this salad to celebrate the New Year and it’s one of those family traditions that I look forward to. I especially love my mum’s version which is the one she has kindly shared below. The ingredients are just approximate depending on how many people you are preparing this for.
100-200g raw salmon (or any fresh raw fish)
1 carrot (shredded/grated)
1/2 daikon (shredded/grated then squeezed dry using a muslin or dishcloth)
1-2 stalks spring onion (sliced thinly)
1-2 stalks coriander (finely chopped)
3 tsps of pomelo flesh (optional)
a few slices of pickled ginger (thinly sliced)
a few slices of pickled shallot (thinly sliced)
150g prepared jelly fish (available from Chinese grocery stores)
8 pieces wonton skins (deep fried and broken into bite-sized pieces)
1/3-½ cup of chopped roasted peanuts
2 tsps sesame seeds
pinch of ground white pepper
pinch of Chinese 5-spice powder
3 tsps of sesame oil
2 tsps of vegetable oil (heat up and then cool down before pouring on ingredients)
1/3-1/2 bottle of Lee Kum Kee plum sauce (260g jar)
Dilute the plum sauce with a bit of warm water to get a pouring consistency (but still on the thick side).
When you are ready to serve, arrange the carrot, daikon, spring onion, coriander, pomelo, ginger, shallots, jelly fish and wonton skins on a large platter.
Scatter the fish over the top.
Sprinkle over the peanuts, sesame seeds, pepper and Chinese 5-spice powder. Pour over the vegetable oil and sesame oil.
Then spoon the diluted plum sauce over everything.
Finally, give all of your guests chopsticks, gather them around the platter and toss!