Yee Sang and Chinese New Year Feast

This year, we combined the Reunion or New Year’s Eve dinner and New Year’s Day vegetarian breakfast into a big feast on Saturday, the third day of the Chinese New Year. The first day which fell on a Thursday was like any other day. It made more sense to celebrate during the weekend when we did not have to rush around for work and school. I immediately set to work after brunch on Saturday morning to prepare the seven dishes I had planned to cook. I did however, shred all the vegetables and fried all the crunchies for the Yee Sang on Friday morning. I also prepared the pork and left it marinating overnight in the refrigerator.

This is my second year preparing Yee Sang here in the US. While I did a post on it last year, I did not provide the recipe. It turned out really well and Ro-Ri San specifically requested that I make the salad again this year. I was more than happy to oblige as I wanted to eat it too. I remembered as a child that I enjoyed the “lo sang” or tossing part but was not that enamored with the taste of the raw fish and vegetables. Perhaps this is a more adult kind of dish but being away from Malaysia, I have not had a chance to enjoy it for many years. Absence has certainly made my heart grow fonder for it and last year I decided to prepare it myself. We had two gatherings and I made this salad for the New Year Eve dinner as well as Chap Goh Mei (15th day of the New Year). It was a big hit and everybody loved it!



This post made it to Foodbuzz’s Top 9! Thank you Foodbuzz and everyone who “buzzed” it! :)



There is still time to prepare this dish as it is served throughout the fifteen days of the Chinese New Year. I have improved on the dressing and really like this version. I used smoked salmon (lox) instead of raw fish for safety reasons.

Yee Sang (Raw Fish Salad)

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Yee Sang (Raw Fish Salad)

Ingredients

  • 1 packet (3.5oz) smoked salmon (lox)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • ½ packet wonton wrapper
  • 1 small (about 1½ lbs) taro, peeled
  • 1 small (about 1 lb) jicama, peeled
  • 1 small daikon, peeled
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled
  • 4 sections pomelo, peeled and broken into small chunks
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 tbsp pickled ginger slices
  • ¼ tsp five spiced powder
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • Dressing
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce
  • ¼ cup apricot or plum jam
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp water
  • ½ tsp sesame oil

Instructions

Using a grater, shred taro, jicama, daikon, and carrot into long strips. Keep shredded vegetables separate. Do not mix.

Divide shredded taro into two. Color one portion with two to three drops red food coloring and the other with green food coloring. Deep fry shredded and colored taro until crispy, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Keep the two colors separate.

Cut wonton wrappers into strips. Deep fry until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Place smoked salmon a small bowl. Mix in lime juice. Combine all dressing ingredients in a small pan over medium heat. Stir until sauces are well mixed and slightly thickened. Remove and place in a small serving bowl.

Arrange all shredded vegetables, pomelo, pickled ginger, crispy taro, crispy wonton strips, and cilantro into individual sections on a large platter. Place bowl of smoked salmon in the center.

When everyone is gathered round, pour smoked salmon onto vegetables. Sprinkle five spiced powder and sesame seeds and drizzle dressing over vegetables. Get everyone to toss the salad using chopsticks.

http://www.rotinrice.com/2011/02/yee-sang-and-chinese-new-year-feast/

Note: The picture above was taken last year with a larger platter and a larger crowd but you get the idea. It was a lot of fun! :)



These are the other auspicious sounding dishes I made for the feast.



Lotus root or renkon soup is one of my favorites. I added some peanuts as they combine really well with lotus root and red dates. I also made this sweet longan soup for dessert. It rounded off the meal very nicely.



Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8)



57 Responses

  1. that is fantastic! you made your own… Big thumbs up to you.

  2. wow I want to taste some now! Sometimes I thought you were a Japanese, sometimes a Malaysian, but now I think you are a Chinese as everything here in this post are so traditional Chinese!

  3. This recipe are great. very traditional Chinese food!

  4. Elin says:

    I must make my own yee sang next year. You have given me lots of ideas on making own yee sang :) Thanks Biren…Gong Xi Fa Cai to you and family…we have another 9 days to celebrate “)

  5. lequan says:

    That is a gorgeous and very colorful dish, Biren. I never would’ve guessed that the green and red stuff were taro. I love your presentation of this dish. So colorful and welcoming, beautifully presented. Your other dishes look delicious as well. Ho see fatt choy is another favorite of mine. When I was a kid, I used to think the fatt choy was hair. Haha. Thanks for sharing, Biren. Looks like you guys had a good feast.

  6. kristy says:

    祝你合家, 新年快乐 心想事成 身体健康! 恭喜恭喜 :o)
    Wow Biren, you certainly know how to keep the tradition way of living. I really wanted to make my own yee sang next year. My in-laws’ place had never celebrate the new year with yee sang so far. Probably a surprise for them! Hope you’re enjoying your time and have lots of fun.
    Best wishes,
    Kristy

    • Biren says:

      Thanks Kristy! Wishing you health and happiness as well. :) Yes, it would be a lovely surprise for your in-laws. Homemade yee sang is very fresh and tasty. There are many variations and you can add chopped peanuts, jellyfish, and others if you prefer.

  7. Alamak! That is really a labour of love!! Everything home made! Your family must love you very much! It’s beautiful. Funny thing is that I love sashimi but never could enjoy yee sang – it always smelt and tasted fishy to me, unlike sashimi. But I think I will surely enjoy yours!!

    • Biren says:

      It is a lot of work especially the crunchies but totally worth it. I have made enough for another session on Chap Goh Mei. You may enjoy this version better with the smoked salmon. The raw fish was probably not as fresh as it should be.

  8. MaryMoh says:

    Wow…lots of great food there. Yee san is my favourite. I’m so glad a friend here make every year for us :D

  9. Blackswan says:

    Happy CNY to u, Biren! Wow, what a loh heh! I didn’t have any of that this year but I’ve created something special.

    I like how you deep-fried & coloured those taro & oh, Lotus Soup is my fave. Yummy1

    • Biren says:

      Happy CNY to you as well Shirley! Loh heh is always so fun. I find homemade yee sang more fresh and tasty. I saw your Reunion Dinner dishes. You did make some very special dishes. :)

  10. Hey! What happened to my comment??

  11. Adora's Box says:

    What a fantastic feast! Thanks for sharing your yee sang recipe. I absolutely adore and miss eating it. It looks so good and am sure it is. Happy new year!

  12. I love yee sang! It’s so much fun tossing the salad, even if you create a huge mess to clean up afterwards lol. Tastes really good too! You made loads of amazing food for CNY! I love the gai lan and roast pork. Delicious!

  13. Mina Joshi says:

    Love the lovely colours of the salad.

  14. That’s a beautiful dish – all that work you put in is incredible. Happy new year!

  15. tina says:

    Colourful salad…

  16. What a terrific feast and yee sang looks gorgeous, I would love to try this!

  17. Roxan says:

    Wow, Biren, what a beautiful and colorful dish! It looks amazing, and like a lot of hard work. You did an amazing job with that spread… Did you live somewhere before you lived in the US? Random question, I know, but you mentioned that this is only your second time making it here in the states.

  18. Oh I so want to come over and celebrate with you. I’d love to stand in your kitchen for a week and watch you cook. That would be my perfect vacation!

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma What’s For Dinner
    http://www.mawhats4dinner.com

  19. Cheah says:

    Gosh, that’s lot of goodies and all done by you single handedly!
    Your home made yee sang looks so fresh and yummy. I’ll never attempt to make it as it entails too much work. You’re great, Biren!

    • Biren says:

      Thanks Cheah! It was a lot of work but totally worth it when I see the family enjoying the food. :) We can’t get yee sang at the restaurants over here and so the only way to eat this special dish is to make it at home.

  20. Wow what a feast…your yee sang looks amazing. I love the idea that everyone tosses the salad at the table, fun celebration :)

  21. Victoria says:

    That salad looks like so much fun!! It’s presented so beautifully and I love how everyone comes together to toss it together!! The other dishes you made look good too, though they are not ones I’m familiar with :) Happy Chinese New Year and I’m glad you enjoyed your celebration this weekend!

  22. Pachecopatty says:

    Wow Biren, this salad is fun and festive with all the colored ingredients. Continued happy celebrations with your family and friends. Thanks for sharing the recipes from this awesome feast;-)

  23. I was wondering what the green and red were so I’m glad you explained. I’ve never seen taro like that. What a gorgeous wonderful presentation for that salad.

  24. Faith says:

    Now that is a beautiful platter of food! Thanks for explaining what everything is…I would love to make my own, maybe next year. Wishing you and yours a very happy Chinese New Year, Biren!

  25. Biren!
    What incredible celebratory food. Did you make everything on your own? DOes that mean others help in another way? What is the significance of the red and green taro?
    Such a gorgeous salad and I really appreciate the tradition of everyone tossing the salad in unison. A beautiful holiday tradition that would not be the same without it. Clearly! I cannot imagine the taste, but it looks and sounds very tasty and with a great variety of textures.
    :)
    Valerie

    • Biren says:

      Yes, I prepared all the dishes on my own. The guys helped to eat. :) The red and green taro are for aesthetics. Red is an auspicious color which symbolizes joy and good fortune while green is associated with health and harmony.

      This salad is only served during the 15 days celebration period and most families will try to have it at least once during that time. It is really tasty too. :)

  26. beautiful and colourful
    happy new year

  27. Juliana says:

    Yee Sang? I never had this dish…and sure it sounds a lot of fun and so tasty with all the yummie stuff in it :-) Happy New Year Biren!

  28. Jeannie says:

    Wow! What a delicious spread you have prepared for your family! I love the look of your pork roast too! Gong Xi Fa Cai to you and yours Biren:D

  29. Wow, Biren – what a celebration and labor of love! Your Yee Sang is full of color and fresh flavors and the tossing of the salad once everyone is assembled sounds so fun. Happy New Year to you and your family! Thanks for sharing this traditional Chinese dish and congrats on the Top 9!

    • Biren says:

      Thanks Priscilla! The “Lo Sang” or salad tossing is always a lot of fun. It is a very pleasant surprise to be on Top 9. :)

  30. Hyosun Ro says:

    Wow! That dish looks so festive and deliciou! So do all other dishes. You must have worked so hard during the New Year celebration. Your family is very lucky!

  31. Liv Wan says:

    Hi Biren,
    Oh my, You’re such an amazing chef!! ;) All of those dishes looks so so tasty. I wish I can celebrate Chinese new year at your home lol. Thank you for sharing this amazing post.

  32. Sortachef says:

    Wowie zowie, Biren. This looks amazing. Only problem is, it’s so beautiful I’d be afraid to eat it. (I’m sure I could get over that in a hurry!)
    Congrats on Top 9 and all the best in the year of the rabbit,
    Don

  33. alison says:

    wonderful and delicious!congrats on top 9,biren!

  34. Wow! This is one delicious Chinese New Year feast! We had ours at the restaurant! Love your yee sang!

  35. Kitty Kat says:

    Hi…oooh I never thought of using taro for the yee sang and colouring it! I did do my own yee sang but use sweet potatoes and parsips and deepfrying them. Wonton skin is another I could add on as well! Great tips for my next round of yee sang! What are jicama & daikon?

    • Biren says:

      Glad I have given you some ideas for your next round of yee sang. Jicama is “bang kwang” or “sa kot” and daikon is “pek chai tau” or “pak lo pak”. I hope that helps. ;)

  36. DongXing says:

    Congrats Biren on Top 9!! The pictures all look gorgeous and mouth watering. Your homemade lo sang looks so delicious. We are having our CNY party this Saturday and the lo sang is sent all the way from my mum (yes, a bit of a cheat) but the rest will be homemade…. I especially like the traditional Ho See Fatt Choy but no one in my family would eat it..

    • Biren says:

      Thanks DongXing! It’s ok to have a little help from ready made ones if you can get them. Perhaps you should just cook a small portion of the ho see fatt choy for yourself. We can always do with a portion of good fortune and prosperity for the year. :) Have a fun CNY party!

  37. Nasifriet says:

    Wow! I love Yee Sang. I was introduced to this by my W.Malaysian Chinese friends. We have a slightly different version of this platter in E. Malaysia. WE called it the “leng pua” (cold plate), with the jelly fish as one of the star items on the platter. Biren, you have been working hard on CNY! I know the Yee Sang takes a lot of time to prepare. I’m sure it was worth every sweat and blood of your time. All the food looked amazingly gorgeous. YUMMY!!

    • Biren says:

      I am glad you got to try the W. Malaysian yee sang. Sometimes on top of the raw fish, some jellyfish is added as well. We do have a version of “leng pua” with 4 to 5 different dishes on a large platter served during a 10 course dinner. It is very delicious!

      Yee sang does take a little bit of work but it is definitely worth it. Thanks for the compliments!

  38. Wow, looks way better than the store bought ones!

  39. Jeffnie says:

    Hi Biren…wow….I would love to try this. What is Taro? Is it ubi keledek?

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