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!
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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.
- 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
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- ¼ cup apricot or plum jam
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp water
- ½ tsp sesame oil
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.
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)