Chinese New Year is that time of the year for Yusheng/Yee Sang. This time I used Seared Ahi Tuna for the fish and it was super delicious!
Yusheng/Yee Sang is a must-have for our Chinese New Year celebrations since I started making it in 2010, shortly after I launched this blog. Although it takes some preparation to make this dish, it is totally worth the effort because it is usually the “star” at the Reunion Dinner table.
Everyone looks forward to this dish because it is served only during the 15 days of the Chinese New Year. In a way, this makes it special. Also, it is a dish to be shared with many, the more the merrier! The laughter and chanting of “Lo Hei! Lo Hei!” can’t be beat. It sets the mood for the 15 days of festivities.
Seared Ahi Tuna
I usually use lox (smoked salmon) for my Yusheng a.k.a. Prosperity Toss Salad since sushi grade fish is hard to come by. As I was at the fish counter trying to figure out what I can use this this time round, my eyes fell on several slabs of beautiful pink tuna. They look very fresh and very nice and although they were not exactly sushi grade, the guy at the counter assured me it was perfectly fine if I seared all sides of it like this Seared Tuna with Wasabi Mayo.
I figured it would taste good in this salad and was eager to give it a try. It is also very easy to prepare and takes just a few minutes to cook. What could not be better?
Fried Taro Strips
The other thing I normally do is to shred the taro with a grater to produce softer and finer strips. This time round, I decided to cut it into matchsticks to give it a stiffer texture. I thought you might like to know but either way is just fine.
I did not do a video this time as it is not easy to do when I have to prepare so many dishes all at once. If you wish to watch a video on how to prepare the vegetables, please hop over to this Pros[perity Toss Salad on my other blog.
Similar Tools Used in Making This Yusheng/Yee Sang
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Yusheng/Yee Sang with Seared Ahi Tuna
- 12 wonton wrappers
- 1 lb taro (peeled) (450g)
- A few drops red and green food coloring
- ½ lb jicama (peeled) (225g)
- ¼ lb daikon (peeled) (113g)
- 1 medium carrot (peeled)
- 1 Asian pear (peeled)
- 4 sections pomelo (peeled and broken into small chunks)
- ½ cup cilantro leaves
- 12 oz sushi grade tuna (about 2 in/5cm thick) (340g)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp mirin (Japanese rice wine)
- 1 piece lime
- ½ tsp five spice powder
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- Cut wonton wrappers into strips. Deep fry until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.
- Cut taro into matchsticks. Divide into two portions. Color one portion with two to three drops red food coloring and the other with green food coloring. Deep fry each portion separately until crispy, about 7 to 8 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels.
- Using a grater, shred jicama, daikon, carrot, and Asian pear into long strips. Divide grated vegetables and Asian pear into 2 portions. Arrange each portion in piles opposite each other on a large platter. Do the same for pomelo and cilantro leaves. Leave some space for the crispy taro and wonton strips.
- Place tuna in a shallow bowl. Mix soy sauce and mirin in a small bowl. Pour over tuna. After 5 minutes, flip tuna and allow it to marinate for another 5 minutes.
- Heat a cast iron pan on the stove over medium high heat. Sear tuna on all sides for 1 to 2 minutes on each side to form a slight crust.
- Remove and slice tuna into ¼ inch thick slices. Arrange tuna slices in the middle of the platter. Place the piece of lime by the tuna slices.
- 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 sauce server.
- Divide prepared crispy taro and crispy wonton wrapper strips into two portions each. on the platter. Arrange each portion in piles opposite each other on the large platter. Sprinkle five spice powder and sesame seeds in opposite corners near the sliced tuna.
- When everyone is gathered round, squeeze the lime over the tuna and drizzle dressing over vegetables. Get everyone to toss the salad using chopsticks.
Serving Yusheng/Yee Sang
Yusheng/Yee Sang is served throughout the 15 days of Chinese New Year. Therefore, you still have plenty of time to make this delicious once a year salad. The 15th day of the Chinese New Year falls on Saturday, February 8th and this day is a good day to serve it. It completes the celebrations and I urge you to give this Prosperity Toss Salad with Seared Ahi Tuna a try. It really is super tasty and very satisfying!
Fish, Fish, and More Fish as a Symbol of Abundance
Since I used 12 ounces (340g) of tuna, there was plenty of fish to go around and that was fantastic. One can never have too much fish for the Chinese New Year because it symbolizes abundance and who doesn’t want abundance for the year ahead? Besides, it also combined really well with the shredded fruits, vegetables, and dressing and was delicious!