Yee sang is a must-have CNY dish for us not only because it is sooo auspicious but it also tastes sooo good. The word yee (fish) means abundance and surplus. Sang means raw or lively. So yee sang literally means “raw fish” and symbolizes abundance, prosperity and vitality. What more can you ask for?
This recipe was adapted from Amy Beh's vegetarian dish featured in the Star newspaper many years ago. Since then, we have been doing it every year and it is a big hit with the whole family.
It requires a little more preparation but it is really well worth the effort.
No coloring, no preservatives, no msg and it is super delicious.
Traditionally, this was eaten on the seventh day of new year when the fishermen in Guangzhou celebrate their new year but nowadays, it is served all through the new year season.
Salmon Yee Sang
~2 cups white radish, shredded and soaked in cold water
~2 cups carrot, shredded and soaked in cold water
~1 cup green mango, shredded
~50g spring onions, shredded and soaked in cold water
~1 red chili, shredded
~2 cups pickled papaya, shredded
~6 pickled leeks, shredded
~2 cups pomelo wedges, peeled and separate the sacs
~4 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
~20g young ginger, finely shredded
~1 pair yao char kwai, sliced thinly and deep-fried until crispy (I substituted
this with homemade deep fried crackers made of flour, nam yee, sesame seed, salt and water)
~1 cup sweet potato, finely shredded and deep fried
~1 cup yam (taro), finely shredded and deep fried (not in the original recipe but I added this cos I love yam and it has an auspicious sound 'wu tao' means 'good beginnings' )
~2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
~3 tablespoons roasted peanuts, pounded coarsely
~200g chilled sashimi-grade salmon, thinly sliced
~100g plum sauce (original recipe - 300g)
~1 tbsp apricot jam
~3 tbsp lime juice
~1 tbsp honey (original recipe - 3T which I found too sweet)
~1 tbsp sesame paste
~1 tsp sesame oil
~1/2 tsp salt or to taste
~1/2 tsp Chinese five spice powder, put into a red packet
Combine the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a low simmering boil. Leave aside to cool completely before use.
Drain the shredded carrot, radish and spring onion well. Arrange the shredded ingredients attractively on a big, round serving platter. We used a huge 50 cm serving glass plate for the 14 of us!
Squeeze half a lime over the fish slices and arrange them on top of the shredded ingredients.
To serve, pour the sauce over the yee sang and sprinkle with the five-spice powder, the sesame seeds and roasted peanuts.
This is the fun part when we toss the salad together with chopsticks, wishing everyone good fortune, good health and greater success and lift everything higher and higher.