So the year of Snake is finally here! I bet you have been eating up a storm. Did you have a reunion dinner with your family, or were you doing the ‘orphan’ dinners overseas like what I used to do with my friends? Did you cook up a feast or just let your local Chinese restaurant do all the work?
It was really nice seeing all the photos of food posted up on instagram and facebook, that’s one thing great about the usage of social media: the sharing! Some might have a different opinion but I think most Chinese appreciate the food photos, right? Thanks for all the wishes flooding my facebook timeline/inbox and whatsapp too. Here’s wishing you a successful year ahead filled with happiness and good health.
My family members are scattered around the globe and this year is a little more special in that my mum and brother are currently residing in Kuala Lumpur. This means the majority of my family members are here, and the reunion dinner by default would be at my place. I had wanted to keep our meal healthy, yet delicious. Taking the centre stage was the Salmon and Crispy Enoki Mushrooms Yee Sang.
Yee Sang (Yu Sheng in Mandarin – 鱼生), or Lou Sang (捞生) is a Teochew style raw fish salad made popular in Malaysia and Singapore in the 1960s. The original versions in Guangzhou were much simpler, made by the fishermen in celebration of the 7th day of Chinese New Year, feasting on their catches. Yúshēng (鱼生) is a homonym for Yúshēng (余升) meaning an increase in abundance. Therefore, consuming yusheng is very auspicious in every way. Nowadays, many chefs have added their own touches and my version was inspired by some of the unusual Yee Sang I’ve heard about this year.
As you can see there are Strawberries and Dragon fruit in my Yee Sang. I’ve also added Strawberry Jam in the plum sauce ala “Gu Yue Tien” restaurant. Instead of deep frying the Wanton skins for the crispy treats, I’ve deep fried some Enoki Mushrooms (upper left corner) instead and this turned out to be the most popular ingredient of the salad (the strawberries came close second).
Here’s the recipe for this year’s Yee Sang and I’ve taken the liberty to add the symbolisms of the ingredients.
Sashimi Grade Salmon, Sliced (年年有余)
1 radish, shredded (风生水起)
1 carrot, shredded (鸿运当头 suitable for all red ingredients)
1 cucumber, shredded (青春常驻)
Half a pomelo (大吉大利)
Handful of Strawberries, quartered (鸿运当头)
Half Red Dragon Fruit, cut into sticks
1 packet of Japanese pickle ginger (I actually used Radish this year because I couldn’t find the ginger.)
Handful of Coriander(青春常驻)
Once all the vegetables and fruits are prepped, arrange on a large plate to your liking. I like arranging the Salmon into a rose. That’s the closet romantic in me.
Deep Fried Enoki Mushrooms (满地黄金)
1 packet Enoki Mushrooms, ended trimmed, separated into individual strands
2 tablespoons Self Raising Flour
2 tablespoons Rice Flour
4 tablespoons water
Pinch of salt
Mix the flour, salt and water together, and pour over the mushrooms to coat well. Heat oil in heavy pan and when the oil is hot enough, deep fry the mushrooms in batches until golden brown. You might need to adjust the ratio of flour/water according to your first batch. Drain on absorbent paper.
200g plum sauce
1 tablespoon Strawberry Jam
1 tablespoon Mango and Pineapple Jam
Juice of half lemon
3-4 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted (生意兴隆)
50g peanuts, toasted and crushed (金银满屋)
Pinch of Pepper and 5 Spice powder (招财进宝)
1 tablespoon sesame oil (财源广进)
Once all the garnishes are added to the Yee Sang, it’s time to do our prosperity toss! During the toss, make sure you only say auspicious phrases and good wishes.
Lou ah!!! Huat ahhhh!! I want my record deal thank you very much. 🙂
The Dragon fruit turned everything into a bright magenta. Pretty.
You are meant to each take a small portion after the ‘ceremony’. This is actually one of the healthiest dish you could have for the festive period so don’t be afraid to indulge. Make sure to have some leftovers to bring abundance and excess through the year.
The second fish dish we had was the Teochew Style Steamed Pomfret. A fish served whole is a symbol of prosperity. Wow, we are really going with the symbolism this year.
This was my first time steaming a whole fish and I had to use my oven because I don’t have a wok big enough to fit the dish in. The method was simple, I just needed to add a baking tray full of water and turn the heat down (to about 15). Luckily the fish was cooked perfectly with soft bouncy flesh. I love the various toppings but I will not disclose who took out both the fish eyes (and the fish cheeks), ahem.
1 Gold Pomfret
5-6 slices of ginger, cut to thin strips
3 cloves of Garlic, smashed with knife
3 chilli padi, chopped
1 Tomato, cut into wedges
3 Shitake Mushrooms, stems removed, sliced thinly
2-3 pieces of salted vegetables, sliced thinly
3 tbsp Shao Xing wine
3 tbsp Light Soy Sauce or a mixture of soy and fish sauce
1 tbsp Sesame Oil
1/4 tablespoon water
Coriander, to garnish
Heat oil in pan and saute garlic, ginger and mushrooms together until fragrant (and ginger strips turning slightly crisp)
Arrange tomato wedges, salted vegetable on the fish and around. Pour over the Shao Xing Wine, Soy Sauce and drizzle some sesame oil. Add the water too, at the side of the dish (ie not over the fish). Once the garlic/ginger/mushrooms are done scatter over the dish.
Preheat oven to 150C and place a baking tray full of boiling hot water (you want to see the water maintained at boiling point so might have to adjust the temperature a bit). Cover the dish with foil and steam the fish for 20-25 minutes until done. Check the doneness by removing small part of the flesh to reveal the bones.
Garnish with coriander before serving.
We also had Vietnamese Rice Paper Roll (Goi Cuon), a close relative to Spring Roll, which is also typical consumed during Chinese New Year. This version is not deep fried and we filled them with Coriander, Carrots, Bean Sprouts, Lettuce, Cucumbers and small serving of Char Siew Pork. I forgot to take a close up of the rolls but if you refer back to the first photo, you can see them at the right side of the photo. Once again, this signifies wealth and prosperity. We better get filthy rich this year then after all these dishes. Once thing for sure though, the prosperity will not go to our waistlines.
If you are sick of all the rich meaty dishes, this might be something you could consider for Chap Goh Meh (15th day of Chinese New Year).
See you when I’m back from Sarawak!
I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013 hosted by Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover.
60 Comments Add yours
looks like you succeeded in your objective: both the yee sang and fish look not only delightfully delicious but also attractively wholesome-healthy! hope you enjoy the remainder of the feasting for this fortnight 😀
Back in hometown and had lunch at my Grandma’s almost all meat! What a stark contrast.
Happy Chinese New Year to you and Frank and wishing you a fantastic start to it!!! 🙂 I’ve actually never had a yee sang before but all I know is there’s fish and you’re supposed to mix it all up hehe ~ i’d love to make it one day and try it out! Looks so damnnnn good!!!
It’s easy to make and very yummy, you should try it! Fun to toss with friends and family too.
Interesting recipe but it looks good!
Thank you! I just saw another restaurant with fruits Yee sang: Dynasty @ Renaissance. Seems to be the in thing this year.
Kelly, I love your version of the Yee Sang. Dragonfruit is fabulous in salads. And I have recently discovered mango and pineapple jam and have done some experiments with it. Your steamed pomfret looks good too. Gong Xi Fa Cai and I hope the record deal comes your way soon 🙂
I dont usually eat fruits on their own but love them in salads!
With strawberries on the side – yum!
The strawberries worked. 🙂
Creative… Yee Sang with strawberry….
It’s a nice addition.
Happy Chinese New Year Kelly 🙂
The Teo Chew steamed pomfret looks great 😀
🙂 Happy CNY! Yeah the fish was cleaned up pretty quickly.
This meal is indeed special with your Mum and your brother with you. I am sure you all enjoyed the meal the spending time with you. I like your version of the “Yee Sang” and the fish looks very delicious. Have a great Snake year Kelly.
Thank you and Happy CNY to you and your family! I’m now back in Bintulu and will be going to Sibu tomorrow for my foochow grandma’s birthday. My teochew grandma cooked up a feast today and I’m waving the white flag!
Gong hei fatt choy!
I will be replicating your yee sang for chap goh meh with the in laws since I am tasked with preparing it. Love steam pomfrets. Its one of my all time fave dishes.
Nice! I think we might lousang again in chap goh meh but perhaps a smaller ones. My grandma also steamed a black pomfret today and it was yummy!
Dragon fruit and strawberries !!! What a “red” combination, must be very delicious to eat too! Gong Hei Fatt Choi Kelly 🙂
I love the extra vibrant colours they brought, tasted great too mixed with everything. Gong Xi Fa Cai.
tasty, ilkie teow cheow version steamed fsh…
i ever posted with marble goby or soon hock fish,
aday befor CNY, i ask the seafood stall in the merket ant chines pomfret is crazily hits to aroung 60 USD a kilos for fresh and 140 for the swimming ones….
Luckily the price didn’t increase so much here during CNY. It should be quite nice with Soon Hock. I’ve even made it with Halibut fillet.
huat ah !
I can imagine your yee sang is very nice with the fruity sauce 🙂 Happy CNY to you.
Happy CNY again! I enjoyed the fruity combination.
The fish looks so good. Must be so expensive over there – not cheap here either…but anyway, it’s once a year so no worries. Qong Xi Fa Cai!
I thought it was pretty cheap, RM17 for whole fish. Just the right size for 3. It was delicious indeed.
Happy Chinese New Year!
Your meal looks wonderful, I can’t imagine how delicious it actually tasted 🙂
Tasty but also healthy and refreshing. 😀
Wow dragonfruit and strawberry! That’s the first time I’ve seen that added into Yee Sang. In Ipoh my Aunty loves to add mango and a mountain of pomelo, but that backfires sometimes when the mango isn’t sweet enough! hehe
This time the pomelo I bought wasn’t sweet so I only added a little bit. I will add mango next time. Hehe
Yee Sang is so pretty looking! I still drool abit looking at it now even though i’ve already had so much yee sang this cny. Well after looking at yours, maybe i’ll have somemore.
So did you have more! I think I’ll make another one on Chap Goh Meh!
Hi Kelly! Happy Lunar New Year!
I love your YuSheng ingredients! And the rose of Salmon! Nice!
Happy Lunar New Year to you too! This Yee sang is also suitable for Valentine’s! 😀
Happy Chinese New Year and Happy Valentine! 😀
Happy CNY again to you!! Celebrated V day in Paris? 😀
We were on the flight on V day. hehehe
But we normally also don’t celebrate that, save money, hahaha.
Yeah true. I was performing at a romantic restaurant (Nerofico) and the set dinner was RM268++ per couple! So expensive.
Gorgeous Yee Sang! if I m gonna make Yee Sang, I m gonna pinched this one ya! 😉
Kelly , your two dishes look delectable ! Perfect food to celebrate “Everyone’s Birthday” 😀
Wishing you and your family Happy Chinese New Year ! May the Year of the Snake bring you good health , luck and happiness !!!
Thank you! Wish you a year and beyond of abundance, health and happiness!
I do not know if it’s just me or if perhaps everybody
else encountering issues with your site. It appears as though some
of the written text on your posts are running off the screen. Can somebody else please provide feedback
and let me know if this is happening to them as well? This may be a issue with my web
browser because I’ve had this happen previously. Cheers
Heya this is kinda of off topic but I was wanting to know
if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.
I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience.
Any help would be enormously appreciated!
Your style is very unique in comparison to other folks I’ve
read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you’ve got the opportunity,
Guess I’ll just bookmark this blog.
Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to
your webpage? My website is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my visitors would definitely
benefit from some of the information you provide here. Please let me
know if this alright with you. Many thanks!
I’m not sure the place you’re getting your information, however good topic.
I needs to spend a while learning more or figuring out
more. Thanks for great info I used to be searching for
this information for my mission.
What’s up Dear, are you truly visiting this web page on a regular basis, if so afterward you
will without doubt take pleasant experience.
These are genuinely great ideas in regarding
blogging. You have touched some good factors here. Any way keep up wrinting.
Haven’t heard of yee sang before, thanks for the info about it and its recipe. Salmon is one of my favorite fish, but never had it raw. It’s quite different from how we have fish in Turkey, but I love the ingredients! I’m bookmarking it to try it soon!
Happy Chinese new year to you and your family!
This is not only auspicious, but also very healthy. Try it out one day, and you won’t be disappointed! Thanks for dropping by!
Hi Kelly, love your healthy yu sheng. Will try it next year 🙂
You can even try it for the 15th day! Hehehe.
i wonder how about the spell when the family combining each elements into the yee shang, did you do that….
since when you get into restaurant, the servant will do it for you…
like persperouse, hapiness and anything else in chinese
We just said all the wishes when we tossed the Yee sang.
Looks good…. maybe I shud try this too… LOL
Hehe go ahead and try it!