Happy Year of the Rooster! Chinese New Year was spent cooking up a feast and hanging out with family and friends. Although I’m spending my Chinese New Year away from home, the cooking and feasting still continues in London!!
One of the most popular dish to have during Chinese New Year will be ‘Yu Sheng’, a salad consisting of different vegetables, slices of raw fish such as salmon, crackers, peanuts and various condiments and a plum dressing. Each component signifies auspicious greetings and blessings such as good wealth, prosperity, luck and health. In mandarin, ‘Yu Sheng’ means growth in abundance. Thus it is always a staple festive dish during new year dinners. The best part is the tossing! Everyone joins in the fun and while using chopsticks to toss the salad, everyone usually shouts ‘huat ah!’, which in short means to gain prosperity.
Sadly I did not have a photo of the completed Yu Sheng with the dressing and salmon because I forgot to take one before we started tossing! But I took a few photos with the leftovers the next morning and it still looked amazing.
This year I decided to make my own Yu Sheng instead of purchasing a pre-made one. It is surprisingly easy and you can tweak your own salad dressing the way you like it. Most importantly it is more cost effective since purchasing one in Singapore can cost at least $40SGD. Traditionally the salad is made up of cucumbers, carrots, yam (or some call it Taro) dyed with food colouring and pomelo. I made a few twist to it and added capsicums, red cabbage and replaced pomelo with grapefruit instead. In my opinion, it’s a lighter version of the original Yu Sheng and all the natural colours from the vegetables just makes it more appealing!
Yu Sheng (with a twist)
2 Capsicums ( I got a yellow and red one)
1/4 Red Cabbage
1 Mouli (or we call it chinese white radish)
100g Vermicelli Noodles
1/2 tsp White Pepper
30g Cashews or Peanuts, crushed
1 tsp Toasted Sesame Seeds
Prawn crackers, break into small pieces
2 1/2 tbsp Chinese Plum Sauce
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tbsp Sesame Oil
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1/8 tsp Five Spice Powder
Pinch of Salt & Pepper
1 tbsp Hot Water
- Shred and cut all the vegetables into thin strips and slices. Use either a mandoline or vegetable peeler to shred the root vegetables into thin strips.
- Soak vermicelli in hot water for about 8-10mins. Rinse under cold water and drain.
- Arrange vegetables and vermicelli nicely in a big salad bowl.
- For the salad dressing, combine all ingredients together and mix until well incorporated.
- Before tossing the salad, Add smoked salmon on top of the vegetables together with all the other condiments and salad dressing.
Gong Xi Fa Cai! xx