Yee Sang Recipe You Can Make at Home
Yee Sang, a symbol of abundance, prosperity and vigor.
I was looking through plenty of Yee Sang Recipes to make at home when I stumbled upon this one by Nonya Cooking. The Yee Sang or Yu Shang or Yu Sheng to others, is a Prosperity Toss. Yee Sang means “raw fish” in Cantonese but it also sounds like “increasing in abundance”. This is why Yee Sang is a popular dish among Malaysians and Singaporeans during Chinese New year as a symbol of abundance, prosperity and vigor.
Participating diners at the table would stand up and toss the Yee Sang as high as they dare, as the higher the toss the more prosperous you would be. Various “auspicious wishes” are said out loud while tossing the salad. It can get quite messy and loud, but it is quite a fun thing to do together.
Yee Sang actually isn’t too hard to prepare. I admit it is quite a lot of prep work, but puts together in a jiffy and the end result is a beautiful and colourful Chinese Salad. The Yee Sang consists of a variety of textures: the crunchies, the fresh vegetables and pamelo, the spices, and lastly the sauce.
The crunchies can actually be store bought, if you really are pushed for time. However, if you want to make your own, they can be prepared ahead of time and stored in an airtight container.
Below are all the ingredients called for from her recipe, but I added my take on it here and there.
- 0.5 carrots
- 1/4 white radish
- cucumbers (I chose Japanese cucumbers because I like the dark contrasting green)
- jicama (or mengkuang as the locals call it, I like to add this because of it’s fresh taste)
- pickled ginger (click here to see how to make pickled ginger)
- 1 lime
- smoked salmon
- 1 pomelo
- optional : coriander
When I researched on Yee Sang sauces, there were many additional things you could add to the sauce to make it your own. The main basis is still plum sauce of course, but there’s no harm adding marmalade, apricot jam and even a splash of Ribena just to name a few! You will have to experiment with the ratios until you are satisfied with the taste of your sauce.
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp olive oil (although I prefer to use a flavourless oil like a canola and sunflower oil)
- 1 tbsp peanuts
- 0.5 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp 5 spice powder
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tsp salt
- 30 g butter
- 50 g flour
Preparing the salad
- Mix all the ingredients in B (sesame oil, water and plum sauce) to make the sauce. Set aside.
- Julienne cucumber, carrots, raddish, jicama and pickled ginger. Alternatively you could use a shredder which gets the job done much faster, just not the pickled ginger – that you still have to julienne into matchsticks. Set them aside
- Peel and break up the pomelo into pulps. Set it aside.
Preparing the Yam Chips
- Julienne the yam into thin strips and divide them into two portions.
- Add red and green food colouring into each of the portion respectively.
- Deep fry until crispy
Preparing the crackers option 1:
I didn’t bother making crackers from scratch with recipe D above. Instead I found this option to make instant and fast crispy crackers by deep frying cut wonton wrappers.
Preparing the crackers as per the recipe:
- To prepare crackers, add flour, salt and cold butter in a bowl. Rub flour into butter until the mixture is even and forms a dough.
- Add more flour if dough is still wet.
- Flatten dough and cut them into small rectangles. Fry cut dough until golden brown. Set aside.
- Assemble all ingredients on a plate with the salmon pieces in the centre.
- Make sure that the same colours are opposite of each other. That is how you should plate your Yee Sang if you want to be traditional about it. Otherwise let your creativity lead the way
- When you are ready to serve and add sauce, pepper, five spice powder, sesame seeds and crushed peanuts onto the ingredients before tossing.
- To make it look extra impressive, you can store the five spice powder and toasted sesame seeds in clean angpow packets ready to pour when serving.
And if you really, really want to know what each ingredient symbolizes, since we’re on the topic of Yee Sang, below is an info-graphic description for your reading pleasure.
credit : Nyonya Cooking