Friday, December 7, 2012


Communal tossed fish salad, as part of the Chinese New Year celebration.  Usually done on the first or second day that everyone is back at work

First posted here:

For all my posts on Chinese New Year (春節) please see this string of posts:
The Whole New Year Thing
And note that this receipe will appear therein.

Lucky raw fish

Sashimi grade salmon.
Daikon radish.
Pomelo or sweet grapefruit.
Japanese red pickled ginger.
Red bell pepper.
Green bell pepper.

Pok cheui crackers (recipe).
Roasted or fried peanuts.
Toasted sesame seeds.
Lime wedges.
Freshly ground white pepper.
Pinches five spice and cinnamon powders.

For the dressing:
Quarter cup plum sauce.
Quarter cup olive oil or other mild cooking oil.
Two TBS vinegar.
One TBS sesame oil.
A little hot water.
[Double the dressing recipe as appropriate]

Slice the salmon thinly, and shred the vegetables. Peel, segment, and de-sac the pomelo.
You need roughly equal amounts of the various salad ingredients - the quantity of carrot is variable, so also obviously the pickled ginger and the pomelo.
Place the salad ingredients on a platter with the fish in the centre for the simple version, or on separate plates around a large mixing bowl for the more involved version.

Put the pok cheui crackers, peanuts, and sesame seeds in separate bowls.
Whisk the dressing ingredients, adding a little hot water to make it pourable.

撈起 LO HEI!
Tossing the fish.

The simple form is to assemble everyone around the table. Squeeze a little lime onto the salad ingredients for a fresh taste.
Mix the various components together, add the ground pepper, and cinnamon.
Then have everybody use their chopsticks to help toss the salad and incorporate the dressing while uttering good wishes.
Add the pok cheui crackers, peanuts, and sesame seeds last.

The more involved version has the 'master of ceremonies' present each ingredient to view before adding it to the platter in a particular order, with the other diners chanting the appropriate propitious phrase at every addition.

[Phrases: Carrot: 鴻運當頭 (hong wan dong tau -'great luck will be yours'). Daikon:步步高升 (bou bou gou sing - 'steady increases'). Cucumber: 青春常駐 (cheng chun seung chu -'enjoy permanent youth'). Ground Pepper: 大吉大利 (taai kat taai lei - 'great luck and great profit'). Cinnamon Powder: 招財進寶 (chiew choi jeun bou - 'beckon wealth and invite precious things'). Oil: 多多油水 (doh doh yau soei - 'much more funds'). Peanut: 金銀满屋 (kam ngaan mun ok - 'gold and silver fill the house'). Sesame: 生意興隆 (sang yi hing lung - 'prosperous and thriving business'). Pok cheui crackers: 翩地黄金 (pin dei wong kam - 'expeditious arrival of money'). Fish slices: 年年有餘 (nien nien yau yü - 'surplus increasing year after year'). Plum Sauce: 甜甜蜜蜜 (tim tim mat mat - 'may everything be sweet and good'). Pomelo: 越碌越有 (yuet lok yuet yau - 'more work more wealth').]
Then everyone uses their chopsticks to toss the salad as high as possible.

Note: the name "yü sang" is based on auspicious punning with 餘陞 (yü sing: surplus (wealth) ascending).

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