Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Yu Sheng - Chinese

This is a traditional Chinese New Year dish originated from Chaozhou (Teochiew), Southern China. The word 'Yu Sheng' means raw fish, so this is a raw fish salad. The modern version of this dish is believe to be introduced in Singapore in the 60s and continue to be popular in Singapore and Malaysia. This dish is usually served on Renri (Everybody's Birthday), i.e. the seventh day of Chinese New Year.

There are about 20 ingredients in the salad, i.e. fresh salmon, white radish, green radish, carrot, pickled ginger, chopped toasted peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, glaced melon strips, pickled leeks, gherkins, pomelo pulps, crunchy noodles, pickled carrots, sweet preserve of papaya and cucumbers, mixed sweet citrus peel. For the dressing, plum sauce, and a touch of soy sauce, sugar, salt and pepper.

The radish and carrots are shredded into cold water. The shredded vegetables are then squeezed dry and refrigerated to make them crispy.
Yu Sheng is served as an appetizer. A ritual known as 'Lo Hei' (in Cantonese - a chinese dialect) meaning 'mix it up high' is perform by family and friends gathered around a table, each armed with a chopstick. On the cue, everyone toss the salad and someone will recite the poetic wishes out loud to usher in the new year.

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