Usher in the Chinese New Year with this colorful Yee Sang (Prosperity Toss Salad). It is a fun and tasty salad symbolizing abundance, prosperity, and vigor.
Yee Sang (Prosperity Toss Salad) is one of the dishes most Malaysian Chinese anticipate and look forward to during the Chinese New Year. When I was a kid, this dish was only served from the seventh day of the Chinese New Year onwards. The seventh day is also known as Renri (Human Day). Back then, Yee Sang was seldom prepared at home. Hence, most families will eat out on that day so that they can enjoy this Prosperity Toss Salad at the restaurants.
The Significance of Yee Sang (Prosperity Toss Salad)
Today, Yee Sang is served on the eve of the Chinese New Year right through Chap Goh Mei (fifteenth day of the Chinese New Year). The restaurants have gotten really creative over the years. Apart from Yee Sang, which means “increase in abundance and vigor”, they also offer Pau Sang, with pau yee (abalone), meaning “guaranteed abundance and vigor”. As to be expected, Pau Sang comes with an even more handsome price tag. 😉
A Fun Experience
Whichever one you decide to do, a Prosperity Toss Salad is an experience not to be missed. It is a communal thing and a lot of fun. The salad itself is delicious. It is what a salad should be, with all the right notes – sweet, tangy, savory, and crunchy.
The fun part is the tossing of the salad. Get the kids to join in. It is believed that the higher and more vigorous the toss, the better the new year! Don’t forget those auspicious wishes. Throw in as many as you can remember. It is all good! 😉
After all that hard work, everyone gets to enjoy a plate or two of this tasty salad. Definitely a win-win situation for everyone and a great way to user in the New Year.
There is still time to prepare this dish and I plan to serve it again on Chap Goh Mei, February 22, 2016. I hope you will give it a try too.
Similar Tools Used in Making This Yee Sang (Prosperity Toss Salad)
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- ½ packet dumpling wrappers
- 1½ lbs taro (peeled) (675g)
- 4 to 5 drops each of red and green food coloring
- Sufficient vegetable oil for deep frying
- 1 small jicama / bangkuang (peeled) (about 1lb/450g)
- 8 oz daikon (peeled) (225g)
- 2 medium carrots (peeled)
- ½ small pomelo (peeled and broken into small chunks)
- ½ cup cilantro (stems removed)
- 10 to 12 slices pickled ginger (cut into strips)
- ½ tsp five spice powder
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1 packet smoked salmon / lox (3 oz/85g)
- ½ lime or 1 tbsp lime juice
- Cut wonton wrappers into strips. Shred taro coarsely using a grater. Divide shredded taro into two. Color one portion with red food coloring and the other with green food coloring. Keep them separate.
- Heat about 1 inch depth vegetable oil in a fry pan. Deep fry dumpling wrappers until golden brown, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove with a metal strainer. Deep fry colored taro strips separately until crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with metal strainer. Store in air tight containers until ready to be used.
- Shred jicama, daikon, and carrots into fine long strips. Keep shredded vegetables separate. Do not mix.
- Place smoked salmon in a small bowl. Then place the bowl in the middle of a large platter.
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a small pan over medium heat. Stir until sauces are well mixed and slightly thickened. Remove and place in a small gravy boat or small bowl.
- Arrange crispy dumpling strips, taro, shredded vegetables, cilantro, pomelo, and pickled ginger into individual sections on the large platter.
- When everyone is gathered around the table, squeeze lime onto smoked salmon. Then, transfer the smoked salmon onto the vegetables. Sprinkle five spiced powder and sesame seeds and drizzle dressing over vegetables. Get everyone to toss the salad using chopsticks.