February 20, 2010

Chinese Fish Salad/Yee Sang

"Yee Sang" (鱼生; pinyin: yúshēng) in Cantonese means raw fish and this salad is another auspicious dish to present on the 7th day of Chinese New Year. It is an assortment of shredded vegetables, raw fish (sashimi), tossed with a sweet and tangy dressing served on a big platter. Generally, the tradition is to stand around the dish to mix, blend, and gently lifting the ingredients up from the bottom using a pair of chopstick. "Lo hei" (撈起 or 捞起), literary means prosperity and an increased in abundance. Normally, I would prepare and season the raw fish (sashimi) myself, but this time I ordered the sashimi from our regular Japanese restaurant instead.
Note: If you decide to prepare the sashimi at home, be sure to buy it from a reputable market as it has to be very fresh and of good quality. You cannot go wrong if you purchase it from either Berkeley Bowl in the East Bay, or from a Japanese grocery market. I packed the fish in ice pack to keep it fresh. Wash the fish well and pat dry. Season and rub fish with salt and some brandy. Wrapped in plastic and keep refrigerated for later. Before serving, rinse well with boiled drinking water.
Ingredients: (4-6)
20 or more pieces of fresh salmon or tuna (sliced thinly, and chill it refrigerator)
2 Tbsp. plum sauce
2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
3 tsp. honey
2 tsp. sesame seed paste
¼ cup lemon juice
sesame seed oil
1 radish, peeled and shredded
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly
1 small papaya, peeled and shredded
½ pomelo, cut and remove the rind around the segments
½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped finely
2 tsp. roasted sesame seeds
cilantro, chopped
3 slices ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 red chilli, sliced thinly
½ cup thin rice sticks noodles or vermicelli, break in half
cooking oil
1. Season the papaya and radish with a little salt and put in separate bowl, set aside for about 5 minutes. Squeezed out most of the juices and put aside. Colored half of the radish and papaya in red.
2. Heat enough oil on high in a small saucepan, when it's hot turn to medium heat, then add in a small amount of rice sticks to oil to puff up the noodles. Use a sieve or slotted spoon to remove it quickly when the rice sticks has puff up and white in color. Drained well on paper towels. Remove and discard used oil.
3. Heat the same saucepan with 2 tsp. oil and brown slightly the ginger and garlic. Remove and set aside. In a bowl mix the hoisin sauce, plum sauce, honey, sesame seed paste to a smooth paste.
4. In a another clean saucepan simmer ingredients for the dressing on medium heat, stirring to remove lumps. Add 2 drops of seseame seed oil, lemon juice and season to taste. Add a little more honey or lemon juice if needed. The taste should be sweet and tangy.
5. To assemble: In a large platter, arrange the ingredients, garnishing, and put the raw fish in the center of the platter.
6. Mix in the dressing, ginger and garlic oil, peanuts, and sesame seeds. Using a chopstick mix and blend in the ingredients. Serve immediately.

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