Thursday, January 28, 2016

Get Lucky with this Homemade Scallop Yee Sang

Yee sang 鱼生, also known as yu sheng or lo hei is a prominent dish found during the Chinese New Year celebrations as it is a symbol of abundance, prosperity and vigor. Traditionally, yee sang is tossed and eaten during the 7th day of CNY (during Renri) but it is now enjoyed up to weeks before the actual celebration. Yee sang is usually made from strips of raw fish (commonly salmon), mixed with shredded vegetables and other pickled ingredients.

Nowadays, you can easily buy pre-packaged yee sang in supermarkets, whereby you can simply assemble the ingredients on a plate and top it with raw fish.

Every year during CNY, we will prepare our own version - a healthy yet delicious yee sang, which is made up of fresh vegetables and fruits. A total of eight ingredients make up our auspicious yee sang, as eight is a lucky number for the Chinese and symbolises fortune. The eight ingredients are carefully selected so that they blend harmoniously with one another. It is also common to choose ingredients of differing colours. The centerpiece of our yee sang are eight large Hokkaido scallops to complete the "lucky eight" theme.

Lucky 8 Scallop Yee Sang

Each ingredient is added to the salad for a special meaning:
* Oil is poured circling the ingredients, hence encouraging money to flow in from all directions. 一本万利 Yi Ben Wan Li meaning “Make 10,000 times of profit with your capital”.
* Carrots are added indicating blessings of good luck. 鸿运当头 Hong Yun Dang Tou meaning “Good luck is approaching”.
* Crushed nuts symbolizes a household filled with gold and silver. 金银满屋 Jin Yin Man Wu meaning “Household filled with gold and silver”
* Plum sauce, is generously drizzled over everything. 甜甜蜜蜜 Tian Tian Mi Mi Meaning “May life always be sweet”.
* Deep-fried Chinese crackers (pok chui) in the shape of golden pillows are then added with wishes that literally the whole floor would be filled with gold. 满地黄金 Man Di Huang Jin meaning “Floor full of gold”
* Pineapple's homonym sounds like "ong lai" - luck come.
* Lettuce symbolises prosperity and growing fortune.

Eating this "Lucky 8 Scallop Yee Sang" is akin to eating a raw salad - very refreshing and appetizing, thanks to the plum sauce and lemon juice dressing as well as fresh vegetables and fruits used.

Fresh, healthy and delicious!

Tossing to a great year!

Lucky 8 Scallop Yee Sang 鱼生
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: under 1 minute
Serves 6


1/2 carrot, peeled and julienned
2 lettuce leaves, julienned
1/2 small yellow pepper, julienned
1/3 Japanese cucumber, julienned
1/3 Korean Shingo pear, peeled and julienned
4 strawberries, thinly sliced
3 slices pineapple, thinly sliced
8 Hokkaido scallops

1 1/2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp crushed cashew nuts or peanuts
1-2 packets Tam Tam crackers
Salt, to taste

For the dressing
2 tbsp plum sauce
1 tsp lemon juice

1. You can julienne and slice all the vegetables beforehand, however for the pear and strawberries, it is better to slice them closer to serving time.

2. In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the scallops for about 30-40 seconds, until cooked. Remove and immediately blanch in a bowl of iced water for 10 seconds. Drain and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Season with some salt.

3. Mix plum sauce and lemon juice together, until you get a sauce of pouring consistency.

4. Arrange the julienned vegetables and fruits on a large plate in an attractive manner. Then, place the scallops in the centre of the plate. Oil, crushed nuts, crackers and plum sauce should be served in separate bowls at the side. Just before tossing, add the crackers and crushed nuts, then drizzle oil in clockwise direction and finally pour over the plum sauce.

1. Your kids can help arrange the cut vegetables and fruits, as well as crushing the nuts (using a rolling pin+ ziplock bag).

2. You can also use raw salmon slices in lieu of scallops. You can find the recipe for salmon yee sang on my blog here.

3. As we cannot get hold of Chinese crackers (pok chui), we used Tam Tam crab flavoured snack since it is similar in shape and easier to get hold of.

Wishing you all a great Monkey Year 2016. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

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1 comment:

  1. Your homemade yee sang looks very colourful. To julienne vegetables finely is a skill! ;)


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