Yee Sang salad is one of the hallmark dishes for Lunar New Year for the Chinese community. It's a wonderful salad made with sashimi, freshly grated salad and a tasty but simple salad dressing! It is designed to be tossed together at the table and the higher the toss the bigger the prosperity! This is a pushy recipe Dear Reader!
Yee Sang originally started in Malaysia and Singapore as a way to celebrate Chinese New Year. I absolutely love yee sang salad because it's fresh, delicious and quite healthy. It's also really easy to make if you have a grater and the dressing is so delectably tasty that you may end up making this more than once during the 2 week Lunar New Year period (it officially finishes on the 5th of February 2023). And it is easy to customise for each animal in the Chinese zodiac! If you love crunchy salads like coleslaw you will love yee sang!
Tips for Making Yee Sang Salad
1 - Yee Sang is usually served as an entree or appetiser at a Chinese banquet. You're supposed to gather your loved ones and toss and give each other blessings and enjoy!
2 - Frying wonton skins can be a bit of a pain but they give the salad a really wonderful crunch and make it totally moreish! Otherwise you can use those crunchy fried noodles available at the supermarket (on the shelf).
3 - Some people add fruit and nuts into their yee sang salad. Pineapple is popular because of its golden colour and nuts add a nice crunch (especially if you don't want to fry the won ton skins but want crunch).
4 - If you can't access sashimi salmon, yee sang is also delicious with cooked prawns or lobster!
5 - You can make yee sang salad vegan too. You can replace the sashimi with seasoned tofu and the honey with rice bran syrup.
6 - You can make the Yee Sang a couple of hours before you serve it. Just keep the dressing and won ton crisps separate and toss together at the end.
7 - I use this grater which a Dear Reader Stefanie sent me a few years ago. It's the best peeler for carrot and vegetables as it grates them at the perfect size and is easy to use!
I've made this salad four times in the past 2 weeks (it also helps that one daikon makes two yee sang salads). It has been so warm that we have all loved eating this crunchy fresh salad. I've made it with sashimi salmon, prawns, lobster and boiled eggs and I think I'll continue making it beyond Lunar New Year. The only thing that I find a bit of a challenge is all that grating so I've corralled Mr NQN into doing some. This time he can't argue or try and wiggle out of it. You see Dear Reader, I have a doctor's note...
I recently discovered I have tennis elbow!
It happened after our trip to Hawaii. I thought I had slept funny on the plane (but really I knew I hadn't) and it got worse. I ignored it over Christmas because I had other things to do and then a couple of weeks ago I went to the physio who gave me my diagnosis. And no I don't play tennis.
The most embarrassing thing is how I got it. It's through working on the computer and using my phone so much. I always knew that my phone addiction would come back to bite me and it has now. I told my friends about it and they all have it. Monica has it because it's a common chef's injury. Her partner Marco has it as he is a brewer and Sammie has it too. So now I've got a brace on my arm, a list of exercises to do during the day and I ice my elbow every night. And now I also have a helper in the kitchen Mr NQN to help with the monotonous and repetitive tasks!
So tell me Dear Reader, have you ever had tennis elbow? Do you have any tips on how to recover? And have you ever tried yee sang salad?
Rabbit Yee Sang
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 8 minutes
Serves: 4-6 as a side
- 10 sheets won ton pastry, each sheet cut into 4 strips
- Oil for deep frying
- 300g/10.6ozs. cucumber (around 2 Lebanese cucumbers)
- 1 cup cos lettuce leaves, shredded or soft oak lettuce, torn
- 150g/5ozs. daikon (about 1/2 a daikon radish)
- 60g/2ozs. carrot (1 medium)
- 3 sticks green onion, green part only
- 250g/8.8ozs salmon sashimi
- Two blueberries for eyes
- Two tiny rounds of the end of the carrot for cheeks
- Small slice of nori for mouth
- 2 large slices of gari for ears
- 250g/8.8ozs salmon sashimi
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 Dutch carrot (optional)
For Salad Dressing
- 50g/1.7ozs hoi sin sauce
- 50g/1.7ozs plum sauce
- 2 tablespoons/30g/1oz honey
- 2 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- Pinch Chinese 5 spice powder
Step 1 - First fry the won ton pastries so that they are ready. Heat enough oil so that there is an inch of oil in a heavy pot. Cut up the won ton pastry into strips and fry until bubbled and crisp. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
Step 2 - Grate the daikon and carrot into separate bowls. Cut the cucumber in half and scrape out the seeds and then grate. Cut the cucumber into 2 inch pieces and then julienne them thinly. Place salad dressing ingredients in a medium or large jar and shake to emulsify. Place in a small jug ready to serve.
Step 3 - Take a platter or a large plate and lay down the cucumber and lettuce. Then place the daikon in the shape of a bunny face - Miffy is a good example making a face and ears. Add the long strips of gari inside the ears. Place the blueberries as eyes, carrots for the blushing cheeks and nori for an X for the mouth. Add grated carrot around the circumference of the plate and add the green onions underneath at the bottom so it looks like the bunny is in the grass. Mix the sashimi in the sesame oil and place the sashimi around the outside of the plate overlapping and place the Dutch carrot to the side. Serve with the won ton crisps on the side. When ready to eat, everyone grabs a pair of chopsticks and add the won ton crisps and salad and toss high with your chopsticks and eat immediately!