One of my best friend’s late mother, whom I dearly called Auntie Wong, was an exceptional cook. A Chinese woman migrated from Malaysia, she could make beautiful meat-bone soups, aromatic curries and many different type of chili pastes. During Chinese New Year, she made ‘yee sang’, an elaborate salad with sashimi salmon and a plum sauce. We made wishes as we mixed the salad with our chopsticks, shared a few giggles and enjoyed the delicious feast.
In Chinese, ‘yee’ means fish, a symbol of plenty. ‘Sang’ shares the same pronunciation of 升, means uplifting. With a name like that, no wonder ‘yee sang’ is one of the most popular dish for Chinese New Year around Singapore and Malaysia.
My father and sister were travelling in China and only arrived yesterday, which was the Chinese New Year’s Day. To welcome them home,, I made my own version of ‘yee sang’ with tuna, salmon, fennel, carrot, capsicum, cucumber and a strawberry salad dressing.
I didn’t make any wishes as I mixed the salad – I already have everything I could have wished for. Although life is busy and demanding, I have a lovely family, good friends, a home with a double garage full of cooking equipment. I am happy.
Recipe is as follows:
(Serves 4 as a low FODMAP recipe)
- 80g carrot, julienne (I cut it into curls)
- 30g alfalfa
- 80g cucumber, sliced (I cut it into curls)
- 80g fennel bulbs, sliced
- 50g lettuce
- 200g sashimi quality tuna
- 200g sashimi quality salmon
- 2 tbsp strawberry jam
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp warm water
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds, lightly toasted
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- salt to taste
- To make the dressing, mix strawberry jam with rice wine vinegar and water, mix well; push the mixture through a sieve to extract the sauce.
- To make the salad, arrange all ingredients on a large plate; sprinkle with sesame oil, sesame seeds and salt.
- To serve, mix the salad and dressing with chopsticks (by the whole family); make wishes as you mix.