In celebration of Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year which follows the lunar calendar, falls on the 28th of January this year and is celebrated for 15 days till the full moon of the first lunar month.  It will be the year of the Rooster, the tenth animal of the 12 year Chinese zodiac cycle.  The Rooster is said to have traits of confidence, motivation and loyalty. 

One way to celebrate is to enjoy a salad called ‘Yee Sang’.  Yee Sang is a ‘Prosperity toss’ where you toss a salad with particular ingredients that have symbols of Abundance, Prosperity and Good luck.  Traditionally bringing wishes for Reaching higher levels, for Households to be filled with gold and silver, Prosperity for the business and for Life to always be Sweet… 

Traditionally this dish is served on the seventh day of the new year but nowadays it is enjoyed in the lead up to the new year as well as during the 15 days of new year.

Here is a recipe that pairs beautifully with our Chardonnay, Cabernet Merlot and Cabernet Franc.  This is a lovely entrée for eight people or so depending on your appetite. 

What you'll need: 

  • Eight pairs of chopsticks
  • 250g Smoked salmon – (traditionally raw fish is used but smoked salmon is delicious and an easy substitute)
  • Two bags of julienned/ shredded raw vegetables from the supermarket which saves all the shredding. If you can’t find the pre sliced bag then julienne/ shred the following,
    • 2 carrots
    • 1 radish
    • 1 cucumber
    • half a lettuce
    • 1 beetroot
  • Few segments of pomelo / grapefruit – into pieces
  • Two tablespoons of pickled ginger
  • Two tablespoons of pickled onion
  • Five wonton skins sliced and fried
  • Three tablespoons of chopped peanuts
  • Two tablespoons sesame seeds

For the dressing:

  • Two tablespoons of lime juice
  • Three tablespoons of plum sauce
  • One teaspoon sesame oil
  • Three tablespoons of any mild oil you like e.g. olive oil
  • A pinch of 5 spice powder
  • A pinch of salt

What to do: 

To prepare the dish, place all the veggies on a big round plate and top with the smoked salmon.  Add the dressing and the idea is to use your chopsticks to toss the ingredients into the air to mix the salad while saying auspicious wishes.  The belief is that the higher the toss, the higher one’s growth in fortunes so let’s toss as high as we can!