On February 10, Poonsak Sumonratanakul, the Executive Chef at Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel Dubai served a group of select guests yu sheng, a communal salad of raw fish, crunchy noodles and pomelo that Chinese Singaporeans and Malaysians have turned into a sport to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
The salad was piled high. Chef Poonsak encouraged guests to participate, “The higher you toss, the more money you’re going to make next year,” he said.
As we sat on an ingredient-strewn table in anticipation of the unique ceremony, Chef Poonsak explained. “Yu sheng is a popular and healthy festive dish usually served on the 7th day of the Chinese New Year. This shared raw fish salad is colourful and the act of tossing the salad together symbolizes ushering of prosperity and abundance for the New Year. You eat it so you can turn a year older.”
A symphony of flavours – some known, some new – was laid out in front of the guests. “The taste comes from the way we season the salad,” Chef Poonsak said. Yu sheng is probably one of the best food experiences one can have. Longevity noodles and whole chicken are some other common denominators on Chinese New Year tables. So what are you waiting for? Welcome the Year of the Snake with yu sheng. “Huat ah”. Gong Xi Fa Cai!
Recipe for Yu Sheng
Serves 8 persons
250gm fresh fish fillet or salmon sliced into thin strips
1 medium pomelo, cut into small wedges
2 carrots, shredded
1 white radish , shredded
1 jicama, shredded
2 cucumbers, shredded
80gm pickled red ginger, cut into small strips
1 mango, cut into small strips
75gm roasted peanuts, chopped coarsely
100gm strips of fried wonton skins
3 green onions, chopped
50gm toasted sesame seeds
For the dressing
Juice of 2 limes
1 tbsp plum sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
A pinch of 5 spice powder
A pinch of salt
Season the fish strips with a little salt and lime juice. Arrange all the ingredients into sections on a large serving platter. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and chopped peanuts over the dish. Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together. Pour dressing over the salad. Have your guests simultaneously toss the salad high with their chopsticks while wishing a happy New Year.
For more information about the hotel visit: http://www.parkregiskriskin.com
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