New Year's Dish -Yusheng 魚生
Yusheng, a sashimi salad, is a well-known dish (apparantely Singapore Teochew dish in origin), eaten during the lunar New Year. Written in Chinese character Yu="fish" and Sheng="raw". Well, it's not even New Year yet but who cares. Fresh ikan parang, aka. wolf herring, is used but nowadays, salmon and white flesh fish are also common. Yusheng is garnished with julienned carrots, daikon and ginger with pomelo (pomelo is symbolic food, serves as a good luck during lunar New Year), chopped Chinese celery, red chillies, cracked peanuts and crackers made from flour like fortune cookies. The dressing is made from plum sauce, sugar, lime juice, Chinese 5 spices and some oil -a tangy sweet sauce. This dish is eaten with chpsticks (of course) and the point is to toss them as high as possible so that luck and prosperity will rise (aka "lo hei"). Writer Sylvia Tan in her incredible "Singapore Heritage Food" Landmark Books Pte Ltd 2004, pg.65 describes yusheng as "a Singapore invention" and now "there are even Japanese and Thai versions" of yusheng. Yet, I wonder who invented this dish in the first place?