Friday, February 16, 2018

Vegetarian Prosperity Salad 素鱼生

Happy Lunar New Year of the Dog!

Today marks the first day of the Chinese New Year, and here's wishing everyone Good Heath and Happiness.

We start the year strong and healthy with this Prosperity Salad which has been adapted and modified to suit our family preferences. Raw fish (生鱼 Sheng Yu ) - which is why Prosperity Salad is also known as Yu Sheng in Mandarin. Fish 鱼 and abundance 余 also both sound alike in Mandarin, thus the tradition of having Yu Sheng is often interpreted as abundance, good fortune and prosperity in the new year.

First and foremost, one of the most symbolic ingredient - raw fish  has been omitted from the salad as we do not consume raw fish at home. That said, it also means this salad is vegetarian.

No fish, but the colors galore and vegetables aplenty in this salad marks abundance in the best way (examples of ingredients and its symbolism here).  Besides, with or without fish, it is the same act of using chopsticks to toss and lift the salad up high that symbolizes the shoring in of better luck and lifting of our high spirits and vigor in the new year. In other words, the higher you toss, the better luck you have.

In this salad adaption, I have also brought in long strands of noodles (means long-life noodles) which symbolizes longevity and good health.

Lunar Chinese New Year Vegetarian Prosperity Salad 素鱼生
Thinly sliced/julienned kale, red and green cabbage, red beets, colored bell peppers, cucumber (totals to 4-5 servings of vegetables equivalent)
1 serving of cooked long-strand noodles
1 small orange, sliced to orange segments
[Golden garlic dressing]: 1 clove organic garlic, smashed and minced, 1 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar,/coconut vinegar, 3-4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, dash of ground turmeric, dash of freshly ground black pepper, the juice of orange squeezed from same orange
1-2 green onions, finely sliced

Directions: Arrange the vegetables and noodles nicely on a round plate. Gather everyone around the table. Start saying out loud the auspicious words, and phrases while sprinkling the green onions over the salad, then pouring the golden dressing over the salad.

Typically, each ingredient symbolizes something good (examples of ingredients and its symbolism here) and ties in to auspiciousness (e.g. green onions means wishing for lots of  cash or "greenbacks"  in our case because this salad was prepared and enjoyed in the USA; golden garlic dressing where the color of gold means fortune, and the Chinese word for garlic 蒜 sound like 算 , meaning lots of money to count but a better representation in my opinion, is to be able to count our blessings and be grateful.

Once dressing is poured over, everyone uses their chopsticks and start tossing the salad up high. It can be messy, but that is the spirit of Chinese New Year. When tossing, say as many Chinese auspicious words and phrases out loud - being strong and healthy, excellent school results, good luck, smooth-sailing career, career promotion etc.

Sharing with Hearth and Soul


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