Rainbow Yusheng With Passionfruit Dressing
By Lee Bee Chan
Freshness is paramount in this colourful rainbow salad comprising fruit and vegetables accentuated with aromatics. Tossed in a fruity low-sugar dressing and garnished with edible flowers, this yusheng is a feast for the eyes! Serve with New Year Crystal Dumplings and bake a Golden Orange Butter Cake for your Reunion gatherings.
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Serves: 10-12 persons
A: Freshly Shredded Vegetables
75g cucumber, preferably Japanese, skin on
150g carrot*, skin on
100g jicama, peeled
50g green papaya, peeled, optional
80g purple sweet potato, peeled*
B: Fresh Fruit
½ Chinese or Korean pear, peeled and sliced
1 medium red apple, sliced
1 small firm mango, peeled and sliced
2 segments of pomelo, skin removed, sacs broken up into pieces
Blueberries, a handful, optional
C: Passionfruit Dressing
10-15 calamansi limes, squeezed for 3 tablespoons juice
2 tablespoons sweet and sour sauce with preserved plum*
2½ tablespoons marmalade*
2-3 passionfruits, extract 3 tablespoons pulp
Pinch of salt
D: Jellyfish and Candied Ginger
300 g preserved jellyfish, store-bought
50g candied ginger, sliced
E: Seasoning And Condiments
2 tablespoons corn or grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground, placed inside an empty red packet
¼ teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder, placed inside an empty red packet
2-3 tablespoons roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
F: Assorted Root Vegetable Chips
50g vegetable chips: yam, sweet potato, arrowroot, store-bought
G: Fresh Aromatics
2 stalks peppermint, leaves only
2 stalk Chinese coriander, leaves only
1 stalk laksa leaves only, roughly torn
½ ginger bud flower, finely shredded
2 kaffir lime leaves, centre vein removed and shredded
6-8 flowers e.g. blue and white butterfly pea or balsam flowers, optional
5 calamansi limes, halved
1. Passionfruit Dressing: Make it ahead and chill until ready to use. Combine A ingredients in a jar, give it a good shake and refrigerate. Recipe makes 180g of dressing.
2. Prepare jellyfish according to instructions on the packet: drain and rinse jellyfish, then toss in oil and dry seasoning that comes with the jellyfish. Chill until serving time.
3. Prepare all other ingredients ahead of serving time. To assemble, start with vegetables, pile on a large platter, alternating the different colours in a ring.
4. Arrange sliced fruit inside ring, making space for jellyfish to be added. When adding jellyfish, you can say “Nian Nian You Yu” (abundance throughout the year).
5. Drizzle 150g of Passionfruit dressing all over the salad until it is evenly coated. You can have everyone chime in with this greeting: Tian Tian Mi Mi (for sweet and loving relationships). Add more dressing if required. Next, drizzle salad with both cooking oil and sesame oil. Toss chips on top.
6. Toss in candied ginger. Open up red packets – sprinkle pepper and 5-spices on top, followed by peanuts and sesame seeds.
7. Garnish with aromatics and fresh flowers. Squeeze lime juice over salad; discard seeds.
7. Gather everyone around the yusheng. Give everyone a pair of chopsticks.
Pour in dressing. Toss, reciting the blessing of greeting of abundance together. The more boisterous, the better and the more joyous it will be.
Serve immediately. This salad is best prepared a la minute and eaten fresh.
Photos: Lee Bee Chan
*NOTE: Add 50g purple carrot cultivar if desired for colour. Compared with its orange counterpart, it has a firmer texture with nutty accents. Sweet and sour sauce with preserved plum is sold alongside plum sauce and plum paste which are also used for yusheng dressing.
TIP: Opt for reduced-sugar marmalade for a less sweet dressing. Choose juicy fruit and vegetables such as pear, apple, jicama and carrot. Purple sweet potato discolours quickly because of oxidation and dries up fast. If adding this as an ingredient, it’s best freshly shredded and added just before tossing the salad.
TECHNIQUE: Soak sliced fruit in water to which a pinch of salt has been added. Pat dry fruit and vegetables with paper towel before slicing. Keep in a covered tupperware in the fridge to maintain freshness until ready to toss. Do not serve cut fruit and vegetables overnight as they will lose moisture and begin to wilt.
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