Chinese New Year multi-color salad

Chinese New Year salad

Chinese New Year salad

This is a uniquely Singaporean dish, eaten during Chinese New Year. Its a salad made of many different types of vegetables. [Himself is currently in the mood of no carbo diet, so I’m trying to compile different recipes to remind myself.]

Like all things Chinese, everything is symbolic. This dish is a creation of A when we went to her home recently.

Pomelo fruit -symbolising prosperity
Rojak flower (ginger flower) – 1 tsp (can omit)
Green apple – thin slices
Coriander
Sesame seeds – symbolise abundance
Shred into thin strips (raw)
White radish
Carrot
Cucumber

The idea is to arrange the raw vegetables on a huge plate, and give each of your guests a pair of chopsticks.  When everyone is ready, open the seasonings, such as crackers – symbolising gold, sesame seeds – symbolising abundance, sweet plum sauce – may your life be filled with sweetness, crushed peanuts and say these good wishes as you sprinkle the seasonings around the vegetables.

If you’re eating in a restaurant, its understood that the waitress who utters these good wishes, should be given a red packet (with money). Now its time to toss the vegetables and mix with the seasonings.  Toss the vegetables as high as possible and shout out wishes and idioms. So you need to brush up your Chinese idioms.

You can keep this strictly vegetarian, but mostly there’re thin slices of sashimi (raw) as fish in Chinese means “yu” – abundance.

Nian nian you yu – may you have abundance every year
huang jing man tang – your streets be filled with gold
tiantianmimi – relationships are sweet
yao she me de she me – get whatever you want
xin xiang shi chen – as you plan in your heart, it is accomplished.
xue ye jin bu – may you excel in your studies (if there’re children)
shen ti jian kang – good health

You can imagine that its fun, draws laughter and breaks the ice, highly interactive, and messy business.

Create your own salad and well wishes. We all need some good cheer and laughter in our lives. Spread the joy.

Do you have certain dishes that are synonymous with certain festive celebrations such as the Thanksgiving turkey and the Christmas goose?

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