The 70 degrees temperature that has greeted the arrival of Spring 2012 prompted me to look for recipes to match the weather.
Singapore-Style Chinese New Year Raw Fish “Tossed” Salad
My friend Rachel, who grew up in Singapore, introduced me to this unique salad and fun New Year’s tradition. Raw fish, fruit, and vegetables are artfully arranged in a bowl, dressed with a plum-sauce dressing, and sprinkled with peanuts. Once the salad is presented, guests participate in “tossing” it with chopsticks, the object being to fling the salad as high as they can to ensure good luck in the year to come. Fried wonton crisps are said to symbolize gold, and they add a fun crunch to the salad, but they can be omitted if you are looking to save on calories. The best place to find good-quality raw fish is the sushi stand in specialty markets, where they will expertly slice the fish for you.
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons plum sauce
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 pink grapefruit
1 ripe mango
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into fine julienne
1 (8-ounce) piece jicama, peeled and cut into fine julienne
1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into fine julienne
8 ounces assorted raw fish, such as albacore, salmon, and halibut, thinly sliced into 1x2-inch pieces
4 green onions, thinly sliced on a diagonal
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped salted roasted peanuts
Fried Wonton Strips (page 90; optional)
For the dressing: Whisk all the ingredients to blend in a small bowl.
For the salad: Peel the grapefruit and separate the pieces into sections. Remove the pits and membrane from the sections and, using your fingertips, crumble the pulp into small bits into the center of a large shallow bowl.
Using a small sharp knife, peel the mango. Set the mango on the cutting surface, narrow side on the surface. Using a large sharp knife, cut off the lobes of fruit along both sides of the seed. Place the seed on the cutting surface, flat-side down, and cut remaining fruit off the seed. Cut the mango fruit into julienne slices. Arrange the mango along the side of the grapefruit. Arrange the carrot, jicama, and red pepper around the grapefruit, leaving space for the fish. (The dressing and the salad can be prepared several hours ahead. Cover them separately and refrigerate up to 6 hours.) Fan the sliced fish alongside the vegetables.
(* Recipe reproduced with permission from 'Salad for Dinner' Complete Meals for All Seasons by Jeanne Kelley- published by Rizzoli USA, April 2012- Photos by Ryan Robert Miller, all rights reserved)