I welcome you once again to Signature Saturdays!
This dish is normally prepared for Chinese New Year in Southeast Asia. It uses raw fish and raw vegetables which are not commonly eaten by people in China, but Singaporean Chinese do. And did you also know that when it is brought to the table, it is the custom for everyone to pick up their chopsticks and help toss it together.
125 g very fresh tuna, striped bass, or red snapper fillets, wrapped in plastic wrap and placed in the freezer for 1 hour
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp Asian sesame oil
big pinch of ground white pepper
1/2 cup Chinese plum sauce
1 tbsp sugar, or to taste
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup hot water
2 tbsps fresh lime juice
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 cups finely julienned daikon, squeezed of excess water
2 cups finely julienned carrot
3 green (spring) onions, white part only, finely shredded into 2-inch lengths
6 kaffir lime leaves, spines removed and leaves shredded into hairlike threads
1/2 cup fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves
4 Chinese sweet pickled shallots, thinly sliced
2 tbsps well-drained, finely shredded pickled tea melons
1/4 cup well-drained, finely shredded sweet pickled ginger
2 tbsps finely slivered fresh young ginger
1 tbsp well-drained, finely shredded pickled red ginger
1/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, lightly crushed
1. Remove the partially frozen fish from the freezer and cut across the grain into paper thin slices. Cover and refrigerate. Then, just before serving, combine the fish, lemon juice, sesame oil, and white pepper in a bowl and toss well.
2. To make the dressing, in a bowl, combine the plum sauce, sugar, salt and hot water. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then stir in the lime juice. Set aside.
3. To assemble the salad, preheat a dry frying pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the sesame seeds and stir frequently until the seeds are light golden brown and begin to pop, 2-3 minutes. Pour onto a small plate and let cool.
4. In a large bowl, toss together the daikon, carrot, green onions, lime leaves, and half of the coriander leaves. Make a bed of the mixture on a platter. In a bowl, stir together the pickled shallots, tea melons, and the three gingers. Scatter the mixture over the daikon-carrot mixture. Mound the seasoned fish slices in the middle. Top with the peanuts and sesame seeds and then with the remaining coriander leaves. Pour the dressing evenly over the top.
5. Place the salad in the middle of the table. Have everyone reach in with their chopsticks to help toss the salad!
Gung Hay Fat Choy!
Source: Savouring Southeast Asia by Joyce Jue