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Thursday, 24 January 2013

Chinese Style Tossed Salad


"Why must be pay such an extorbitant price for cheap vegetables and artificial coloring?. Besides, we can hardly taste the salmon. This is a very high profit margin dish". That was my partner's remark to me after he turned down the waiter's suggestion of Yee Sang. Spoken like a true Penang accountant.


This incident happened some years ago at a Chinese restaurant during the Chinese New Year period. I will have to agree with my better half. I admit that I am a sucker for Yee Sang. I love it. The last time we had this salad at the same restaurant, the salmon was sliced so thinly and the portion size was so miserable. Hardly justified the price we paid. After all the tossing, you could  not taste or see the salmon at all.


I am not adept at handling seafood, let alone sashimi grade salmon. And I thought to myself, why not create my own version of Yee Sang. With my own dressing and instead of fish, I'll use roasted chicken. Of course I can't call it Yee Sang. That would be misleading as it does not contain fish and is miles away from the original thing. So I settled for Chinese Style Tossed Salad. How's that, eh?

The dressing came about months ago (way before this idea came up) when I wanted to recreate a ready made dressing that came with a packet of ready washed salad greens. The taste was lovely but the ingredients listed on the packet did not give me much of a clue as to what it actually contained. It only said something like bean paste and spices. 


Well, I just let the mad scientist in me prevail (My degree in biology came to great effect). I just mixed my ingredients (no test tubes involved) and tasted as I went along. I came quite close but not quite. But it was good enough for me.


For the salad, I used cucumbers, carrots, daikon, crunchy sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes and corriander. For the crunchies, I toasted some taupok (beancurd puffs) and for the protein I used my Chilli Bean Roasted Chicken. The salad was pretty good if I may say so, as the dressing was tangy and full of flavors. The tossing of the salad was done in the kitchen of course because nobody is going to mess up my dining table. I'm such a party pooper hee..hee...


Chinese Style Tossed Salad
Recipe source : Phong Hong (Dressing was inspired by a store bought salad dressing)

Salad ingredients :
- 1 medium Daikon, grated
- 2 Carrots, grated
- 2 medium Cucumbers, cut into thin strips
- 10 Chery tomatoes, sliced
- 4 Sweet crunchy peppers, sliced
- Coriander leaves (cilantro)
- Chicken meat (from two chicken legs), thinly sliced (Can use roasted or steamed chicken)
- 5 Taupok (beancurd puffs), sliced and toasted in the oven at 180C for about 15 minutes until crispy (optional)

Dressing (Good for 2 big servings of salad) :
- 2 big cloves garlic (pounded)
- 1/2 inch ginger (pounded)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons bean paste (taucheow)
- 1 tablespoon dark soya sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili bean sauce (toban djan)
- 1 teaspoon plum sauce
- 200ml rice vinegar
- 100ml water

Additional ingredients for salad dressing :
- Sesame oil
- Grapeseed oil or any neutral tasting oil

For garnishing :
- toasted sesame seeds.

To make dressing :
- Pound garlic and ginger (or run through garlic press)
- In a saucepan add garlic, ginger, honey, bean paste, dark soya sauce, chili bean sauce, plum sauce, vinegar and water.
- Bring the dressing to a boil and lower heat to simmer for 10-15 minutes until dressing is slightly thick.
- Take it off the heat and cool.

To serve :
- Put salad ingredients into a mixing bowl.
- In another bowl, mix the dressing with 1 teaspoon sesame oil and 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil
- Pour dressing into salad ingredients and toss to mix well.
- Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

Notes : 
1. The dressing can be made in advance and kept in a bottle in the fridge for 2 weeks.
2. The amount of dressing to use depends on the amount of vegetables you are serving, so it is really up to you to decide how much is enough.  And this will also determine how much sesame and grapeseed oil you will add.
3. If you are using the taupok, toast it just before serving as it will get soft if left out for too long.



I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013 hosted by Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover.

59 comments:

  1. You are so right Phong Hong... why should we pay such heavy price for just the shredded vegetables and just a few slices of salmon which we dont even feel the taste in it at all! With our own dressings we can do better taste... your dressing in salad always looking so tasty. I know this must be real good because my mouth watering wet now.

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    Replies
    1. Mel,the restaurants are making lots of money with yee sang. Hope you try my salad :)

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  2. What u said is right... When we make that at home its delicious and healthy too... Loving all that flavors in that yummy salad...

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    1. Thanks, Vimitha! I love making my own salads and salad dressings.

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  3. ma sei stata bravissima questa insalata in stile cinese con il pollo è favolosa!!!un saluto...

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  4. Wow! This looks so yum. wish i could have a bowl of this.

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  5. I think its a great idea to make your own. Fresh ingredients, sauces and healthier as well! Looks so refreshingly delicious.

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    Replies
    1. Mich, I love salads a lot. Yee sang is one of my favorites but it is getting really expensive at the restaurants.

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  6. Another very delicious looking meal! 2 accountants in the family result in such creative meal!

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    Replies
    1. Hah! Hah! Kedekut punya pasal :)

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    2. we get plenty of plums now.....home made plum sauce is yummy ...look up Annabelle White's plum sauce if you get a chance :)

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  7. Hi Phong Hong, very nice salad. I have all the dressing ingredients except the chilli bean paste. Any substitute or can I omit it?

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    Replies
    1. Kimmy, you can omit the chilli bean paste and it will taste as good. Try it, you won't regret :)

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  8. I always liked presentation in this type of food-well, I agree-it's not too much but at least it looks so nicely!:)

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  9. Ooooo....I love your blue & white Chinese vase and bowl. I've a weakness for those... Yee sang - not really a fan. I think that's Cantonese. Never had it when I was growing up, in fact never heard of it. Maybe I do it Malaysian style - with fruit rojak instead.

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    Replies
    1. Arthur, I also think rojak is better hah! hah! The blue and white vase belongs to my auntie. I am "borrowing" it from her :)

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  10. I love yee sang when the sauce is good. From the list of ingredients for the sauce, it must taste good. Next time you make this, can I come wash your dishes for a bowl of the yummy yee sang? I promised I will take good care of your lovely white and blue ceramic wares.

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    Replies
    1. Quay Po, you are most welcome to eat my salad! Don't worry, no need for you to wash the dishes. How can I make my guest wash dishes? Hee..hee...

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  11. Hi PH! This looks both tasty and healthy. Oh and I still owe you my wife's jackfruit salad recipe...

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    Replies
    1. Alvin, Esther and I are eagerly waiting for the recipe :)

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    2. Ok Ok... my 2 big sisters! I will keep my promise... :)

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  12. Your salad make me feel like having it during CNY. It is great to have big plate of vege together with other heavy dishes.

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    Replies
    1. Vivian, a salad will help lighted it up! You can try having this salad on other days as well. Very good for a light lunch or dinner.

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  13. colorful presentation as always :) healthy and yummylicious..

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, PT! Healthy and yummy together is very hard to come by :)

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  14. I should call you the Queen of Salad! Love all your salad, including this version of Yee Sang! I have a confession, I am not overly crazy over Yee Sang, if it is served, I'll eat it, if not, I would not order it! And I would pick out all the raw fish and pass to my hubby, I can never get myself to put a piece of raw fish in my mouth!
    It is getting pricey each year and still there are high demand for it!
    Better to make it at home, I'll gladly eat your roasted chicken version anytime!

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    Replies
    1. Hah! Hah! Thanks, Joyce! So you don't eat sushi with raw fish then. I actually prefer chicken to seafood :)

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  15. Hi Phong Hong! My family never buy yee sang from restaurant, but make the dish ourselves with smoked salmon instead. Love your variation, looks really yummy!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jasline! Ah, smoked salmon! That I like a lot. Perhaps I should try to make a proper Yee Sang with smoked salmon. That would be really delish!

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  16. pandainya, buat dressing sendiri ^_^ ..after a heavy meal during CNY, your salad is a perfect choice!

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    1. Mahu jimat duit punya pasal, lor! Sonia, this is good diet food, maybe should eat salad after all the eating during CNY :)

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  17. PH, your partner is spot on! I feel the same way too, would absolutely NOT buy the store-made yee sang, and i notice the quality seem to be getting worse each year, all i see are coloured, sad looking slivers of things that do not look very edible :p. your salad dressing sounds great, i will note that to try one day. Btw, about the AMC cookware, if you are interested, i can show you the navi and pots, and even do a quick demo so you can see live how it works - wonderfully :)

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    Replies
    1. Esther, I agree nowadays they love to pile on those colourful crispy stuff and preserved fruits. And the Yee Sang is also too sweet! On the AMC cookware, sounds good. We can KIV the demo after CNY. Maybe there are others who are interested too :)

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  18. That sounds wonderful! For me, living in the states, homemade yee sang is the only way to go, can't even buy it anywhere. Homemade one is definitely fresher and like you said less coloring and stuff.

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    Replies
    1. It's great that you make your own Yee Sang and I agree that home made is a lot better. We use better ingredients and it sure taste a lot better.

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  19. This is my favorite salad of all time. I start making my own yee sang since moving here as we can't get it years ago but now a few Malaysian restaurants do sell it but like you said the amount they charge are extorbit. I am not going to pay so much for some shredded vegetables. I like the addition of tomatoes it it.

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    Replies
    1. That's right, the prices they charge don't justify the ingredients used. Especially when the most expensive ingredient being the salmon or whatever seafood used is so little!

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  20. Is the kind of dishes I could eat forever: healty, colorfull, delicious!!!

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  21. WOW! your salad made me drolling!! i love yee sang very much! selalu mkn bila my big boss belanja mkn.. tak pernah bayar sendiri tapi memang tau harganya sangat mahal kan.. tp betul mcm u cakap Phong.. bila dah campur & gaulkan.. nak cari salmon pun dah tak jumpa.. hehe.. TQ sebab berjaya create resepi & sos yang nampak sedap tu... kalau ada kerajinan boleh I cuba juga one day..

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    Replies
    1. MaDiHaA, oh you pernah rasa Yee Sang! Sedapkan? Tapi kat restoran bukan main mahal, ikan yang dia bagi pun terlalu sedikit. Tu lah buat I fed up. Hmmm...biar cipta salad tersendiri. Kalau ada masa lapang, cuba lah!

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  22. Phong Hong,
    Love your brilliant salad creation.
    I agreeded with Joyce you are the Queen of salad.
    Frankly, I not really into Yee Sang :p
    But looking at your so refreshing, colorful n with roasting chicken ..I am sold :D
    mui

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    1. Thank you, mui mui! I love salads a lot and if I add chicken it makes for a complete meal. I can just eat it like that without rice or anything else :)

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  23. What a fantastic salad! I'd love it with chicken or seafood!!!

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    1. Lizzy, it would go very well with roast pork too!

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  24. i'm okay towards yee sang, infact i already had my first yee sang this year last week with my parents. Good that you make your own ' yee sang' cos you can have it anytime of the year, not just only during chinese new year. Your own concoction of the sauce sounds wonderful, way to go, phong hong!! lets' toss!!!

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    Replies
    1. Lena, I must learn to make the real Yee Sang. Then I can do it for next CNY and toss away....

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  25. I stumbled upon your blog while searching for Trg Roti Paung recipe. I am fr KT too but now residing in Sweden. Grew up in Cherong Lanjut. :D Family surname is Chee. Not sure if it rings any bell. Anyway, I am glad I found yr blog. When I browsed through your Trg food recipies I was tranported back to my childhood days. Especially the Trg Laksa. Use to remember that my granny preparing it for CNY open house. I will definately try out all the nostalgic food I once remember. Thanks to you :D :D
    /Bee Kim Chee

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    Replies
    1. Hi there Bee Kim! I grew up in Cherong Lanjut too! But I don't quiet remember your family and I am checking with my Mum. Hopefully she can provide me with clues. Well, I have a collection of KT recipes especially in October 2012. Happy cooking!

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    2. Hi PH,
      My dad is Mr Chee Seng Chee. He was CHWS secondary school HM in the 70's./Bee Kim

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    3. Bee Kim, now I remember you! My mum told me you used to cycle around SS1 and chat with her while she waited to fetch my brother. Your dad was later transferred to SMSS and my late aunt Mrs Wee Beng Tang was principal at CHWS. What a small world! Perhaps you could look me up on Facebook and we can keep in touch.

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  26. What a mouth-watering dish you've got there. I am sure it taste fantastic too. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe, PH.

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    1. Veronica, good things are to be shared! Hope you try this salad. I loved it a lot :)

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  27. Hello Phong, I came across your simple to prepare chinese toss salad. Gave me the confidence to have a go @ your innovated version of ýee sang'. Turned out trumps and will make this again. Congrats & thanks for sharing your recippes. Best wishes, Suzanney - Perth

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  28. Hi Suzanney! I am really pleased that you gave my recipe a go and that you loved it! Thank you for coming by :)

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