He's no Chinese chef but that hasn't stopped chef-restaurateur Emmanuel Stroobant from coming up with his own version of the festive favourite yusheng – otoro prosperity salad with baby vegetables crudite and spicy soil. Yusheng typically consists of 27 ingredients including raw salmon, shredded vegetables and plum sauce. Chef Stroobant's version of the dish stays relatively true to the conventional ingredients, except that he uses tuna belly in place of salmon, and crunchy raw vegetables instead of long strips.
"I wanted to create a dish that would stay faithful to its traditional Chinese taste. I felt I shouldn't turn a Chinese dish into a French one just for the sake of it," says chef Stroobant. He promises that the salad takes just four minutes to put together once all the ingredients are prepared. The dish is also on his flagship restaurant Saint Pierre's Chinese New Year menu.
Otoro prosperity salad with baby vegetables crudite and spicy soil
Ingredients (Serves 4)
200g fresh tuna otoro (hand diced in small 5mm cubes)
20gm pickled ginger (finely sliced in julienne)
2 tsp key lime leaf (finely sliced in julienne)
2 tsp coriander leaf (finely sliced in julienne)
1 tspn layu oil (sesame oil scented with chili)
2 limes (juice extracted)
For spicy soil
50gm roasted peanuts
1 tsp roasted black sesame seeds
1 tsp roasted white sesame seeds
2 tsp fried crispy shrimps
2 tbs fried shallot
1/2 tsp 5 spice powder
1/2 tsp white pepper powder
1 tbs sundried oranges
20 gm deep fried chinese flour crisp
Fleur de sel to taste
1 tbs cumquat paste
3 tbs rice vinegar
3 tbs plum sauce
For the crudites
2 baby daikons (peeled and cut into long strips)
2 baby carrots (peeled and cut in long strips)
1 red pepper (roasted, peeled and cut into 2cm square)
4 baby turnips (peeled and cut into 8 halves)
2 pink radishes (finely sliced)
1 punnet green shiso cress
4 tbs pomelo flesh
1. Mix all the tuna ingredients and set aside in refrigerator.
2. Mix all the soil ingredients and grind in a food processor until the mixture becomes a powder.
3. Mix the dressing ingredients in a bowl till it becomes a paste. Store it in a small squeeze bottle.
4. Using a rectangular ring, place the o-toro in the middle of a plate. Drizzle the spicy dust around the ring (without topping the tuna ). Place the crudites on top of the tuna. Season with dressing.
Forest, Resorts World Sentosa
For a dish that tastes and sounds festive, chef Sam Leong of Forest restaurant created a scallop dish inspired by the Chinese idiom da zhan hong tu – commonly used during Chinese New Year to wish others success in their endeavours.
"The Cantonese word for scallop is dai ji, which loosely translates to prosperity and good luck. I chose scallop as the main ingredient because of its apt name," says chef Leong.
While chef Leong's focus on the ingredients' names seems traditional – perhaps even a little superstitious – he says that the dish is far from old-fashioned. "What I have created, is a new modern presentation of traditionally- used ingredients," he says.
Pan-seared Hokkaido Scallop with XO chili sauce, avocado and tomato salad
Ingredients (serves four)
4 scallops (about 60g each)
4 red tomatoes
XO sauce (to taste)
Goma sesame dressing (to taste)
Wasabi mayonnaise (to taste)
Salt and sugar (to taste)
1. Cut the avocado and mango into cubes and mix them with the wasabi mayonnaise.
2. Trim the top and bottom of the tomato, cut it into half. Season with salt and sugar.
3. Put some Goma sesame dressing on the plate and put the seasoned tomato pieces on the serving plate topped with mango and avocado salad.
4. Pan sear the scallop and slice it. Place the scallop on top of the seasoned tomato, mango and avocado salad.
5. Garnish with XO sauce and some greens.
Sjömagasinet, Goteburg, Sweden
For a more adventurous take on yusheng, Swedish chef Ulf Wagner of Sjömagasinet in Goteburg, includes unlikely ingredients such as tempura prawns, fried mung noodles and watercress.
He also uses halibut in place of the usual salmon, because of Sjömagasinet's focus on serving fresh local fish. It also gives an interesting twist to the festive dish, he says.
"We wanted to transform an old traditional dish into something new for 2013," he says.
Sjömagasinet's Yu Sheng
Ingredients (serves four)
Spring onion (or chives)
Segment from 1 lime
10g chopped watercress
1/2 chili in very thin slices, abt 100 g
100g of halibut in very thin slices
20 pc of fresh shrimps shelled with tail left.
Turn shrimp over in tempura, then in finely chopped khadafi dough. Deep fry for 2 minutes.
20g mung noodles, fried until they pop
10g rice vinegar
10g nam pla
100ml rape seed oil
1 tsp sesame oil
Mix as mayonnaise
50g plum sauce
Juice and zest from 1 lime
Assemble ingredients together and serve
Moon Kyung Soo
Mikuni, Fairmont Singapore
Chef Moon Kyung Soo does Chinese-Japanese fusion in his take on traditional abalone, with Abalone Shio Gama Yaki – abalone baked with seaweed and Japanese salt. Using abalone was a natural choice for him because of its prominence in Korean, Japanese and Chinese cuisine, says chef Moon, who is Korean but specializes in Japanese food. He was also inspired by the celebrations at Japanese festivals.
"I chose the abalone because it looks like a gold coin. When you open the salt crust that contains the abalone, it looks like a treasure," he says. "I wanted to make something that looks very interesting."
The abalone dish is available upon request at Mikuni with one day's notice. It takes around 40 minutes to be ready if prepared at home.
Abalone Shio Gama Yaki
Ingredients (serves 1)
1 abalone (100g)
1 pc dried konbu (seaweed)
500g table salt
15 ml egg white (half an egg)
30 ml sake
1. Pre-soak dried seaweed in water for approximately 10 minutes.
2. Mix salt with egg white thoroughly in a bowl. (Tip: The resultant salt mixture should not be soft or sticky)
3. Rinse the abalone thoroughly. Do not remove the abalone from its shell.
4. Pour the sake into the abalone shell. The sake should cover the abalone flesh.
5. Wrap the abalone fully with the piece of seaweed and tie with string to secure the 'abalone package'. Set aside.
6. Wrap the inside of a small bowl with cling film and spread the salt and egg mixture evenly on the inside of the bowl. Set the "abalone package" into the bowl, and cover with the remaining salt and egg mixture to create a salt dome.
7. Remove the salt dome from the bowl and place it on a piece of aluminium foil on an oven tray. Create a line of holes around the salt dome by poking through the salt mixture using a chopstick. Place in the oven to bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes.
The chefs will be taking part in "Savour 2013 – presented by Nespresso", to be held at the F1 Pit Building and Paddock from April 11 to 14.