Sunday, 1 February 2009
Today is the 7th day of Chinese New Year, known as 人日 (Ren Le) in Mandarin or (Yan Yak) in Cantonese. This means it is the birthday of all humankind. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY (or a belated one to people whose time zone had past 1st Feb 2009) to everyone in the whole wide world! Legend has it that in the very very old days thousand of years ago, it was recorded that God (Chinese God) made all kinds of different creatures during his 7 days project very similar to the Bible.
1st day was the chicken, 2nd day the dog, 3rd day the pig, 4th day the goat/lamb, 5th day the cow/ox, 6th day the horse and 7th day human. There was also recorded an additional 8th day for grains (rice and others)
This was a big celebration years ago less so in recent years unless your parents celebrate and tell you why they celebrate. Many old fashioned family will have a dinner consists of 7 good luck dishes for dinner. Many will celebrate by making fish ceviche or 'Yu Sung' in Cantonese or 'Yu Shen' in Mandarin because the words ryhmes with 'birth' in Chinese.
This is probably one of the very few Chinese recipes I know that the dish is uncooked and and served cold. We Chinese are not like Thai, Vietnamese or the Japanese, we like most dishes cooked and served piping hot! In the Far East red snapper or grouper are popular, with the recent import of western salmon and raw tuna influenced by the Japanese, Salmon and tuna are popular too. The only decent fish I can get locally is salmon so this is what I will be using. Different families and different parts of Fast East countries where most Chinese congregate, all have their own secret recipes and variations, in Malaysia or Singapore Nyonya Yu Sung don't usually have raw fish but brownish looking reconstituted dried squid/cuttlefish that doesn't taste much the texture is like a soft piece of rubber, crunchy jelly fish and some fried prawn fritters for the extra crunch. I love Nyonya Yu Sung it's different but tasty too.
I will post the recipe when I made it this evening and taken the photo.