chinese new year + everything salad

by Chen

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Happy Chinese New Year!

Want to know how important it is to me? Just take a look at a corner of our kitchen after we cleaned up the dinner table and kitchen:

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Here is what makes this mountain of pots:

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I can hardly find a particular word for this dish.

Traditional. It’s our family tradition that my mom makes it every year for Chinese New Year.

Popular. It’s the most popular dish on the table, especially when everything else looks greasy and fattening (well, it’s another tradition that what we eat during Chinese New Year are mostly meaty).

Fresh. Not only the color stands out on a winter table, but also the taste. The vibrant flavors all come from the ingredients themselves and some sesame oil and salt.

Unique. It’s not like any salad; all the ingredients here are cooked. Plus, there is only three extra ingredients being used: vegetable oil for sauté, salt, and sesame oil.

Elaborate. After you take a look at how to prepare it, you’ll know what I mean. It can take a whole afternoon, no kidding.

everything salad
Literally, there is no so called recipe for it. What I can give you is a list of all ingredients. Feel free to adjust the amount according to your liking. However, I do not suggest to omit any of them, seriously.

Dried mushroom 香菇, soak in water overnight and then thinly sliced
Black Chinese fungus 木耳, soak in water overnight and then break into small pieces
Dried lily 黄花菜, soak in water overnight
Bamboo shot 冬笋, skinned and julienned and boiled in salted water for 1-2 minutes
Carrot 胡萝卜, julienned
Pickled mustard greens 雪里蕻
Tofu noodle 豆干丝
Marinated tofu 酱干, sliced into 1-2 inch long thin strips
Ginger 生姜, sliced into 1-2 inch long thin strips
Soy bean sprout 黄豆芽
Spinach 菠菜
Chinese celery 中国芹菜, cut into 1-2 inch long
Sugar snap pea sprout 豆苗

Vegetable oil
Salt
Sesame oil

All the ingredients must be cooked separately before being tossed together.

For EACH ingredient: heat just enough vegetable oil over medium high heat and sauté until completely cooked. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

After you have done with all of them, find a bowl (I used the largest pot I have) and mix everything together. Add enough sesame oil as much as you can taste the hint of it. Adjust the salt (your taste buds will tell you when it’s ready).

Serve cold. Leftover can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up a week.

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Hard work deserves yummy food!

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