CNY Prawn Avocado Salad

And the FAQ Frequently Asked Question that I received for this year was "What are you going to cook and / or eat for the CNY reunion dinners this year?". The answer is pretty simple - yee sang. However, that will only mean more questions being flung at me. So the last few reunion gatherings has been a simple prawn avocado salad when it was potluck style.  Simple, quick, nutritious and the main ingredients have an auspicious Chinese New Year meaning to it!

And more so today as I pen this post (terribly quiet as it has been a cray cray few weeks of balancing work, a senior puppy-dog, a new training plan for my 200km ultra marathon and of course spring cleaning) while still at work on the eve of Chinese New Year at approximately 6:00pm and dinner is supposed to be 730pm...the following prawn avocado salad is the perfect 20 minutes dish!

Food symbolism for CNY is quite a must especially when one dines with the elderly folks. I count myself lucky that I do not have to prepare a warm dish since the family knows I either will bake or whip out a salad based dish in general for family meals especially when one is looking at a head count of more than 10 hungry stomachs.

Prawn 虾 in Cantonese sounds like the sound of laughter and so the believe goes that this dish will ensure a year of happiness. Avocado while might not appear as a traditional ingredient is accepted in my family because the colours green and purple a ripe avocado symbolizes prosperity. I have been told that Purple is the colour of fortune for the year of the rooster - so yay to more yummy ripe avocado at our dining table! The Chinese believe that egg symbolises fertility. While I am tempted to use egg as it is, I want to avoid the long conversation about cholesterol during these dinners especially when I am serving prawns too. Thus eggs comes in the form of mayonnaise - home made of course!

Whole Eggs Mayonnaise
• 2 pasteurized eggs (room temperature)
• 200ml of light olive oil or sunflower oil
• Salt to taste (normally it is half teaspoon)
• 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

• Whisk whole eggs till it is blended
• Drizzle a little oil slowly and start whisking
• Repeat the step of adding oil and whisking until you get an emulsion like texture
• You do not have to use all the 200ml of oil
• Add salt to taste
• Lastly add lemon juice
Always add the lemon juice at the end. I sometimes put it a little bit of lemon rind as I personally like a lemony mayonnaise. Alternatively, I sometimes add Dijon mustard to my homemade mayonnaise for that extra kick / zing. I also know of friends who add sugar to their mayonnaise recipe. It is a matter of preference but it is definitely tastier and yummier than the ones you generally buy off the shelf.

Prawn Avocado Salad (serves 4)
• 2 avocados - one cubed and another sliced 
• 2 tablespoon of lemon juice
• 2 tablespoon honey (or to taste)
• 400g prawns (deveined)
• 4 tablespoon homemade mayonnaise 
• Prawn roe (optional)
• Salt and pepper to taste

• Clean and steam prawns.
• Devein the prawns. I normally will extract the prawn roe and set them aside to be mixed with the mayonnaise for a richer colour.
• Steam prawn and leave to cool.
• Cube and slice avocado
• Mix mayonnaise, salt, pepper, honey and prawn roe.
• Toss mayonnaise mix with prawns and avocado cube.
• Top with avocado slices (optional or but it looks better when we have a mix of slice and cube)
• Serve chilled

This prawn avocado salad came about from my trip to London when I had a similar dish but with crayfish. However for CNY, it is prawns which we so happened to stock up on my recent work trip to Sandakan.  

Have fun with this dish. It makes a perfect meal anytime of the year actually. It is also a perfect meal for folks like me since prawns, avocado and the mayonnaise are protein packed ingredients. Avocado and my choice of olive oil is also a good source of good fats.

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