Prosperity Toss Salad

Tossed with a sweet-tart and salty dressing made from umeboshi, or pickled Japanese plums, each ingredient in Danielle Chang's version of this colorful composed salad has an auspicious meaning used to commemorate the Lunar New Year. Piles of cucumbers, taro root, and carrots are cut into noodle-like ribbons to represent longevity. Radishes, pomelos, and green vegetables like cucumbers are symbols of good fortune. Chang serves it as an appetizer to raise good luck, encouraging guests to use their chopsticks and mix and toss the ingredients together. According to superstition, the higher they toss the salad, the better their luck will be in the new year.

Prosperity Salad
Photo: Charissa Fay
Total Time:
50 mins
6 to 8


Salted Plum Dressing

  • ½ cup umeboshi paste (such as Eden Foods)

  • ¼ cup rice vinegar

  • 2 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger

  • 1 teaspoon mirin


  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • 1 ounce uncooked rice vermicelli noodles, gently pulled apart and broken

  • 1 cup 1/16-inch-thick x ½-inch-wide taro root ribbons

  • 1 cup 1/16-inch-thick carrot ribbons

  • 1 cup 1/16-inch-thick cucumber ribbons

  • 1 cup 1/16-inch-thick daikon ribbons

  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion

  • 1 cup thinly sliced green bell pepper

  • 1 cup ½-inch-wide fresh yuba (bean curd sheets) ribbons (such as Hodo Foods)

  • ½ cup cooked and shelled fresh or thawed frozen shelled edamame

  • ½ cup fresh microgreens or bean sprouts

  • ¼ cup crispy fried shallots (such as Maesri)

  • ¼ cup salted roasted peanuts

  • ¼ cup drained pickled sliced ginger

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

  • 1 large pomelo or Ruby Red grapefruit, peeled and segmented

  • Edible flower petals, for garnish


Make the salted plum dressing

  1. Whisk together umeboshi paste, vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, ginger, and mirin in a small bowl until blended and smooth; set aside.

Make the salad

  1. Pour vegetable oil to a depth of 1 1/2 inches in a large wok; heat over medium-high until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°F. Working in 2 batches, add vermicelli noodles, and fry until noodles puff and float to surface, about 7 seconds. Using a spider or slotted spoon, flip noodles, and fry 3 seconds. Using a spider, remove noodles from oil, and drain on a large paper towel–lined plate. Add taro root to wok, and fry, stirring often, until crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on a paper towel–lined plate.

  2. Spoon 1/2 cup dressing into a large serving bowl or platter; place fried vermicelli in the center. Arrange carrot, cucumber, daikon, onion, bell pepper, yuba, edamame, and microgreens around fried vermicelli. Sprinkle with shallots, peanuts, pickled ginger, and sesame seeds. Top vermicelli with fried taro and pomelo, and garnish with flower petals.

  3. With the salad as the centerpiece, each guest should use their chopsticks to gently incorporate the dressing. Encourage guests to serve themselves. Serve remaining 1/2 cup dressing on side.


Find umeboshi paste and taro root at Chinese grocery stores or online.

Make Ahead

Dressing can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator.

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