12 Steps Prosperity Yee Sang Toss for Chinese New Year
Usher in the Chinese New Year with a colorful raw fish salad called Yee Sang (Chinese: 魚生) or Prosperity Toss, Lo Hei (Cantonese for 撈起 or 捞起).
Yee Sang is a popular festive dish eaten during Chinese New Year. This dish is popular with the ethnic Chinese communities in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.
It is a fun and tasty salad symbolizing abundance, prosperity, and vigor.
Yee Sang (Prosperity Toss Salad) is one of the dishes most Malaysian Chinese look forward to during the Chinese New Year Festivities.
Years ago, this special dish was only served in restaurants on the seventh day of the Chinese New Year. The seventh day is also known as Universal Mankind’s Birthday.
Most families will eat out on that day and enjoy Yee Sang with a Prosperity Toss at the restaurants.
Nowadays, most Chinese restaurants have replaced raw fish with raw salmon or smoked salmon.
The Significance of Yee Sang
Today, Yee Sang is readily available even before the festivities. There are pre-packed Yee Sang sold in hypermarkets that you could bring home to eat.
Nowadays Yee Sang is served on the eve of the Chinese New Year right through Chap Goh Mei (the fifteenth day of the Chinese New Year).
What does Yee Sang signify?
Yee Sang means “increase in abundance and vigor”.
Restaurants and Chefs have gotten more creative and now offer Pau Sang, with pau yee (abalone) which comes with a hefty price tag.
What does Pau Sang signify?
Pau Sang means “guaranteed abundance and vigor”.
Is eating Yee Sang a fun experience?
You must not miss out on an opportunity to join in a dinner with a Yee Sang Prosperity Toss. The experience is not to be missed.
It is a communal thing and most companies, groups of friends and family have a lot of fun with Yee Sang. The salad itself is delicious with the right balance of sweet, tangy, savory, and crunchy.
How do you toss it?
The fun part is the tossing of the salad. It is believed that the higher and more vigorous the toss, the better the new year!
Get the kids to join in and teach them to call out the auspicious wishes for good luck!
How to eat a Yee Sang?
After all that hard work, everyone gets to enjoy a tasty plate or two of this salad to usher in the Chinese New Year.
There are 12 Steps Prosperity Yee Sang Toss for Chinese New Year for this Teochew-style raw fish salad with shredded vegetables, added nuts or crackers for crunch and topped with a variety of sauces.
Is Yee Sang a healthy dish?
After all, Yee Sang which has a variety of veggies is healthy right?
If you take into account the fats and sugars from the liberal use of fried flour crisps, sweet plum sauce, and oily sesame oil.
The short answer is, No.
What is the calorie in a store bought Yee Sang?
A 387g serving of store-bought Yee Sang will cost you over 500 calories.
Can I make my own Yee Sang?
By making Yee Sang at home you can halve the calorie.
What are the typical Yee Sang (raw fish salad) Ingredients?
- Fresh salmon or tuna sashimi (buy sliced fish to avoid the hassle of having to cut it)
• White radish
• Pickled ginger
• Chinese parsley
• Fried Flour Crisps
How can I make a healthier Yee Sang?
Use fresh instead of pickled or preserved ingredients.
Omit the deep-fried flour crisps.
How to Make a Vegetarian Yee Sang?
Just omit the salmon slices to make a vegetarian version of this dish.
What is the Yee Sang Ingredients?
Salmon slices (as desired)
80g Japanese cucumber, julienned
60g carrot, julienned
80g apple, julienned
60g white radish, julienned
80g honeydew, julienned
60g yam, julienned and toasted for 20 minutes at 160C till crispy
50g Mandarin orange
50g pomelo pulp
1 tsp. olive oil
Pinch of five-spice powder
Pinch of pepper
30g sesame seeds
30g pine nuts
How do I make Plum Sauce dressing?
The recipe is quite simple. For the Plum Sauce Dressing, just whisk together the ingredients:
⅓ cup hoisin sauce (80ml)
⅓ cup apricot or plum jam (80ml)
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp water
1 tsp sesame oil
Can I replace the Plum Sauce?
You can replace the preserved plum sauce with fiber-rich fresh passion fruit pulp.
Here’s the recipe for Passion Fruit Yee Sang Dressing (Serves 5)
Pulp from 2 passion fruits
1 tbsp. plum sauce
1 tbsp. lime juice
2 tsp. honey
Can I make a Fruit Yee Sang?
Use your favorite fruits or vegetables for this fruity twist to the usual Chinese New Year Yee Sang salad.
How long does it take to make a Yee Sang at home?
Normally the Prep Time takes most of the work to wash, clean and cut the various raw ingredients. This can take up to 1 hour or more depending on the amount.
Since there is no real cooking except frying some of the flour and taro crisp, making the sauce and assembling the ingredients on a huge platter may take up to 30 mins.
So the Total Time is approximately 1 hr. 30 mins
How do I make the crispy bits?
I prefer to make the crispy bits where I can control the quality of oil used for frying.
You only need to buy wonton wrappers and cut this into strips for deep frying.
Shred taro (yam) coarsely using a grater. Divide shredded taro into two and color one portion red and the other green with vegetable coloring.
Heat about 1-inch depth vegetable oil in a frying pan. Deep fry the wonton wrappers and taro separately.
Remove with a metal strainer. Store the crispy bits in airtight containers. This will keep it fresh until you use it.
What are the 12 Steps to a Yee Sang Toss?
When everyone is gathered around the dining table, everyone offers Chinese New Year greetings.
Favorable Wishes: “Gong Xi Fa Cai” means “Congratulations for your wealth” or “Wan shi ru yi” meaning “May all your wishes be fulfilled”.
The Yee Sang platter is presented. Fish which symbolizes abundance or excess through the year is added.
Favorable Wishes: Nian Nian you yu 年年有馀 and You yu you sheng.
The peeled pomelo pips are added over the fish, symbolizing added luck and auspicious value.
Favorable Wishes: 大吉大利 Da ji da li.
The green and red paper packets are opened. The Pepper and Cinnamon Powder are sprinkled over the ingredients in the hope of attracting money and valuables assets.
Favorable Wishes: 招财进宝 Zhao cai jin bao.
The bowl of oil is poured out, circling the ingredients to increase all profits 10,000 times. This is to encourage money to flow in from all directions
Favorable Wishes: Yi ben wan li and 财原广进 Cai yuan guang jin.
Carrots are added to the fish signifying blessings of good luck.
Favorable Wishes: Hong yun dang tou.
The shredded green radish is placed on the fish symbolizing eternal youth.
Favorable Wishes: Qing chun chang zhu.
The shredded white radish is added. This means prosperity in business and promotion at work.
Favorable Wishes: Feng sheng shui qi and 步步高升 Bu bu gao sheng.
Chopped Peanut bits are dusted on the dish. This symbolizes a household filled with gold and silver. Peanuts symbolize eternal youth and are an icon of longevity,
Favorable Wishes: 金银满屋 Jin yin man wu.
Toss in Sesame Seeds. This symbolizes a flourishing business.
Favorable Wishes: 生意兴隆 Sheng yi xing long.
Deep-fried flour puffs in the shape of golden pillows are added with wishes that the whole floor would be filled with gold.
Favorable Wishes: 遍地黄金 Bian di huang jin.
Everyone joins in and tosses the salad an auspicious 7 times with loud shouts of “lo hei” 捞起 and other auspicious Chinese New Year wishes.
Favorable Wishes: Lo hei 捞起 which is Cantonese for “tossing luck”.
All to toss up the prosperity toss 7 times and shouting auspicious phrases and wishes for prosperity.
Hotels and restaurants alike are in full gear to incorporating this year’s Chinese Zodiac sign, the Pig, into the ‘Lo Hei’, for this annual gastronomical family tradition which is always a hit with the kids.