Rooster, who has been residing in Beijing, is back in Malaysia for the Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year) holidays, and so we all went for a reunion “yee sang” lunch.
Many have asked us what is “yee sang”? It’s a dish served only during the CNY season and can be simply described as a Chinese-style raw fish salad. “Yee sang” literally means “raw fish” in Cantonese but since “fish” also sounds like “abundance”, it could be interpreted as “increase in abundance”. Thus “yee sang” is considered a symbol of abundance and prosperity.
The dish comprises slices of raw fish (sometimes raw fish is substituted with jellyfish), shredded vegetables, crunchy bits, colourful rice noodles, pomelo, etc. It is accompanied with a sweet and sour sauce.
The dish is served as an appetizer to raise “good luck” for the new year. It is usually eaten on the 7th day of the Chinese New Year (but nowadays, people eat it before or after CNY). In a celebration known as “lo hei”, you stand up around the table and proceed to toss the ingredients into the air with chopsticks while shouting out auspicious wishes. It’s a loud and messy affair. Fun too! 🙂
The modern “yee sang” dish originated in Malaysia and is now also popular in Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia.
After having our fill of “yee sang” for our appetizer, we had seafood for main course. Here’s what we ate at our reunion lunch.
Absolutely yummy. This is the signature dish for
the restaurant we went to.
and chili padi (Bird’s Eye Chili Pepper) added
to spice things up.