K-popped! Trio reunites for Yee Sang

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.

Colourful “yee sang” – 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.

“Yee Sang” with a generous serving of sweet & 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! 🙂

Everyone tosses the “yee sang” with chopsticks


Toss it up high while shouting auspicious wishes.
“K-popped! Hwaiting!”

The modern “yee sang” dish originated in Malaysia and is now also popular in Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia.

This is what the dish looks like after all that tossing,
shouting & eating.

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.


Sang har yee meen – Gigantic fresh prawns with egg noodles.
Absolutely yummy. This is the signature dish for
the restaurant we went to.


Drunken lala – shellfish cooked in Chinese wine
and chili padi (Bird’s Eye Chili Pepper) added
to spice things up.


Steamed fresh-water cat fish cooked
to perfection in light soy sauce.


Leafy green baby kailan
stir-fried with garlic.

Of course, Chinese tea to wash everything down.


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