Or rather known as the Prosperity Toss / Lo Hei. I am not sure of the origin but I found that this dish is only common in Malaysia and Singapore. When Chinese New Year is around the corner, you see restaurants start putting up yee sang set ups . Supermarket / grocers would also sell them in pre-packed boxes for easy take away, anytime. I’ve had the restaurant versions, boxed versions and homemade version.. you know nothing taste better than homemade.
My very first memory of homemade yee sang was when I was in Sydney, my housemate started to julienne yam, added colour and fried them. I never knew it was made from yam, or yam could be used as an adaptive to whatever the original version was. I then started looking out for yee sang on the net. Many versions and many colours. I decided to go with 8 colours (em…turned out to be more than 8 anyway). I referred to noobcook and sonia‘s. It’s not hard to make it at home, but it’s quite alot of work!
Yee Sang is usually served as the first dish, during the 15 days of Chinese New Year (some even before) as a form of good luck for the new lunar year. Whether its a homemade or restaurant version, the abundance of colours are the other main attractions of the dish (apart from the sashimi). So I kinda made my own version with a few different colours of vegetables.
Homemade Yee Sang 鱼生
1-2. Yam (red and green) * you can use red / green peppers as well
3. Purple cabbage (purple)
4. Pomelo wedges (white / clear)
5. Carrot (orange)
6. Cucumber (white) < you can use white radish, we didn’t cause it ‘washes’ out medications, so I replaced it with cucumber
7. Coriander (Green) *you can use spring onion as a substitute
8. Bo cui / crisps (brown)
(if this is considered, then 9. Ginger (yellow)
(on the non vegetarian versions, 10. smoked salmon slices)
Other ingredients idea
1. Green and red capsicum for green and red yam
2. Sengkuang (yambean / jicama / Chinese turnip)
3. Jelly fish
4. Pickled red ginger
5. Grapefruit for pomelo
6. Sweet potato
7. Pickled papaya
8. Chinese pear
1. Crushed Roasted Peanut
2. Roasted sesame seeds
3. Five spice powder
4. Cinnamon powder
5. White Pepper
1. Plum sauce (added a little water to it)
2. Honey (although I think golden syrup is good too)
3. Olive oil
4. Lime juice
I didn’t weigh any ingredients as I prepared ahead of time, and made 6 batches. I sealed them in bags so at anytime we wanna serve yee sang to our guests, we just have to assemble them.
For the bo cui (crackers / crisps), I made it ahead of time but I wasn’t quite satisfied with it. Then I found them in the supermarket, bought a few packets just to add to the dish. But here’s how to make them.
Bo cui crackers
spring roll skins
*My mistake was I didn’t add in baking powder, thus it looked more like fried spring roll skin more than the crackers. amount to be adjusted by self.
1. Mash fermented beancurd in a bowl and add in a pinch or two of baking powder *depending on how many serving you are preparing* you can add an egg at this point, but because I’m making a vegetarian version, I skipped the egg.
2. Lay out a sheet of spring roll skin, brush the surface. Lay another sheet on top. cut to small strips.
3. Heat oil in a pan till hot, deep fry them till golden and crispy.
4. Drain and let it cool on a piece of paper towel (to soak up excess oil)
As for the Yam, it’s pretty easy. Just make sure you wear gloves for this, as raw yam kinda makes the skin itchy.
1. Julienne yam as thin as possible. (My mom has x100 better knife skills than me, she did this)
2. Pat dry. Colour them in red and green.
3. Fry them the same way as the crackers. Add some salt in the oil before frying.
4. We tried adding salt in the yam before frying and it turns out to be clumpy. It takes only a short while to fry them.
As for the rest of the vegs, you can cut them yourself if you have fantastic knife skills. I don’t, so I just used the shredder.
Now as to how to toss it…
1. Arrange all the ingredients on a big big plate.
2. Stand around the table (if it is impossible to fit everyone, ask all to stand at a 45 degree with the hand holding the chopstick in only. That’s what we did anyway cause there were too many of us)
3. Squeeze in the lime juice, toss the spices and pour in the sauce.
4. Using a chopstick, toss, as high as possible while uttering auspicious / prosperity sayings, or wishes for the new year
5. Eat 🙂
Here are some auspicious sayings when serving / tossing the yee sang
恭喜发财 Gong Xi Fa Cai meaning “Congratulations for your wealth”
万事如意 Wan Shi Ru Yi meaning “May all your wishes be fulfilled”
年年有余 Nian Nian You Yu meaning “Abundance through the year”
大吉大利 Da Ji Da Li meaning “Good luck and smooth sailing”
招财进宝 Zhao Cai Jin Bao meaning “Attract wealth and treasures”
一本万利 Yi Ben Wan Li meaning “Make 10,000 times of profit with your capital”
财源广进 Cai Yuan Guang Jin meaning “Numerous sources of wealth”
鸿运当头 Hong Yun Dang Tou meaning “Good luck is approaching”
青春常驻 Qing Chun Chang Zhu meaning “Forever young”
风生水起 Feng Sheng Shui Qi meaning “Progress at a fast pace”
步步高升 Bu Bu Gao Sheng meaning “Reaching higher level with each step”
金银满屋 Jin Yin Man Wu meaning “Household filled with gold and silver”
生意兴隆 Sheng Yi Xing Long meaning “Prosperity for the business”
满地黄金 Man Di Huang Jin meaning “Floor full of gold”
The yee sang was well received by my family, relatives and my friends 🙂
Next year, I need to get a BIGGER PLATE!!
*Note, you may also see alot of ‘instagram’ photos, as lately, I’ve been using the phone to snap more pics (for quicker n easier sharing) I hope you don’t mind! 🙂
I am submitting your post to Aspiring Bakers #15: Auspicious Dishes for CNY (January 2012) hosted by Wen of Wen’s Delight. More info here