‘Ok everyone let’s lo hei!‘(Cantonese for: toss luck / prosperity toss)
‘Good year ahead…’
‘Find Hero for Ash…’
‘More money more money…’
‘Wei tumpah lah wei!’ (Malaysian for: Oi spilling lah!)
Those were some of our wishes when we were tossing this year’s Yee Sang. Well except for the last one- which was a friend pointing out that we had ‘lo hei-ed’ some ingredients off the plate.
Yee Sang usually is a mix of shredded vegetables (white and green radish, carrot, turnip, red pickled ginger), strips of raw fish (typically salmon, sometimes jellyfish), pomelo, various sauces (plum sauce, sesame oil), condiments (peanuts, sesame seeds, pepper) and (the bit I like the best) deep fried crispy flour bits. In typical Chinese fashion, each of these ingredients signifies a well wish for the year ahead.
Tossing (or rather raising) these ingredients high in the air with chopsticks, while making well wishes in loud joyful exclamations, is done in celebration of the Chinese New Year. The act of tossing symbolises prosperity, whilst the group of people eating it together represents unity.
Though Yee Sang was traditionally eaten during the 15 days of Chinese New Year, it is now also available during the weeks leading up to it.
Did You Know…
…that although Yee Sang is reported to originate from Southern China, the lo hei is currently not practiced in China or Hong Kong. It is now unique to Malaysia and Singapore (a slight disagreement exists between the 2 countries on this matter. However, this is quite common with anything food related!).