Tuesday, January 17, 2006


*photo from TEH ENG KOON/AP *

Raw Fish Salad-"Yee Sang"

Malaysian Chinese will toss and mix the "Yee Sang" or Raw Fish Salad in celebration of the upcoming Chinese New Year which fall on January 29th.that marks the 1st.lunar day of the Chinese calender. Yee Sang is made from thin slices of raw fish, shredded vegetables, herbs, spices and oil. In Malaysian Chinese culture, Yee Sang is believed to bring good fortune and wealth in the upcoming year to those who toss and mix it while shouting"Low Hei," which symbolizes liveliness, prosperity and longevity.

Many kinds of fish are used including salmon, abalone, or sliced squiggles of jellyfish (an option you can select if eating the fish raw isn't an idea you find easy to swallow!). The dressing is a sweet sour plum sauce with a drizzle of vegetable oil, lime juice and a dash of white pepper.

But that's not all. With all the ingredients decoratively displayed on a large plate, everyone at the table, armed with a pair of chopsticks, will toss the salad all together while voicing expressions of goodwill, good fortune and prosperity. This elaborate salad tossing is known as 'lo sang'. It is believed that the higher the salad is tossed, the higher the level of success and prosperity will be achieved by those who participate. Definitely a fun activity.The yee sang literally translates to fish of fortune and is tossed for good luck, prosperity, longevity, health and wealth.

Popular in Malaysia, it is said to originate from here and isn’t known in Hong Kong and China. Yee Sang is not served outside the fifteen days of Chinese New Year. So for those who wished to try out this dish, you can always go to any Chinese restaurants or buy it pre-packed from the supermarket such as in Jaya Jusco, Carrefour,Tesco or Giant and start your own 'lo sang'. Just add your own raw fish or if you are not keen on raw fish, then replace it with thinly slice pear will also bring the same symbolic meaning. Don't forget to shout 'lo hei' or 'lo sang' to start off your new year auspiciouly.