Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Chinese New Year Prosperity Toss / Lou Sang / Yee Sang (鱼生)

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

Rén rì  (人日) [literally Human Day] falls on the 7th day of Chinese New Year and according to Chinese legends, human beings were created on this day.  Therefore it is everybody's common birthday, the day when everyone grows one year older. Traditionally, it is the day when Yee Sang (鱼生) is eaten; however nowadays it is available throughout the Chinese New Year.  This custom is unique to the Chinese in Southeast Asia, such as Malaysia and Singapore. 

"Yúshēng”  (in Mandarin), "Yee Sang" or "Yu Sahng" (in Cantonese) literally means "raw fish" in Chinese but it sounds like Yúshēng (余升) which means an increase in abundance. Yee Sang or Prosperity Toss  is the must-have dish as part of the Chinese New Year dinner due to its symbolism of "good luck" for the new year.    It is actually a mixed salad which consists of finely shredded vegetables, fruits, some colourful condiments (to make the dish more festive) and raw fish tossed in a plum sauce dressing.  

When eating Yee Sang (or commonly known as 'lou sang') the ritual is to toss the ingredients enthusiastically using chopsticks, high into the air while uttering  "auspicious wishes for abundant of luck and happiness" aloud to signify good omens.  It is believed that the height of the toss reflects the height of the diners' growth in fortune in the year ahead.


1 small daikon (white radish), julienned
1 small carrot, julienned
1 cucumber, deseeded, julienned and squeeze dry
1 Granny Smith apple, julienned
leaves of cos lettuce, finely shredded
4 sprigs coriander leaves, finely chopped
pomegranate seeds
wonton wrappers, cut into strips - deep fried

toasted peanuts, crushed
toasted white sesame seeds

Dressing:  Combine everything together
4 tbsp plum sauce (to taste)
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/8 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp shallot oil

Note:  For non-vegetarian Yee Sang, sashimi salmon slices or jellyfish can be added.

  • Soak the julienned daikon in a bowl of ice water for at least 2 hours, changing water about every 30 minutes  (this is to get rid of the smell of daikon).  Drain and squeeze dry.  
  • Soak julienned apple in lemon juice mixture (1 tbsp lemon juice + 1 cup water) for about 5 minutes to prevent oxidation.  Squeeze dry.
  • Arrange all the ingredients on a large plate.  (If using fish, arrange on a separate plate).
  • Before serving, add all the condiments into the salad and pour dressing over and toss as high as you want.


  1. Hi Veronica
    Let's "lau ah"....."lau ah". Wish you and your family good health, "lau ah", " lau ah"....have a prosperous year ahead

    1. Hi Mel, may you have a prosperous year ahead and wishin you an family good health too. Lou hei Lou hei.

  2. Good morning...
    Thanks for sharing...healthy and refreshing! a Happy birthday to you too! ..

  3. Happy Chinese New Year Veronica! I hope that it's a wonderfully prosperous year for you :D

  4. Happy Chinese New Year to you and your family, Veronica.

  5. Hi Veronica, You have made such a lovely yee-sang. The colours are so vibrant. "Lou-Hei"!

  6. Hi Veronica, a healthy yee sang minus the colourings. The sauce should be good for any shredded vegetables too.

  7. Hi Veronica, I just bought a packet of Yee sang today....aiyo,.only my husband and me Lou no fun at all...I better come to ur place to Lou together hehe

    1. Come, come, and bring your packet of Yee Sang to lou hei.

  8. Hi Veronica, Happy Chinese New Year to you, l like the look of your vegetarian lou sang platter, so pretty and healthy!

  9. A bit late but Happy New Year! I love the colours!

  10. Looks great! I think I want to make another batch of yee sang just because it's delicious!

  11. Veronica, I am going to add a link to your recipe here to our blog post here, There were not a lot of recipes for this dish online when I wrote the post, so thank for sharing!


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